This message board has been upgraded to a new forum with a number of user improvements.
You are currently viewing archived posts from the original EncapBoard (2002-2012).
Please visit the NEW EncapBoard carpet cleaning forum at to join an active online community for commercial carpet cleaning.


"Bleach spots"

November 9 2011 at 11:55 AM
Steve Borcherdt  

Two weeks ago I cleaned a commercial carpet in an office for a moving company. I used DS2 for most of it but in an area off the warehouse there was considerable grease and in the break room there were lots of food and beverage spills, so in these areas I used "hot knife" and peroxellent. They were available on short notice overnight.

The morning after I emailed an invoice and said I hoped they liked the cleaning and if there were any problems to let me know right away.

Then I waited for the check.

Yesterday I received this:

"I have sent your invoice up to our Corp office for payment.
The carpet is good except it is having a lot of small bleach spots fading through Did you use some kind of harsh chemicals that would cause the bleaching?
It seems like every time the cleaning group vacuums we get more spots."

The contract is over an hour away so I haven't seen it yet but I am going to see it today.

The supplier and manufacturer both deny anything could be from the solutions and I believe that but I am putting this out here to find out from the wisdom of this board if there something I should be looking for. Rinsing with plain water has been suggested by the manufacturer.


This message has been edited by cleancarpetman on Nov 9, 2011 11:55 AM


Rick Gelinas

Re: "Bleach spots"

November 9 2011, 1:27 PM 

Hi Steve,

I don't have any experience working with Hot Knife or Peroxellent. But it does seem strange to think a properly diluted product would cause "bleach spots" to occur.

Also try to determine what kinds of spot removers they have used in the past. Keep in mind, that you may have gone over an old spotting chemical residue that was lying in the carpet.

Pick up some pH tape from a pool supply store (if you don't already have some). Dab a little distilled water onto the "bleach spots" and then check the pH with the pH tape. It would be good to know what the reading is.

Perhaps you could take some photos too. It would be good to see what you're looking at. Perhaps these are just some extra clean spots that are standing out from the rest of the carpet. Maybe if you were to bonnet clean the entire carpet with Encap-HydrOx you could neutralize any pH spikes that might be present and you could maybe achieve a more uniform appearance.

It's a disheartening feeling whenever something like this occurs. I wish you the best as you put on your Sherlock Holmes hat and try to discover what caused these mystery spots. Let us know how you make out.

Rick Gelinas



Steve Borcherdt

Thanks Rick

November 9 2011, 2:23 PM 

I purchased a pocket magnifier and new mini maglite to help in the investigation. I will pick up the pH strips as well.
My guess is that there maybe "whitening" with concentrated product but have a hard time thinking the carpet is actually bleached, it is after all commercial carpet.

I also can't figure out why she waited two weeks.

Steve Borcherdt

Upon Inspection

November 10 2011, 9:16 AM 

I went to the contract yesterday afternoon and as is often the case it was not nearly as bad as I had imagined in my head.
I examined the carpet under high magnification and saw no difference. I took pictures but they don't really show enough contrast.
Fortunately, since I was the guy who did the cleaning I knew or suspected what had happened just not why or what I should have done differently. The "bleach" spots were actually just clean spots in a generally dirty carpet. I cleaned with a 175 machine using DS2 and Fiber Plus Max pads. Everywhere that got excess product from the sloppiness of the machine and especially where I tipped the machine and it poured a puddle there was a clean spot. I was thankful for that puddle now, even though I worried over it and tried to dry it with a bonnet on the day of cleaning. These spots have become more pronounced after vacuuming.
The spots are fairly even distributed over the carpet but in random fashion.
The client curiously enough said I didn't have to do anything about it since it would just get dirty again. However, I pressed gently to fix it since it would be a learning experience for me and the current state was unacceptable to me.
The one "greasy" room is back to all its filthiness and likely should be HWE flushed. They have moved the desks making it even more noticeable. And since I am dragging hoses I might as well clean the break room with HWE as well.
For the rest of the space I am wondering two things. What did I not do that I should have done and how do I fix it?

P.S. I was unable to locate pH strips locally with enough range. Strips sold at pool supplies measure four different properties. Garden centers have strips that measure just above and below neutral. I was able to locate them online but not in time.


Rick Gelinas

Re: Upon Inspection

November 10 2011, 10:29 AM 

Normally you'll want to find a pH tape that runs from 3 to 13. Typically they change color according to the pH level. PH tape is super easy to work with. So if you can't find what you want in a local store, go ahead and order some online.

I'm glad to hear that there wasn't any kind of a serious problem with the carpet! I'm not sure exactly what you're asking regarding the cleaning and what you could've done differently. Yes, if the carpet is really loaded with grease you probably should consider HWE.

But as a rule, if you can get the carpet into a good maintenance program with encapsulation, you should be able to maintain the carpet sufficiently. Another trick for creating and even appearance at this point might be to do a bonnet cleaning. That will at least level things out a bit until you can do more of a restoration cleaning later.

Hope it goes well for you.

Rick Gelinas




Huh ???

November 10 2011, 12:17 PM 

I don't get this bit............

"Everywhere that got excess product from the sloppiness of the machine and especially where I tipped the machine and it poured a puddle there was a clean spot. "

If you are losing solution from "heeling" the machine, (leaning it to one side to add agitation), why not put a cover over the solution tank.??

Even a towel should stop this problem.

Or the tank is too full of solution.

Or is there something else that I am missing here. ??

As Rick rightly said, if the carpet is loaded with greasy soil, it needs to be flushed, then go onto the maintenance program.

Have you offered them protection.??

Shorty down under.

Steve Borcherdt

Wrong mental picture?

November 10 2011, 2:16 PM 

The solution is not coming out of the top of the tank. It is collecting on top of the pad driver from the shower feed. When you tip the machine to change pads or flip them or move to a different area excess solution winds up on the carpet.


I see

November 10 2011, 5:08 PM 

Thanks Steve, it's all as clear as mud now. wink.gif

Here's something that I do, but don't tell Richard Chavez or I'll never hear the end of it.

I carry a towel on top of my solution tank which wraps loosely around the control column/tank support.

This is for several things as I also carry two spotter bottles in containers on my Cimex.

1: The towels primary job is for throwing on any hard surface floor adjacent to the carpet for wiping up any juice on the hard floor.

2: I also use it for any spotting work that needs to be done "on the go".

3: When I am going to stop as you describe in your post above, I keep the machine running while I fold the towel.

I then place it on the carpet, lift the head of "Big Yella", turn the switch off and lower the head onto the towel.

Wa-la, no more drips (or pools). happy.gif

With practice, this becomes second nature and is very quick to do.

Hope this helps.

Shorty down under.

Steve Borcherdt

Bonnets Bonnets

November 10 2011, 2:58 PM 

I understand that bonnets might pick up more dirt and might carry a little more solution, correct?
The space in question is a large open area (20 X 40) with desks. Along one wall are private offices that have windows to the outside. The opposite wall has a break room off the main area and a small "receiving office" with a french door to the main area and a door on the other side that accesses the warehouse. The receiving office is where that major grease problem exists. The break room is food and beverage. The main area is where the spotting occurred. It is hard for me to imagine that there is an even distribution of grease throughout the main area, but certainly there is some.
So, what I am hearing you say is that at some point I will probably want to restore with HWE. At which time I may also want to dry with bonnets and air movers to reduce any wick back. I think I am that point with regard to the receiving office.
For now, however, a bonnet cleaning will likely smooth out the main area.


Rick Gelinas

Re: Bonnets Bonnets

November 11 2011, 4:32 PM 

"So, what I am hearing you say is that at some point I will probably want to restore with HWE. At which time I may also want to dry with bonnets and air movers to reduce any wick back. I think I am that point with regard to the receiving office. For now, however, a bonnet cleaning will likely smooth out the main area."

Yes. That is exactly what I am thinking happy.gif

And I enjoyed our phone conversation today. I wish you the best as you move forward developing your encap business!

Rick Gelinas




gotta love it

November 14 2011, 5:48 PM 

HK and peroxcellent aren't likely to bleach anymore than Hydrox and Punch. Nice to know the problem is an overly clean section.

Current Topic - "Bleach spots"
EncapBoard Guidelines: 
This forum has been provided by Excellent Supply Inc for sharing information about encapsulation cleaning technology and the business of commercial carpet cleaning.  
Excellent Supply Inc and its agents assume no responsibility for the accuracy of information displayed on this message board. You alone are responsible for any repercussions resulting from information posted here. Content posted on this message board may be used or published by Excellent Supply Inc. 
(1) Unauthorized advertising, promotion of rival products/brands, or listing items for sale without consent will not be permitted. 
(2) No profane, vulgar or abusive speech will be tolerated. Your privilege of posting may be blocked if you flame, use profanity, or are disrespectful. 
(3) We reserve the right to delete any post and block any  individual that we feel is inappropriate. 
(4) This forum is politically and religiously neutral, so please avoid discussing those subjects here.
(5) Maintain a good sense of humor! But keep it clean.
You are a guest here so we invite you to please post respectfully. Enjoy!

Cimex + Releasit = RESULTS