Have you had an area rug on top of your carpet, moved it and discovered a yellowing of the carpet? In layman’s terms, the carpet has faded because the air has not been able to get to the carpet underneath. The technical reason is that BHT (butylhydroxyltoluene), which is a preservative used on the backs of many area rugs, will let out the BHT gas. The gas gets trapped under the rug instead of dissipating into the air. This, in turn, causes the fibers of the carpet to turn that yellowish or tan color. This is very prevalent with rubber backed rugs. These types of backings can also turn linoleum and other floorings yellow.
How to Clean the Stain
It is highly unlikely that any home ready can cure this problem. Further, there have only been rare occasions where professional cleaners can clean this yellowing.Unfortunately, this is the exception instead of the rule. Once the stain appears, it is typically permanent.
Suggestions for Prevention
While area rugs can certainly enhance the aesthetics of a room, your best bet is to occasionally check under your area rugs to see if yellowing has started. It may also be a good idea to remove the rugs once in a while to allow the carpet to breath. When it comes to those rubber backed rugs, it is my suggestion to avoid these all together. Also, especially be weary of those rubber pads that you can put under rugs to keep them from slipping.
Area rugs also look great on wood flooring, but be certain to move them around once in a while along with your furniture. Sunlight will fade the wood differently underneath rugs and distort the floor. You may also want to address your window coverings to help decrease some of the UV light shining through and fading the furniture and floors to prevent discoloration and permanent damage.