The Real Reason Your Carpet Is Turning Black

You regularly vacuum and keep your house clean and tidy, yet you notice that your pale carpet is beginning to get discolored around the perimeter of your room or in certain spots like near the air vents. Before you rush out to buy a bunch of different vacuum attachments in an attempt to manage the perplexing problem, take a second to find out why your carpet is turning that unappealing gray or black hue and how you can try to prevent it.

As The Spruce explains, that discoloration is a result of something called filtration soiling, which happens when your home's ventilation system is pumping new air into the room faster than the old air is leaving. The air is then forced out of the room, and it tries to escape through whatever means it can. Since it's forcefully being pushed out, it's essentially using the carpet as a filter of sorts, leaving behind all kinds of residue (via Cleanfax). You may not be able to feel the process actually happening (it's not that forceful), but you'll see the impact of all those particles and pollutants in the air that tried to squeeze through your densely woven carpet. Note that, as Everyday Cheapskate reports, filtration soiling isn't something that's restricted to particular areas of your home. Yes, some heavily-used rooms like kitchens may be a culprit, but even something like smoke from candles can make an impact.

How to prevent filtration soiling

If you happen to have carpets that have been dramatically discolored by filtration soiling, Nufloors recommends bringing in professionals to get rid of the stains. However, in most cases, the key to eliminating this issue is prevention. One of the first things recommended by carpet cleaning professionals is to look at your HVAC system (via The Spruce). If you're not regularly getting your home's ducts cleaned and changing your HVAC filters, you'll just be pushing pollutants throughout your space. Making sure you address these issues is the most significant step in preventing soiling from occurring.

Another helpful tip is to eliminate small gaps or tight squeezes in your house that air will try to escape through, using your carpet as a filter in the process. This may not be as helpful if your filtration soiling is primarily happening along the edges of your room. Still, if you notice it under doorways or furniture, you will want to keep your interior doors open whenever possible to encourage better airflow. Finally, if possible, eliminate pollutants as they occur. For example, Everyday Cheapskate recommends using flameless candles to nix smoke, running your range hood when you cook, and properly cleaning and maintaining your fireplace.