Many think that all carpet is more or less the same, but the reality is, there are several different materials that are commonly used to make carpeting found in homes today.
The material used in the carpeting can affect your overall purchase, installation cost, the material’s softness, and how well it wears (longevity). More than that, it can affect how easy the material is to care for, clean, and what cleaning processes you should use for the best results.
To help you better care for your carpet based on the type of carpeting you have, here is a closer look at the more common materials used in carpeting today:
Wool is one of the more expensive types of carpeting, so it is not commonly found in most homes. If you have high-end wool carpeting in your home, take extra steps to ensure that you hire the right professional carpet cleaner to clean it. Otherwise, you risk permanently damaging your fine carpet. Wool generally cleans very well, but is very sensitive to many cleaning solutions. Be sure to vacuum frequently, avoid pet accidents, heavy soiling, wine & colored drink spills, and have a quality stain protection professionally applied after cleaning. To spot wool, be sure to use a PH balanced spotter specifically designed for wool and be careful not to over “scrub” a spot that can cause fiber distortion. Be sure to only use a professional carpet cleaning company that is very experienced and skilled in wool carpet cleaning. The same goes for high end wool rugs.
Olefin, which is also known as polypropylene, is used in many home and business applications because of it’s affordability. Olefin is often found as a “continuous loop” pile (sometimes called Berber in larger loops). Looped pile construction/weave reduces signs of wear and does not show dirt as easily as some other carpet types. All carpet fiber types can be found in “Berber” weaves. However, loop pile carpeting’s main drawback is that the tight loops can snag and pull. Olefin is a type of plastics and repels water based drinks & soils, but attracts oils based soils. Because olefin is a solid fiber, and dyed while in liquid form, it has no dye ports to absorb most stains. Therefore is naturally stain resistant. However, olefin attracts oils and can be stained by heavy grease or oil, can friction burn (melts at low temperature), and does not wear well. The pile tends to crush or “wear off” thus showing traffic patterns fairly quickly, especially in cut pile (non-looped) carpets. Olefin should be cleaned using cleaning solutions and methods recommended for olefin or original spots & soil will re-occur. Because olefin repels moisture (rather than absorb), water & spills tend to run through to the backing quickly. The fiber needs to be thoroughly pre-conditioned and hot water extraction rinsed, but being very careful not to over wet the carpet.
Nylon fiber was originally created to synthetically replicate wool, at a lower cost. Nylon does a great job of this and is affordable, thus being a very desirable carpeting material. Because of this, nylon is one one of the better carpet construction fibers in most cases and commonly found in homes and businesses. Nylon contains dye ports similar to wool, and is dyed after being made into a fiber. Because of this, drinks and liquids with dyes in them (red, orange, etc.) when spilled, can “dye” (stain) nylon. Most nylon carpets today are treated with a stain protection that helps seal the dye ports making the carpet very stain resistant. Nylon tends to wear very well, better than olefin and polyester in most cases. Nylon cleans up very well in most cases and truck mounted hot water extraction is the recommended method. PH balanced preconditioners and spotter need to be used to prevent damage to the stain protective coatings. After cleaning, it is best to re-apply a quality stain protection specifically formulated for nylon.
Polyester is increasingly popular in homes today, but this material does not typically wear well. It can easily show wear from traffic patterns within a year or two. More than that, it is not easily cleaned, and you may not be able to professional clean it as easily as you can clean other types of carpeting. This means that you may need to replace polyester carpeting more frequently than you would need to replace some of the other materials. If you have polyester carpeting, use professional cleaning services to ensure the best results and to promote long-lasting use as much as possible.
As you can see, the type of carpeting that you install in your home will affect how easily dirt shows as well as how easily the carpeting can be cleaned. The last thing you want is to damage your carpeting by using incorrect carpet cleaning products or methods. Because of this, it is wise to always use a professional, IICRC Certified carpeting cleaning service. A n IICRC carpet cleaner should always do a fiber ID test and know what type of carpeting is being cleaning before bidding and starting the carpet cleaning process. At True North Cleaning, we always do 🙂
If you are looking to restore the health, luster and beauty of your carpet and upholstery, or you are just concerned about your carpet’s health in general, now is the time to do something about it.
Contact True North Cleaning Professionals today with any questions, a free quote, and to schedule cleaning throughout your home.
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