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December 14, 2021

What Do All of The Cleaning Industry Terms Mean? Pt. 2: Carpet Cleaning

December 14, 2021

For your safety, it’s always best to have a thorough understanding of cleaning terminology to avoid accidental chemical reactions by mixing products that shouldn’t touch. Plus, whether you own a business or home that you need to hire professional cleaning services for, you’ll likely find it easier to discuss your needs with a source of reference, so you know what’s what. We recently went through general cleaning industry terms for an overview of definitions, now let’s break down the components of carpet cleaning, specifically.

Carpet Cleaning A-Z


Acid Rinse

Also called a “brown out” rinse, an acid rinse is where an acid-based product is run through the extraction cleaning system to rinse out any detergent residue and decrease the pH level.

Acrylic Fiber

A plastic fiber that is commonly used in upholstery, but not often for carpeting.

Anti-Allergen Cleaning

Cleaning to deactivate allergens most frequently found, such as pollen, mold, and dust mites.


Berber Style Carpet

A popular choice for homeowners, Berber has large, knobby loops with random specks of color.


Carpet fibers untwisting due to regular use, improper heat settings, or poor cleaning quality.

Bonnet Carpet Cleaning

A rotary cleaning machine is used with a cotton pad that has detergent solutions on it to buff the carpet.


Not to be confused with brown out flushing, browning is when fiber tips on carpeting turn dark after cleaning and drying.


A method of fluffing yarns up to provide more coverage, typically done by crimping.


Carpet Crushing

Also known as carpet matting, crushing happens when fibers become bent and compressed over time.

Carpet Tiles

A common solution for commercial needs, carpet tiles are individual squares of carpet which make for easier spot cleaning due to the ability to remove squares.

Cookie-Cutter Carpet Repair

A method for repairing carpet when all other resources have been attempted, cookie-cutter repair uses portions of carpet taken from an area out of sight to fix burns, stains, rips, and other damages.



The separation of the primary carpet backing from the secondary backing.


A unit of measurement that determines the thickness of fiber threads, low denier counts are softer and silky while high denier counts are thick and durable.


Face Weight

A form of measurement that determines the weight of fibers per square yard of carpet, not including the backing.


A fine, thread-like material that is converted into yarn to be used for carpet.

Filtration Soil Lines

Dark lines appear on the carpet, typically because of candle soot or aromatherapy practices.


Damage to carpet fibers (expansion and change in texture) from high foot traffic or improper cleaning methods.

Fusion Lines

Dragging heavy furniture across carpeting creates friction with enough heat to fuse the tips of the carpet together. This is not reversible unless in a very small section.


Hot Water Extraction

A cleaning process that agitates the carpet, breaking down buried grime within the fibers before rinsing and turbo-drying.


Maintenance Program

Routine cleaning sessions are scheduled with professionals and customized for unique business needs.


Nylon Carpet Fiber

A moth and mildew-proof non-allergenic synthetic fiber that is most often used for carpet.


Olefin Carpet Fiber

A stain-resistant, low absorption synthetic fiber that is also known as polypropylene.



The layer of cushion between the carpet and floorboard, which extends the lifespan and improves the quality of the carpet.


Also known as “nap”, the pile is the portion of carpet fibers visible.

Primary Carpet Backing

The main support of the carpet which the tufts are inserted.



The ability to resist matting, which depends on the fiber, padding, and backing used.


Areas where carpeting is loose and appears to have waves or wrinkles in it, typically from high heat and humidity.



The line where two pieces of carpet connect.

Secondary Carpet Backing

Additional material that is added to the primary backing for stability.


The buildup of dirt, dust, and grime clinging to carpet fibers.


Traffic Lane Spotters

A chemical pre-treatment is applied to specific areas of the carpet before beginning the extraction cleaning process.


Inserting loops of yarn into the primary backing of the carpet.


Walk Off Mats

Entrance mats that help prevent dirt from spreading throughout the property by removing soil from the shoe, absorbing dirt and excess moisture, and slowing the rate of soil transfer to the carpet.



When tufts are pulled from the carpet backing (by snagging on something or being grabbed by a vacuum cleaner), causing long sections of missing yarn.

Hopefully, these terms will help you stay in the loop for the next time you need carpet cleaning.

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