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Why Carpet Turned Yellow After Cleaning & How to Fix It?

Why Carpet Turned Yellow After Cleaning & How to Fix It?

Be it spot cleaning or deep cleaning, we all expect our carpet to get rid of that dullness and staining and come out spotless after cleaning. However, noticing your carpet turning yellow after you’ve just cleaned it up can be surprising as well as daunting.

Carpet turned yellow post cleanup is often one of the consequences of improper cleaning solutions used. But that doesn’t mean it will remain the same way forever. Read on to learn the causes of yellowing of carpet after cleaning and some effective ways to fix it.

What Caused Your Carpet To Turn Yellow After Cleaning?

1. Cleaning With Alkaline Cleaners (High pH Solutions)

One of the leading culprits that turn carpets yellow after cleaning is high-pH cleaners. These are very alkaline in nature and can result in yellowing of carpet if you clean using them.

Some common high-pH cleaners include bleach and ammonia. 

Besides that, if your cleaner contained harsh chemicals, they too can turn your carpet yellow post cleanup. Chemicals like brightening agents, phenolic compounds, and oxidizing agents like peroxide are most likely to cause carpets to turn yellow after cleaning.

2. Using Products Incompatible With The Fiber Type

Although cleaning solutions are the main culprits of yellowing of carpets, their incompatibility with your carpet type is another cause. 

Every carpet has manufacturer guidelines and care labels to state the type of cleaning that suits its fiber type. For example, wool carpets can not bear bleaching agents or high-heat during cleaning. 

Basically, certain carpet materials are susceptible to damage from certain cleaning products. And therefore, if you don’t choose the right cleaning products for your carpet, they can turn it yellow after cleaning. 

3. Wicking Of Stains

If you’ve just ended up cleaning a yellow stain from your carpet with a steam cleaner or shampooer and not rinsed it well, this can also be a cause behind your carpet turning yellow. 

When you use water-based cleaning and don’t extract water fully, some traces of dirt, stains, and moisture are left behind, settling deep inside it. Then, when the carpet dries, that embedded moisture wicks up, making the stains reappear after cleaning and turning your carpet yellow. 

4. Hard Water Mineral Deposits

Cleaning carpets with hard water can also make your carpet appear yellow or discolored after cleaning. Hard water contains mineral deposits in high quantities. If you clean your carpet with hard water, you leave those mineral deposits lingering in its fibers.

This ends up turning your carpet yellow post cleanup.

Ways To Fix Carpet Turned Yellow After Cleaning

1. Distilled Water Rinse

One of the easiest ways to fix a carpet turning yellow after cleaning is to rinse it with distilled water. This approach will work if your carpet has discolored because of mineral deposits in hard water.

If you have a small area turned yellow, you can blot-rinse with a cloth dampened in distilled water. And if a large area or your entire carpet has got discolored, you can use a carpet cleaner machine to give it a plain distilled water rinse. Ensure to extract all the water thoroughly and dry it well.

2. Acid Rinse With Vinegar Solution

When carpet turns yellow after cleaning due to high-pH cleaners, you can reverse the discoloration with an acid rinse. A safer and effective fix is to clean your carpet with a vinegar mixture. 

For small yellow spots, take a cloth and dampen it in a 1:1 vinegar-water mixture. Dab it with a cloth and blot it with a plain water-dipped cloth again. Repeat as many times as needed and finish with a plain water rinse before blot-drying. 

To fix wall-to-wall carpeting turned yellow, pick a high-suction shampooer or carpet cleaner. Fill its tank with freshwater and vinegar in 1:1 ratio and clean your carpet with it. 

The acidic property of vinegar will effectively fix yellowing of your carpet, bringing it back to its spotless look.

3. Steam Cleaning

Except for your carpet being made up of wool or sisal (or any moisture or heat sensitive material), you can steam clean it to fix yellowing. Ensure to use just plain water without any cleaners or detergents to avoid leaving any soapy residue. They can make your carpet stains reappear. 

Steam-clean it thoroughly without overwetting it. And ensure to pull out all the moisture at the end of the cleaning. This will prevent carpet shrinkage. Dry your carpet properly with additional airflow and ventilation. 

4. Opt For Professionals

The methods like rinsing with distilled water or acid rinse can certainly help reverse the issue. But, if there is stubborn discoloration, professional deep cleaning can be beneficial in fixing carpet turned yellow after cleaning. 

Experts know the right ways to reverse stubborn discoloration with the right cleaning solutions that can bring your carpet back to its clean and spotless state.

At Magic Steam Carpet Cleaning, we employ a suitable and powerful cleaning approach that can reverse the issue that high-pH cleaners have caused to your carpet. Our team uses high-quality equipment and pH-neutral supplies that ensure a true cleanup without any damage.


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