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Carpet Cleaning Issues - Carpet construction, upholstery cleaning, stain removal, equipment, events, etc.

Help on Bitumem backed tiles

Posted by pre-vac_Nick (HolmansUKLTD), 22 March 2004
Hello people,

I have been called in to clean 1 room in a large office up Town.

The problem is that a contract clenaner has tried to remove black shoe ploish from yellow bitumen backed carpet tiles................................ Yes youve guessed it, he has used a solvent and has left dark patches where the shoe polish was according to the office manager.
This job could lead to a bigger one and i have to be honest in all my years i have never been asked to remove these types of stains Shocked

Any help will do


Nick Tongue
Posted by Dynafoam (Dynafoam), 22 March 2004

This, as you realise is a sticky one. whilst normaly I would simply explain what has happened and the difficulty of removal, I have had qualified sucess on a few occasions.

First cool the stain with chewing gum freezer spray, then with a towel just dampened with a suitable solvent, such as Solval, gently dab at the stain for a few seconds, untill tranfer starts to occur, then blot with a dry towel, repeat a few times then cool again and repeat.

This is a very slow process, requiring a lot of patience and no guarantee of sucess but if it makes you a superstar and leads to more work, may be worthwhile.

Best of luck,


Posted by woodman (woodman), 23 March 2004
Hi Nick

An obvious answer which I am sure you have already thought of would be to switch the tiles for others taken from an area thats either covered (under filing cabinets) or from an area of the room not so conspicuous.

Failing that try Johns process but the time invloved and the high probability that the stains will still be there should be qualified with the client first.

good luck
Posted by nick.solution (nick.solution), 23 March 2004
Hi Guys

why use another solvent based spotter Eco spotter is none solvent and has been designed  not to harm the bitumen backing, using more solvent could produce bigger problems, once treated and blotted it would be sensible to rinse out  any solvent residue. and keep whats left of the Eco for future use,! Well youn won't  need to use much!! very fine mist spray.

Best regards Nick
Posted by Dynafoam (Dynafoam), 23 March 2004

As you know, I am a fan of Eco spotter, however in this instance the bitumen from the backing is the staining agent.

For that reason whatever solvent* is used in the attempt to remedy the situation must not reactivate that which has already been drawn up.

The logic behind light use of the freezer spray is to cool the bitumen, thus making it less readily soluble. the surface contamination will warm soonest, increasing its' solubility and the highly controlled use of solvent - being largely held within the towel - is intended to take advantage of this before the sub-pile bitumen returns to a condition of greater solubility.

This degree of control cannot be attained by (mist) spraying. The odds in favour of suceeding are so small that fine points must be observed to have any hope of sucess.

I would certainly agree that had the first cleaner use Eco spotter in the corect manner, the damage would almost certainly not have occured.

Best wishes,


* Solvent: An agent, most commonly, liquid which will act upon a solute to produce a solution.
Posted by nick.solution (nick.solution), 24 March 2004
Thanks John

smooth technical reply.

Best regards Nick

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