A reader writes: “We had a new crew stripping a floor and a lot of the slurry leaked over into the adjoining carpet. I have tried everything and cannot get the stain out. What can I do?”

The old saying “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure” comes to mind since these new, untrained workers were given equipment and chemicals that they really did not know how to use. I realize they may have stated on their employment application that they were experienced in floor care but it does not appear that anyone took the time to verify those claims in an attempt to save time. As usual, taking the time to verify and train would have cost a lot less is time and effort than the resources expended on correcting this mess.

As we discussed what you had done thus far, I am concerned that you may be in for a lot more work and expense in the future. Simply spraying full strength stripper (pH of 13) into the carpet and blotting is not best practices as I understand it. My concern is that the stripper will not only damage the carpet fibers (we do not know what the carpet is but probably nylon) but also can damage the backing and mastic (think water-based glue) resulting in discoloration, bubbles where the glue has been damaged and other issues.

I urge you to use as much water to soak the impacted carpet and thoroughly vacuum it as soon as possible. You might test a small area with a neutralizer (think mild acid packets designed to bring the high pH close to 7) but do not use it extensively until you determine the results. I also recommend you bring in someone who understands pH, neutralizers and processes to help salvage this carpet. Since you choose to buy from a big box store you do not have distributor to assist. Good luck.

Your comments and feedback are always appreciated. I hope to hear from you soon. Until then, keep it clean…

Mickey Crowe has been involved in the industry for over 35 years. He is a trainer, speaker and consultant. You can reach Mickey at 678-314-2171 or CTCG50@comcast.net.