Carpet Protector Misconception

“Professional cleaning causes my carpet to get dirty faster.”

Where did this homeowners misconception come from? I have heard this a few times from customers who had used reputable carpet cleaning companies.

Each customer had said “When the carpet was new, it was able to go two years before needing to be cleaned. Once cleaned, the carpet got dirty quicker.”

The customer drew a seemingly logical conclusion: The professional cleaner was causing the premature need for cleaning.

Unfortunately, these homeowners came to the wrong conclusion because they were missing a key piece of information: New carpet is treated with manufacturer-applied, soil-resistant carpet protector, which enables the carpet to go much longer between cleanings. After two years, the protector in the daily use areas has significantly worn off. These areas then perform as if they have not been treated with protector, accumulating soil much faster.

We as a professional cleaning companys do not cause these problems, but they can be prevented. If the prior cleaner had restored the protectectant to begin with, the carpet would have gone much longer before the apparent (visual) need for another cleaning.

Soil-resistant protectants keeps the carpet looking cleaner between professional cleanings. Mills apply it to their carpet to enhance the consumer vacuuming and spot cleaning processes.

Unfortunately, protectant is a coating that is applied to flexible fibers. Over time, as the carpet fibers are flexed when walked upon, the manufacturer-applied protector wears off.

The good news is that CARPETECH IS able to reapply this protector and significantly restore soil resistance to the fibers.


Stain resistance vs Soil resistance

The advent of Stain Master™ carpet, along with all of the other brands that introduced acid-dye blockers to their products, has generated confusion about the difference between stain-resistance and soil resistance.

Stain-resistance is created when the mills add acid-dye blockers to help protect nylon carpet from being stained by products containing food coloring. This stain-resistant protection essentially fills in the unused microscopic dye-sites on carpet fibers. The result is the dye in accidentally spilled products now has nowhere to attach to the carpet fibers, thus the carpet has become stain-resistant. This is not a coating on the fiber. This resistance does not wear off from normal foot traffic. It can be removed by improper cleaning products, though. As long as the carpet is cleaned properly, the manufacturers do not feel that this resistance will have any significant loss due to normal use.

On the other hand, soil-resistance from products such as Teflon™ and Scotchguard™ are a type of coating that can be worn off carpet due to normal foot traffic. These products are designed to enhance the resistance of dry soil, water and oil. Even carpet fibers that are difficult to stain, such as olefin and polyester, benefit from the additional protection than can be provided by these soil-resistant products.

We recommend ScotchGuarding your carpet every other cleaning. As stated above all carpets made since about 1985 have some sort of built in, or factory applied stain treatment. However, overtime this treatment wears off. What these treatments do is fill in the dye sites of the fiber to prevent spills and spots from becoming stains. One test is to take warm water and place some in the middle of the hallway and some near the baseboards. The water will adsorb faster in the middle than next to the baseboards.


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