There are many different types of carpet for homes and you need to know what you are dealing with to ensure proper carpet care. Without adequate knowledge you could actually do more harm than good. In addition to carpet care, the type of carpet and its material also affects its durability and overall performance.
Generally, the bigger the carpet loop, the easier it will be to clean. Berber carpet with large loops are the easiest because dirt and other pollutants aren’t able to penetrate much deeper than the loops they touch. But these types of carpets also can show wear and tear more easily, especially if you have pets that pick at the loops. Stains may reappear a few days after cleaning, requiring another cleaning, but Berber carpet with large loops are still one of the easiest to maintain.
Frieze carpet, meanwhile, doesn’t look as dirty as Berber carpet but can conceal a great deal more dirt. Because frieze carpet is made up of small, twisted fibers that don’t stand upright, it can easily absorb and distribute stains, making it appear clean to the naked eye. Vacuuming will remove some of the deposited matter in this type of carpet but can’t get it fully cleaned, meaning a dry or steam clean solution may be the only way to remove long-term stains.
Not all types of frieze carpet are equally good at concealing stains, especially nylon or wool carpet. Polyethylene terephthalate and polyester fibers aren’t quite so good at concealing stains and won’t last quite as long. Nylon and wool are also more expensive. Wool carpets are always tricky to clean – if you’re not careful and use the wrong solution, they tend to shrink. When you buy a carpet, choose nylon.
Consider the carpet pad
Part of what makes a carpet stand up to stains or start to look awful after only a few years is the carpet pad.
Carpet pad comes in a variety of “weights.” Heavier is better, as it provides a softer feel when the carpet is walked on and will wear less over time. A five-pound underlay, for example, is common in show homes and may be cheaper but it won’t last long. Ten-pound underlayment, especially for stairs and other high-traffic areas, can significantly improve a carpet’s life.
Carpet padding also can affect how a carpet looks. Low weight, foam-based underlay will readily absorb stains and may make it appear as though a carpet is dirty even if it’s not. Higher quality products made of foam chips and recycled rubber, meanwhile, can make sure any stain stays with the carpet.
Some carpets claim to be stain resistant, and this can take one of two forms. Nylon frieze carpet is often marketed as stain resistant because its fibers are so tightly packed that it naturally fends off stains so long as anything spilled is immediately cleaned. Other stain-resistant carpets are sprayed with a chemical compound that makes them resistant to stains by creating a barrier between their fibers and whatever touches them.
It’s important to note, however, that no carpet is stain proof. Any spills must be immediately wiped up. If left to settle they will eventually stain, no matter what the carpet is made of or how it has been treated. Stain-resistant carpets are often cost effective and long lasting, but they are by no means carefree.
To learn more about carpet types and best carpet cleaning practices, call Steamex at 419-382-1973.