Are Candles Causing Your Carpet Stains?

Moroccan Rugs
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More homeowners are noticing unexplainable dark stains on their carpets, including those who have beautiful Moroccan rugs. These stains, which commonly show up under doorways and around baseboards, seem impossible to remove even after trying several cleaning products. If you have found similar stains on your carpets, including Moroccan rugs, which appear out of nowhere, then you might have a carbon soot staining problem. Though several factors can cause a carbon soot stain to appear, poorly burning candles are often to blame.

To better understand why your carpets are being affected by this carbon soot staining problem, you should first learn about how these stains are formed. For a carbon soot stain to appear, three things need to be present - the source of carbon soot (possibly from a poorly burning candle), air movement, and carpeting.

If poorly burning candles are to blame, then your home natural airflow is causing carbon particles from your candle smoke to circulate throughout your home. When these particles reach smaller, more confined areas, like the space under a closed door, the air is forced to flow closer to or even through the carpet fibers before entering the next room. The more carbon particles that get trapped in the carpeting, the darker the carbon soot stain will become over time.

To test if your candles are indeed to blame for these mysterious stains you've been finding on your home's carpeting, try lighting one of your candles on top of a newly cleaned television set. Leave it burning, while attended, for a few hours. After this time, give your television another quick cleaning with a white cloth. If you find black soot marks appearing on the cloth, you know it's time to try another brand of candle. This test should be repeated for each different brand of candle that you burn in your home.

Though all candle brands will produce some degree of soot, there are a few things you can do to prevent an overproduction of this carpet-staining substance.

  • Avoid burning candles in jars.

Jars, especially narrow or deep ones, may prevent oxygen from reaching the wick of your candle. Because of this, it is best to avoid burning your candles in jars. The less oxygen that reaches your candle's wick, the more soot will be ultimately produced.

  • Pay careful attention to the length of your candles' wicks.

A longer wick can cause a much higher flame. The higher the flame, the more potential there is for smoke to form and soot to be produced. If your candle has a high flame because of a long wick, try trimming it to a reasonable length to prevent an overproduction of carbon soot.

  • Do not burn candles in an area with a draft

Whenever a draft passes over a burning candle, more smoke is produced. More smoke production creates a higher concentration of carbon soot. To avoid this soot-forming problem, always place your candles in a draft-free area.

Unfortunately, if you already have a carbon soot stain, there really isn't anything you can do to remove it, short of having the stained carpets replaced. Some people have dyed their carpets to a darker colour to mask the stains, but this does nothing to solve the actual problem.

If you do decide to replace your stained carpets, be sure to look at all potential areas that could be causing your carbon soot problems including poorly burning candles. Switching to a different brand of candle is a small change, but it could be enough to prevent your carpets from receiving additional carbon soot staining in the future. 

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