Phenolic yellowing may sound like some kind of science experiment and it is in some way. The problem is that phenolic yellowing is a reaction that can occur on any kind of textile. Textiles include fabrics and carpet. You might have had a problem with this and not realized that you were dealing with it. The phenolic yellowing is often found out when you go to rearrange your living space or other area that has carpeting. When you go and move your furniture around you may notice a color difference between the carpet that is under the furniture and the rest of the room. The coloring can be from two difference reasons. One can be a simple answer and that is that your carpets are dirty. The carpet that was under the rugs and furniture is clean and usually the original color of the carpet. The carpet that is exposed will have high traffic stains, spills and general dirt from living and walking on it. This is an easy fix with a good professional carpet cleaning. The other problem is when you move the furniture or rugs and you notice that the carpet is actually yellow. This color change is what is referred to as phenolic yellowing.
DM Carpet Cleaning Explains How Phenolic Yellowing Occurs & What You Can Do to Stop it
Yellow Carpet Discoloration: The carpet has chemical compounds as well as the padding and the glue. The compound that will cause phenolic yellowing is called butylhydroxyltoluene or BHT. The compound does not pose any kind of risk to you and your home but it can pose a risk to the carpeting. BHT is not in all carpets but if yours does have it you should be aware. The compound has to have some room to breathe. That means if you have BHT in your carpet and you do what all people do and place tables, couches, beds and rugs on it you could be causing a problem. The BHT is then stifled by these large items and that is what will then lead to phenolic yellowing. The carpet can no longer breathe and the BHT has to go somewhere. It will then bounce back off the rugs and furniture and back to the carpet. That will then cause the carpet to turn a shade of yellow.
Can You Stop Phenolic Yellowing: The first step that you need to take to stop phenolic yellowing is to do some research on your carpet. You need to know if your carpet has BHT and if it does you will need to take some extra steps to stop phenolic yellowing. After you are made aware of the compound you need to ensure that your carpet has the chance to breath. That means that you need to remove the furniture and rugs and have your carpets cleaned. This will not only keep the carpet uniform in color but also allow the BHT somewhere to go. Be sure to remove as many of the large items as you can.
Can You Repair Phenolic Yellowing: The problem is that it is a chemical reaction. The actual carpet has been changed and it cannot be reversed. The best you can do is to have the carpet dyed to try and level out the color. You can also have the carpets pulled out and replaced with new carpets. That is why prevention is the best option.