It is hardly surprising that around 90% of carpet dirt gets tracked in by people’s shoes with the rest being a whole variety of airborne particles, spills, splashes and day-to-day wear. However, due to the many types of soiling and carpet varieties people are often left with patchy, dull matted carpet. For example, grit or sand will get trapped within the carpet whereas water and liquids will soak deep down into the pile. In terms of liquid, carpet always dries from the top down so as the liquid evaporates moisture is slowly drawn up (this is called wicking) and often results in resoiling, carpet spots and that dreaded damp smell. The varieties of dirt therefore that falls onto a carpet can be categorised into three specific groups. Real dirt: Physical, tangible dirt which, if we wanted to, could be extracted and weighed. Dirt in this group includes soiling trapped in fibres, bundles and at the carpet base. Visible dirt: This dirt sits on the top 33% of a carpet changing the colour of the fibres and giving flooring that dull, dirty appearance. 90% of carpet dirt is tracked in by people s shoes. Apparent dirt: This is where carpet gets worn by every day wear and tear. Dye becomes less vibrant, carpet abrasions appear, and it looks uneven thus giving it additional shade and making the floor appear dirty.
A person sheds about 1.5 million skin flakes an hour, most of which becomes embedded in our carpets.