Carpet Is Not A Canvas…

Wendy’s Blog

Cleaning carpet for a vacating renter, he asked our tech if cleaning his daughter’s room would help.

When I arrived to measure and get him pricing he said that he wanted just the living room, dining room and hallway cleaned. He said the bedrooms were ok (or was not ready to come clean with me on that). He admitted that he was not real good with cleaning up spots and spills, and that he and his daughter had been less than careful.

Moving out, he was moving to Cinnaminson, and his daughter, now in her 20’s was out on her own now, having moved in with her boyfriend.

So I gave him pricing for cleaning the carpets, and he let me know he would decide and schedule probably the following day.

He called and scheduled. Our tech Mark, was assigned to the job, and arrived at the apartment. It was mostly cleaned out. But as he discussed the project, our client asked if we could do anything with his daughter’s bed room.

art paint spills on carpet
It’s not a good idea to let artist paints to get spilled on carpet

Showing it to him, Mark said he would “try” to improve it. He did, as a renter from the same rental agency, but in a different apartment village, suggest that if it were cleaned and the vacating tenant could produce a receipt of having it cleaned, and evidence of the stroke marks on the carpeted areas, it might “look better” in the management’s eyes. Clearly the carpets in this apartment are hammered, and the management team is certain to replace them.

When it comes to being a budding artist, carpet is not a canvas!

Wondering why our tech, having arrived at 8:30 am is still cleaning 2 rooms and a hall, I arrived to check on the work. Thinking I saw him taking his wand to the truck, as in starting to shut down the machine, I noticed he restarted the truck mount instead. Not questioning the situation I followed him back in the house.

The hoses lead me to a bedroom, which WAS NOT part of our cleaning agenda. Ok, so I rethought the situation. With the client clearly not there I walked in to the bedroom to ask about the “add on” area, and found this.

So let me suppose what was the scenario, (sorry Dads). A single parent, our client was a “relaxed” dad. He probably didn’t reel his daughter in about keeping her art and painting on a proper canvas. Being a rental it just was something he overlooked.

Not sure many would allow this, now apparently our client was stressing about seeing if it would clean up.

I guess the client was a tad embarrassed when I was there to quote the carpet cleaning. Who knows maybe it was a ‘guy thing.” So Mark said he would make an attempt. Now just about to question Mark’s task list I now somewhat realized what was going on.                   

Apparently our client asked sheepishly if we could maybe improve the appearance of this room. Adding on to the bill he agreed to try.

permanent paint stains on carpet
Not sure this does anything other than prove the tenant tried to clean up the carpet (way too late)!

If for nothing else leaving “wand strokes” on the carpet would be a show of good faith, in the eyes of the landlord managerial team. 

Not to be sarcastic, but with paint, once allowed to really dry and harden, a pair of scissors is a better fit than thinking carpet cleaning will reverse problems like this.  

Here’s the thing. If you have a paint spill it’s best to try and clean it up IMMEDIATELY! Either your own carpet cleaner machine, or call us. If it is water based and still wet it can be rinsed out, but it may take gallons and gallons of water. So if it is a small spill you may have luck. If it is a quart or so, better off to call us.

Besides getting right on it, if it is a recent mishap where the paint has not cured you still have a chance in getting it removed. Although somewhat dry to the touch the hot water can soften it and rinse it out. If it has hardened for any length of time the chances of success are far less. Perhaps a pair of scissors is the go to tool!

If it is oil based, or acrylic, that is more dicey! While we have spotters that do break down oil based spills, we can’t use copious amounts of the spotter or solution.

Unfortunately spotters that are effective in breaking down oil based spots and spills also threaten the carpet’s integrity. It attacks the adhesive used in the construction of the carpet.

To be specific, carpet has 2 backings. One is similar to a needle point canvas. It is a loose and soft layer that the yarns are weaved in to. Underneath it an adhesive is applied, and then a more substantial backing is applied to give it “dinemsional stability.” This is what gives the carpet strength and is rigid and plyable.

Highly effective oil based carpet spotters attack the glue that holds the two backings together, called the primary and secondary backing.

Similar to paint thinner that is hard to control, the oil based spotters in liquid form quickly absorb in and migrate down into the carpet. To be specific it travels down the yarns and eats at the adhesive. The result, it causes the adhesive to dissolve and creates a delamination of the layers. So the carpet experiences a terminal exposure.

To combat this trained carpet cleaners will utilize oil based spotters that are formulated as a gel, not liquid.

While effective, these gel spotters stay on the carpet surface, where the problem paint spills lay. They do not migrate down to the adhesive level. However, overuse of the gel spotter will threathen the adhesive eventually.

This is why a trained carpet cleaner is preferred to do this kind of damage control. They will work with the affected fibers for a bit, and then abandon the attempt so as to not threaten the carpet.

So circling back to this job, our tech feels for the client, as he rents from the same property management team.

Putting himself in the client’s shoes, he agreed to clean so wand strokes were left on the carpet, an obvious indication that the tenant mande an attempt. Although no improvement, between that and the paid receipt to show it, he made a final good faith effort.

After seeing that their mutual agreement was reflected in the revised billing, I agreed it was the right thing to do. From my perspective, after an emphatic, “no, those rooms don’t need it,” I realized it was not anything other than the client’s discomfort in showing me the ‘painted carpet.” But, the day of the work he did open up to the tech, and we got paid.


Anytime you have severe soiling, the faster you call with a paint spill such as this, the better off the chances of reversal, or improvement at the least. Free estimates and friendly advice,  Call 609.953.0472 or Contact Us on line.