Carpet spots

Every few months five or six small gray spots appear on my beige carpet. They are always in the same place (an area less than one square foot)and easy to remove using Resolve or any other carpet cleaner.
The spots are in a high-traffic area, but don't really get much traffic since I live alone and rarely wear outside shoes on the carpet (changing into slippers upon arriving home).
My theory is that something is bleeding through from the underpad. It's one of those pads with lots of colors made from scraps of some recycled material. But as I said, the spots are gray, not one of the colors in the pad.
Any other ideas?
Thanks,
R1
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On 10/28/2011 4:12 PM, Rebel1 wrote:

Color shouldn't "bleed through" unless wet. One thought is that there is something .. grease, chalk, broken crayon, whatever .. that is imbedded, breaks down from traffic and then mixes into the pile. Pets? Shampooed the carpet?
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Likely something that got deeper into the carpet and wicks to the surface periodically. Resolve cleans the tips of the fibers but doesn't go deep enough. A thorough cleaning with a carpet extractor should help.
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Perhaps there is something sticky just below the tips of carpet. Even though you take your shoes off, there's still dust and dirt carried around on your feet.
It sticks to the sticky substance little by little until it becomes visible. You clean the dirt away with Resolve but you never get rid of the sticky substance.
It might be hard to do, but if you could avoid the area for the time it takes the spots to appear, or cover it such a way that you would never transfer any dirt to the area, you might be able to determine if the spots are coming from underneath (which I doubt) or above.
Another (drastic) option, assuming you can find an area that has worn/ faded in the same manner, would be to have a carpet installer come in and replace the section with a section from someplace else, pad and all. (Those folks are pretty good at hiding seams) If the spots come back in the same location, you've got gremlins. If they follow the carpet, even if moved to area that gets no traffic, then maybe your "bleeding up" theory is valid...or maybe you got gremlins. ;-)
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wrote:

Something spilled? At work we have a similar problem on a carpet, but we know it was a stain from something tracked on shoes. We clean it, put a dry powder cleaner on it, but a few weeks later, the spots are back.
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Thanks, all, for the comments. The carpet is only a couple of years old, and it has never been cleaned with anything other than my home vacuum cleaner. There's been spot cleaning with Resolve, and sometimes with a foam spray. Hardly enough to wet the pad.
I walk along the spotted area in going from my kitchen to my computer, often carrying a cup of tea. Perhaps there were some drips from a slightly over-filled cup of tea that left a stick residue as Derby suggested. The pattern of spots matches that theory. I'll try using some other solvent cleaner - like rubbing alcohol or an ultra-concentrated dish washing soap - after first testing on a piece of scrap.
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On 10/29/2011 12:18 AM, Rebel1 wrote:

Careful with alcohol. Milk in your tea? Try ammonia. If you leave soapy residue, it will be sticky and cause spots. Try sponging on some normal laundry detergent, let it soak with a wet towel or something on it, then pick up with wet vac. If that doesn't work, you will probably be safer just letting it be than to try harsh chemicals...denatured alcohol can warp carpet. DAMHIK
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On 10/29/2011 6:41 AM, Norminn wrote:

Thanks for the warning about alcohol. No milk in my tea; just straight green tea.
What about just using full-strength ammonia to remove any stickiness?
When you suggest normal laundry detergent, do you mean liquid (full strength) or powder? Also, I don't have a wet vac.
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On 10/29/2011 2:57 PM, Rebel1 wrote:

I mean normal laundry detergent, at normal concentration as used for laundry. I suggested ammonia only in case the spots were milk. I wouldn't use any very strong chem. without knowing instructions by carpet mfg. Wet vacs are mighty handy, and can bail you out during emergencies, like plumbing leaks :o) Not very expensive. My hubby was disinclined to have our expensive wool oriental carpet cleaned professionally, so I cleaned it in place. Tile floor, so water didn't hurt anything. Filled watering can (for flowers) with cool water and Woolite, saturated rug. Let it soak a bit. Scrubbed pile with brush. Vacuumed, rinsed, vacuumed, rinsed, vacuumed.
If your spots are small and concentrated, you might try applying Woolite (very mild) with a small bottle with nozzle, scrub with small brush like a toothbrush....saturating a small spot is not likely to hurt anything, you can dab it up with a towel. Fussy but do-able; rinse.
For those fussing about using soap on carpet, it ain't the same as detergent. Mild detergent won't hurt anything, like wool, silk, etc. Rapid change in temp will shrink wool, and wringing anything wet is likely to distort it, butcha ain't gonna wring the carpet.
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Try a carpet debrowner agent also known as "no-brown". I used to clean carpet many years ago, it's a agent used frequently when steam cleaning carpet. You should be able to pick it up locally. Look under "cleaning supplies" in yellow pages.
http://www.hillyard.com/images/ProductData/HIL00907.pdf
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I might try some oxiclean to get underneath, and dry. I got raised spots on rug, no stain. When I pulled rug and pad, wood floor was stained. Foam decomposed, raised, and stained wood. Used oxiclean to destain wood.
Greg
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