If the edges of your carpet are turning gray or black near the baseboard, then it’s due to Filtration Soiling. This is common in homes with central air and heat. The reason for this line of gunk is because the carpet is acting like a giant air filter and the dust is getting trapped.
There are no perfect seals and when the air starts moving in your home some of it can get trapped in the carpet. The only way for the air to escape is through those cracks along the wall where the baseboard meets the carpet.
Just vacuuming won’t get rid of the dirty edges of the carpet. You will need to do more than that. What we want to do is show you how we clean up filtration soiling and how to make your carpets edges look clean again.
If you haven’t done so already, it would be best to vacuum the corners and edges. Even though this won’t get rid of the black lines along the baseboard, it is a good first step to getting up all the loose materials.
Scrub The Corners
Many people like to recommend using a white cloth and cleaning the cracks of the wall where the carpet meets it, but I don’t like doing that. At these corners, you can find carpet tacks and many sharp objects that are used to hold the carpet in place. The last thing you need to do is rub your fingers across those sharp objects, so don’t do it.
Instead, you need a scrub brush like this one here*.
With a slicer scrub brush, you’ll want to move the brush back and forth once and then move it towards you in the final motion. In the final motion, you should lift up hair and other debris. It’s important that you do this dry and don’t use any chemicals or water yet.
The debris that you do free from the corners can be vacuumed up.
What Cleaner To Use
Once you have scrubbed the corners with the brush, you will still need to clean the area. The debris that is left is fine dust. If you must wear a mask to keep from breathing that stuff in, especially if you got bad allergies, then please wear one.
Many of the proper cleaners can’t be found in your local department stores. You need a good carpet cleaner if you want to get the job done. You’ll only be kicking yourself if you go with that cheaper department store brand of cleaner, trust me on this one.
I have found that every black line of filtration dust is a little bit different, some come up easy and others take a few tries of cleaning.
If you think the soiled carpet edges are from the organic matter because you have pets that have made messes on your carpets, then I would recommend hitting the edges with an Enzyme Cleaner like this one here*. Many times people have a hard time cleaning up a stain, and they don’t realize that feces, urine, and vomit are organic and the best thing to use is an enzyme cleaner.
If you’re not sure what the stains around the carpet edges are from and just want a good cleaner, then use Folex Carpet Spot Remover*. Spray this stuff along the edges and work the scrub brush into the edges. Do a 3-foot section and move along while spraying and scrubbing.
If the filtration dust is from smoking such as from candles or cigarettes then it might be better to either use a degreaser or call a professional. Be careful with degreasers as they can stain the carpets.
Important: Avoid mixing chemicals and cleaners as this can be dangerous. Always follow the directions on the bottles of the cleaners.
After you have scrubbed the area with the scrub brush and cleaner then if you have a carpet cleaner with a small attachment then it would be best to use that to clean up the leftover cleaner in the carpet.
If you don’t have a carpet cleaner, then use a wet/dry vacuum in the wet setting to suck up any wet spots from the carpet cleaner.
Most often I find that people are already cleaning their carpets with a carpet cleaner but notice that they can’t get the edges. Using the technique we talk about above is an excellent way to clean the black lines from the edges of your carpet.
How To Keep The Black Lines From Coming Back
The reason why you have these black lines on the edges of the carpet is from the airflow. It’s best to get your air ducts cleaned; this can help greatly.
Don’t forget to replace furnace filters regularly too!
Other factors that contribute to it are burning candles, smoking, burning food, or anything that can whip into the air. If you like burning candles why not consider using an Essential Oil Diffuser instead.
There are options where you can have someone come in and fix the draft, but it will require lifting parts of the carpet up. I recommend talking to a professional about that.