Why Does my Carpet Look Worse After Cleaning – 6 Genuine Reasons

Why Does My Carpet Look Worse After Cleaning

After doing a thorough cleaning job, you are supposed to sit back and wait for your fresh smelling and newly washed carpet to come out looking brand new, right? But the question that runs through your mind is; why does my carpet look worse after cleaning?

If you head out to where your carpet is hanging to dry, and you meet an even dirtier carpet. Confusion sets in, and if you don’t leave alone, you feel like a malicious person came and soiled your carpet behind your back, but that’s not the case.

If the question you as yourself is; why does my carpet look worse after cleaning, then this article here gives your answer.

Why Does my Carpet Look Worse After Cleaning

There are a couple of reasons why your carpet is still dirty after giving it a thorough deep cleaning


Wicking causes Stains to resurface underneath the carpet fibers. In this situation, the original stain of the carpet has soiled the carpet fibers, and it has also penetrated into the carpet backing and underlying pad.

While trying to remove a stubborn stain, the carpet might have been over-saturated with water during the rinsing process.

An excessive rinse can saturate the area and allow too much moisture to penetrate into the carpet backing and pad. The rinse water then reaches the deep stain; the carpet becomes dirty and discolored.

While most of this dirty water may be drawn out of the carpet during the extraction portion of the cleaning process, much of it still remains behind in the carpet backing and pad.

Then, during the drying process where most of the moisture evaporates, this dirty water gradually seeps upward into the carpet fibers. The deep stain that was once beneath the carpet now rises to the surface where it becomes visible.

If spots and stains reappear as soon as the carpet dries, then wicking is most likely the cause, which is basically as a result of over saturating or rinsing of the carpet’s fiber, padding, and backing.


Stains that occur as a result of residue usually come from the carpet’s fibers, and they are very shallow. Traditional cleaning method using soap, shampoo, or other cleaning agents leaves behind a soapy residue which can sometimes result in mildew.

These residues are sticky and attract all manner of dirt and dust. If the carpet is placed in a high traffic area, whenever someone walks on the carpet, the soil from their shoes stick to the residue in the carpet fibers. Also, any settling dust particles will stick to the residue in the carpet.

This is one of the reasons why carpet cleaned with traditional cleaning methods become soiled easily. Even with vacuuming, the soil stuck within the carpet’s fibers won’t be released. 

The same spots tend to reappear, and it is usually new soil that becomes stuck to the soapy residue within the carpet fibers. If spots and stains still reappear several weeks after your carpet has been cleaned with traditional cleaning methods, then excessive soap residue is most likely to blame.

This is because, with Traditional cleaning methods, you cannot be able to extract all of the residual soap from your carpet.

Worn Pile

This could be another reason why your carpet doesn’t seem to get clean after washing it; if your carpet is old or in a high traffic area, Just like a shirt, it can become worn, frayed, and faded. Before cleaning, the Worn pile stays down, but After cleaning, the piles are pulled back up.

When the pile is pulled up, the different lengths of the pile and worn fibers become visible. Some areas even show that the carpet is balding. You need not worry, as once the carpet lays back down from traffic, this will not be visible.

Related: How to get wrinkles out of carpet without a carpet stretcher

Not Vacuuming Before Cleaning

Not following the due process of cleaning will result in a dirty carpet; the first thing to do before cleaning your carpet is vacuuming as embedded dirt can make the carpet dirtier when it comes in contact with water.

If vacuuming is not done before starting a cleaning job, then the dust will appear on the carpet surface after it has dried.

Read: Carpet smells like urine

The Type Of Carpet

There are different types of carpet, and they are all manufactured differently; carpets with olefin fibers have specific characteristics that other carpet fibers don’t have. They don’t last as long as other carpet fibers, and they are more susceptible to soiling. 

This type of carpets holds soil because once the soil gets trapped underneath the loops and gets trapped in the carpet, it is very difficult to remove.

Even When the carpet is professionally cleaned, some soil is pulled to the surface, but some still remain embedded in the carpet. Therefore, the carpet still looks dirty, even after cleaning.

Not Using The Right Cleaning Solution

Not all cleaning solutions have the same cleaning abilities; some don’t have the strength of removing oily stains from carpets, so using the wrong cleaning solution means that the oil residue remains in the carpet and causes it to look dirty even after cleaning.

How To Prevent Your Carpet From Remaining Dirty After Cleaning

To keep your carpet in good shape, you want to avoid wearing shoes over the carpet as this can track dirt from outside onto the carpet.

Spot any spills, either liquid or solid, on the carpet immediately they happen; this can help to prevent the stain from spreading and becoming deeply embedded into the carpet’s fibers.

Keep a regular vacuuming routine for your carpet to prevent dust and dirt from building up in the fibers.

Before fixing to clean your carpet yourself, ensure you find out how that particular type of carpet is cleaned as different types of carpet have their special cleaning technique; using the wrong one will not clean the carpet, and it might even damage it.


If thes question; Why does my carpet look worse after cleaning, describes your present dilemma, it is nothing to worry about; with the right techniques and cleaning procedure, you will be able to get a totally clean carpet.

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