• Is the Carpet Really Getting Dirty Faster? 

    Have you ever wondered why carpet seems to get dirty faster after it’s been cleaned?

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    Getting dirty faster?

    There are reasons why you may notice changes to the carpet after it’s cleaned. Some of the common causes are:

    • Quality of cleaning products
    • Protective coatings.

    If the cleaning products are low quality they will attract dirt, and if the protective coating is not reapplied your carpet will start to show damage very quickly.

    Product Quality

    The quality of your cleaning products can make all the difference when cleaning your carpet. Store brand products are some of the lowest grade cleaning products available for carpets. Many of them use a petroleum base. Petroleum is oil, and when you clean with it, it will leave your carpets looking bright and shiny at first. However, about four weeks after the cleaning you will notice that all the spots have come back, and they may even look worse than before. Oil is a magnet for dirt.

    Protective Coating

    When carpet is brand new it has a protective coating that helps to protect against wear and tear, it also provides some protection against spills by repelling the liquid allowing more time to clean it up. Over time, this protective coating wears off, and when you clean the carpet any protective coating that is left is removed.

    If this protective coating is not reapplied, the carpet will not repel moisture and dust. Dirt has half the cutting power of glass, will start to cut away at the fibers fraying the carpet. Fraying creates permanent dark marks called wear patterns in the areas where you walk. Your carpet may also appear to get dirty faster because spills can permeate the fibers.  Carpet manufacturers recommend putting the protective coating back on the carpet every time you clean. This coating naturally wears off after about one to two years depending on the amount of use.

    Protective Coating Pros & Cons

    There are different protectants available, and each of them its own set of pros and cons. One of the most recognized is Scotch Guard. This product is readily available, and will provide a waterproof barrier. It also provides a limited protection against wear and tear, but its main function is to waterproof.  Scotch Guard does leave a residue on the carpet that can attract soil. Customers that use scotch guard may notice they need to clean their carpet more frequently than those that use other protective coatings.

    Teflon is another protective coating that is available. This is a great product, and it will keep moisture on top of the carpet for a while. This allows for easy clean up when you have a spill or pet accidents. Teflon doesn’t leave a residue and provides protection against dirt cutting across the carpet fibers. However, there has been a lot of controversy over health risks associated with Teflon products over the last decade. You may wish to do your own research on this.

    The last protective coating is a silica polymer. Silica provides a protective coating that will prevent dirt from cutting across the fibers, has no chemical smell.  It is tolerated very well by people with chemical sensitivities and allergies. It does not offer waterproofing like Teflon or Scotch Guard so the moisture will not stay on top of the carpet as long. However, it will still provide protection against the spill permeating the carpet fibers allowing for easier clean up. This product is considered to be safe for children, pets, animals and the environment.

    No matter which product you choose; it is better to protect the carpet than to leave it without a protective coating. These three products will increase the length of time in which your carpets last, with less wear.

    The quality of carpet you purchase also makes a huge difference. Low-quality carpets have a life expectancy of five years. However, with proper care, your carpet can outlive its life expectancy.  Keep in mind that carpet, like any fabric, eventually wears out, so it will never look like it did when it was brand new.

    Important Notes:

    DO NOT USE DETERGENTS TO SPOT CLEAN CARPET.

    DO NOT USE DETERGENTS TO SPOT CLEAN CARPET.

    • If these products are watered down, they will not provide proper protection. In the same way, if they areapplied too heavily they can make the carpet feel stiff.
    • Protective coatings are easily removed by mild detergent. For this reason, use equal parts water to white distilled vinegar to clean up spills and spots that occur on the carpet. Anything else will strip the protective coating off.
    • Whenever you clean your carpets, you should reapply the protective coating.
    • Signs that the protective coating has worn off and it’s time to clean:
    1. Matted carpet
    2. Fibers untwisting
    3. Carpet appears to be getting dirty faster
    4. Cleaning spills and vacuuming becomes more difficult
    5. Darkening in the walk areas