One of the most frustrating problems homeowners face is permanent color changes in carpet, with no apparent cause. Today the carpet's fine-tomorrow spots appear, seemingly for no reason. Several household products can cause "mystery" spots if not used with care.
Any product that removes mildew from shower walls or from the home's exterior probably contains chlorine bleach. When chlorine contacts dyes in nylon carpet, rapid (almost instant!) discoloration usually occurs. Also,cleaners with strong acids (bowl cleaners) or alkalies (oven or hard-floor cleaners) discolor fibers in time.
Be cautious of toilet bowl sanitizers (blue in color), which easily contact-dye nylon carpet, as do several popular dandruff shampoos. Pesticides in pet shampoos may turn red dyes blue after prolonged exposure, and time-release plant foods with similar agents may cause mystery spots.
Powered bleaches spilled on carpet may go unnoticed util activated gradually by humidity in the air, or suddenly by cleaning. Either way, dye-loss results.
Watch The Chemicals
A few disinfectants contain chemicals (look for phenol on the label) that are dilute versions of those used to dissolve fibers and dyes. In time, your carpet may like wise be adversely affected.
One of the newest culprits causing mystery spots is a chemical (benzoyl peroxide) used in acne medicines. After applying this medication, teenagers attempt to wash it off their hands; but to no avail, since it isn't dissolved in water. They recline in front of the TV, leaning on a hand that's still coated with acne medicine, and, with sufficient time and humidity, a hand-shaped discoloration apears. Don't blame the teenager entirely, because fade creams used on age spots by older persons can do the same thing.
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