Yellowing on Rugs

Yellowing on Rugs

Have you noticed a yellowing or discolouration on your rugs? This infuriating phenomenon is known as ‘phenolic yellowing’, read on to find out more about what it is and how to stop it.

Yellowing on rugs (and carpets) is the result of a reaction caused by a chemical compound known as BHT. This compound is found in the glue, fibers and padding of your rugs and can be triggered by oxidisation, water, and other spills. Depending on what sparks the reaction, yellowing can appear as isolated patches, or cover the entirety of your rug. Light-coloured rugs are particularly susceptible.

Yellowing on rugs is quite difficult to reverse. In fact, yellow and orange are two of the hardest colours to remove from a rug. For this reason, it is important to find the cause of the yellowing so that it can be quickly corrected to prevent further damage, or even better, completely avoided. Unfortunately, there are times when you may not even notice the yellowing on your rug because the topsoil and grime conceals the discolouration.

The Causes

There are several catalysts that can cause the BHT compound in your rug to have the ‘yellowing’ reaction. The most common culprits are listed below:

  1. Anti-oxidation chemicals like BHT. These be found in the cushioning of your rug as well as any components that contain latex. They have the potential to off-gas during the lifetime of your rug and can cause its pile to turn yellow.
  2. Rug colour. Rugs made from light colours like tan, beige, or even cream dyes tend to fade faster. This alters the pile colour and make the rug appear yellow.
  3. Products that contain fluoride. There are certain spotting and cleaning agents that tend to include brightening agents, making them fluorescent in nature. Exposure to UV light can often cause these products tend to leave our rugs looking yellow.
  4. Silicone-based products. Protective sprays and insecticides that are silicone based can turn rug fibres yellow when exposed to UV light.

Avoiding these products and making sure that your light-coloured rugs are protected from sun-damage will go a long way to mitigating the risks of yellowing on your rugs.

Call AllAces Cleaning & Restoration on 1800 00 1010 to discuss with our friendly staff about our rug cleaning options.

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