PLEASE HELP - white powder in carpet??


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Old 04-03-06, 01:08 PM
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PLEASE HELP - white powder in carpet??

Hi all,

This is the oddest problem that I have ever had with any house I have ever lived in, so I can only hope someone out there might be able to help.

My fiancee and I recently moved into a new rented house. We were told the carpets were fitted before the last tenant moved in, and that he lived here for six months, and they are, on the surface clean and in good repair. They are all short-pile, heavy-traffic type carpets.

The first time we vacuumed in our new house our bagless cleaner's dust compartment filled immediately with thick white powder, and needed to be emptied after only two rooms were cleaned. We vacuumed every day for four days, and each time the same thing happened. We wondered if the landlord/previous tenant had overused a carpet cleaning powder (which we have never used) so we purchased a Bissell deep cleaner and steam cleaned a couple times after vacuuming. When this was used a moderate amount of dirt was sucked up, but to our frustration, the hair filters, brushes, and tubing of the Bissell were caked, again, with fine white powder. We then wondered if perhaps our vacuum cleaner wasn't cutting it suction-wise. We removed the filter, (which was so clogged with this white powder it had to be washed) checked the belt and brushes and tried again. More white powder - a third of the dust compartment was filled with it. Finally, a week later we went out and bought a new, more powerful Bissell bagless vacuum cleaner, and upon first use, and every time since EXACTLY the same thing happened.

This is costing us a lot of money, a little health concern, and more to the point absolute hair-pulling frustration. The powder seems to be in our carpets in almost un-ending supply. To have to thoroughly wash our vacuum cleaner's filters and hoses after every use is just impractical, and we are worried it is going to ruin the parts/filter of every vacuum cleaner we buy. The powder is incredibly fine and dry and sticks to our vacuum's filters, hoses, and brushes. It is virtually odorless. When water is added to it, it dissolves and turns very slightly brown. When we walk over the carpets we notice no powder on our feet or shoes. When the carpet is brushed by hand no powder seems to gather.

What in the world could this powder be? Could it be cement dust under the carpet? How can we ever remove all of it?

Sorry for such an awkward question.

Jim
 
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Old 04-03-06, 03:15 PM
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You hit it right on the head...what you are seeing is most likely powdered freshner/cleaner....when you deep cleaned the carpet with the diy machine...they tend to leave too much moisture behind...as the carpet dried the powdered dried along the surface...this is normal...best thing to do is continue to vaccum...i wouldnt deep clean for awhile...i would go out and get a cheapie vaccum or talk to your landlord and have him do it...since he is responsible for repairs...but only way to remove it vaccum or replace the carpet..never ever ever put any large amounts of powder into carpet...this stuff only masks odors for short period of time..but they can take forever to remove
 
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Old 04-03-06, 03:29 PM
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I'd go to the landlord. If there were a little powder and then you were fine, ok. With it ongoing like this, I'd see if the landlord will take responsibility for getting it out of the carpet for you and save on your equipment and labor.
 
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Old 04-03-06, 03:40 PM
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Thanks - good advice on the cheapie cleaner too. If it is carpet powder then someone went WAAAAY, WAAAAY over the top with it. Still, it reminds me of a work colleague of mine who told me she sprayed Febreze on her couch TWICE A DAY and was upset because it was discoloring...
 
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Old 04-03-06, 06:50 PM
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there are also some "dry Cleaning" powders out there...that says you put it down and then vac it out...but alot of times people will spend 10 mins vaccuming their whole house...so out of the big jug they put down...they only get maybe 1/4 of it back out..do this every month or so for a few years...and you get in the deal were you are at...if you call a professional cleaner..they are going to run into the same problem

go to the landlord let him deal with it
 
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Old 04-04-06, 06:29 AM
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You and the landlord should not rule out professional cleaning. They do have the truck with the hose that has greater suction than DIY equipment.
 
 

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