The ability of a carpet to withstand stains and dirt and still look great is one of the biggest factors in most carpet purchases. No matter how you guard your carpet from wine spills, muddy tracks, pet debris, or other messes, life invariably takes its toll on your carpeting and rugs. People often look for Stain Proof carpets, however not all carpets are created equal in that regard.
Stain Resistant Treatments
For many years, manufacturers have offered topical treatments that are applied to the fibers of the carpet to prevent the dirt and spills getting into the core of the fabric, however these have limitations in how much dirt they can repel, as well as how long the treatment lasts for. This chemical coating is better than nothing – most of the time – but invariably disappoints purchasers who expect more than a topical treatment can deliver.
How Effective are Stain Resistant Treatments?
Most carpet manufacturers offer some type of stain resistant treatment. It is important to note that they do not use the term “Stain Proof” – no one guarantees that their carpets are 100% repellant of all stains, and even the toughest spill, when not treated quickly and correctly, might leave a permanent stain. In general, the stain protection can be effective against most spills, and is usually better than none at all. The resistance to the stain will vary depending on a number of factors, particularly the age of the carpet and whether the carpet has been exposed to harsh chemicals that may have depleted the original coating.
Built In Stain Protection
Recent technology advances in carpeting have lead to an incredible new fiber called SmartStrand. The key to the built in stain resistance of SmartStrand is the organic fiber that is used in the material. It has very low liquid absorption qualities (0.1% liquid absorption by weight, compared to 5% for nylon) – this means that most stains can be simply wiped away with little effort. The strands are also constructed with a zig-zag profile, vs straight strands for most other carpets – this allows it to rebound better after compression, making it feel much softer for longer.
A Few Tips about Stain Removal
The key to keeping stain proofing intact is to follow the manufacturer’s instructions for cleaning. Using bleach, for instance, might remove a stain, but can also remove any protective finish. The sooner the spill is cleaned, the less chance it has to leave a trace. General advice is to blot the stain right away and use water or mild detergents to clean the area. Avoid rubbing the stain, and using harsh chemicals as this will damage the fibers and cause the stain to settle deeper into the structure of the material.
The Interiors & Textiles carpet showroom in Palo Alto, CA has a vast array of carpets with stain resistant options, including the extraordinary SmartStrand range of extreme stain resistant carpeting. Visit our store to explore the options available for your new home or office carpet.