Tag Archives: stain resistance

Carpet Stain Protection

Have you ever walked across a carpet only to receive a shock when reaching for the doorknob?  The reason for the shock is the buildup of static electricity in the synthetic fibers of the yarn.  It is the same electro-static buildup which works as a dirt magnet in your carpet. And it is this dirt which causes wear and tear.  Treatments such as STAINMASTER™ and Scotchgard™ dissipate static charge eliminating the magnetic attraction of soil. These treatments prevent dirt from clinging to carpet fibers so your carpet becomes cleaner when vacuumed.

With products like Scotchgard™ protection is a topical, water-based solution, and, therefore, wet shampooing can do more harm than good because excess soapy residue often masks the carpet’s protective finish. So always steam clean your carpet.  Scotchgard™ Protector should be reapplied by a professional carpet cleaner after the second or third steam cleaning.

STAINMASTER™ (originally a DuPont™ product) was, at its introduction, a large step forward in carpet stain protection.  DuPont™ developed a method of treating their yarns while they were still hot and the yarn molecules had expanded. After treatment the yarn is cooled and the STAINMASTER™ anti-static molecules are locked into the yarn.  This proved an exceptional upgrade in stain resistance. Unlike Scotchgard™, the tighter bond between the yarn and protection allowed more cleanings without loss of stain-resistance. Under most circumstances a STAINMASTER™ carpet can received three shampooings before stain resistance is lost. Since most carpets will be shampooed about every year and a half, most stain resistance warranties are 5 years.

Scotchgard™ has developed Scotchgard™ Soil & Stain Release which is a further refinement in carpet protection designed specifically for nylon and nylon blend carpets.  In addition to soil protection, it offers additional resistance for specific staining problems and a 5 year warranty for common stains.

Recently, Mohawk created SmartStrand® with DuPont™ Sorona® renewably sourced polymer, the next generation of carpet fiber. Designed to fit the way you live, SmartStrand® with DuPont™ Sorona® combines better stain protection, better durability and better softness, all in one. It’s breakthrough innovation brought to you by Mohawk and DuPont, the trusted names in carpet and fiber for more than a century. Now, instead of worrying about your carpet, you can walk all over it— with a glass of red wine in hand.

When Choosing A Carpet

When choosing a carpet, three things need to be considered:

Traffic: Try to determine your families usage. Is it heavy, moderate, or light? Since carpet does not come with an odometer like a car, it is hard to quantify exactly how much traffic it receives. Young active growing families create more wear than a retire couple. Families with pets will require a more durable carpet than those without.

Stain Resistance: A carpet in a dining room will have different stain resistance requirements than one in a bedroom. Again, a young active family will probably generate more spills than a mature one. You need to consider these questions: Where is your carpet going to be installed? What products are going to be used over it?

Budget: Some carpets represent excellent pricing, but in a high traffic area may not result in the best value for your flooring dollar. When shopping for carpeting it is best to determine the type of traffic your family will generate, what are potential stain problems and what your budget allow. Determine what you can afford to spend, set yourself a budget and then find the best value based on your families requirements. You may also want to find out if the company you choose to buy from offers financing. We do! We are currently offering 0% financing, call us for details.

Carpet Yarns and Fibers (continued)

Of the three most popular yarns Olefin is the least expensive to produce and can represent and excellent flooring value.  The dyeing process of olefin occurs while it is still in a liquid state, before it is extruded into filaments.  This means that the color saturates each filament giving it superb stain resistance and is very easy to clean.  Olefin is very resistant to alkali, solvents and acids and is fade resistant to the sun.

Olefin does not have the resilience or the ability to bounce back of other yarns and will mat or pack more quickly. Olefin is mostly used in level loop or very short tight commercial carpets where the loop structure and density of the yarn construction help offset matting.  The loop provides strength to the yarn and with its built in stain resistance and price make it a great value for an active family.

Polyester yarns are our next category. Polyester yarn can be dyed before the extrusion process, like olefin, or after the extrusion process.  If the yarn is dyed after the extrusion process the filaments are only coated with dye and it does not run through the body.  This dye process may not provide the same quality of stain and soil resistance as the prior dye process.  Polyester yarn has increased resilience over olefin and is used in Saxony plushes and velvets.

Nylon is the third synthetic yarn and is very popular today. Nylon filaments are dyed after the extrusion process as well. Most spills, when cleaned up quickly, will have little effect on color.  Nylon yarns have superb resilience and resistance to abrasion and matting.  Nylon is similar to wool in its feel, softness and texture. These combined with excellent resilience makes a great yarn.

Carpet Yarns and Fibers

Natural Fibers

Any discussion of carpet fibers would be incomplete if it did not begin with wool.  Wool has a warmth and durability that all other fibers try to imitate. As a natural fiber wool absorbs dyes well, which gives it excellent color retention and good stain resistance when spills are treated promptly.  Wool’s overlapping scale construction allows the fibers in the yarn to interlock giving wool carpets excellent crush resistance and resilience, maintaining its style and texture for many years.

Unfortunately, because of the extensive labor required to harvest and prepare for use, wool is quite expensive when compared to other fibers.  While not equaled, the developing technology of synthetic fibers has produced some excellent carpet yarns.

Synthetic Yarn

Today there are three carpet fibers that dominate the carpeting market: Polyester, Nylon and Olefin or polypropylenes.  Stay tuned for our next blog, we will be introducing the next generation of carpet which is storming the market.  Before we begin our discussion about the individual yarns lets consider how they are produced.

All synthetic yarns are manufactured from oil and its byproducts. While the individual processes vary, at some point they all end u as a liquid that is forced, or extruded, through tiny holes or injectors and cooled into a long strand, or filament.  These filaments are then twisted together to create yarn.  Yarn manufactured in this manner is called continuous filament because each filament of the yarn runs its entire length.  If a velvet look is desired in a finished carpet, the individual strands of the yarn may be cut into short lengths, between two and six inches, then twisted together to create what is called a staple yarn. After the yarn filaments have been twisted together they are heated almost to the melting point in a process called “heat setting.”  This process sets the twist of the yarn creating a coil-spring effect which holds the yarn filaments together and allows the yarn to spring back to its original shape after being stepped on.  This spring back capability gives a yarn its resilience.

A carpet manufactured with a continuous filament heat-set yarn will give its owner a long wearing, very resilient floor which will not fuzz or pill, although it will not have the softness or velvet look of a staple.  Many heavy plushes are made of staple yarns and are soft and velvety, but can fuzz of pill.  The amount of fuzzing of pilling is dependent upon the length of the yarn filaments and the quality of the heat-setting process.