They almost go unnoticed most of the time. The only time we really think about carpet cleaning is if they’re extremely dirty or we need to replace them. Therefore, it makes a lot of sense to educate ourselves on what materials are best used for carpets and rugs. Keeping them clean can be much easier if the right materials are used for the right application. There’s a big difference between a high traffic area in a commercial building and that in the typical home where we mostly live.
Carpet Cleaning More Often or Less Often?
Most of us don’t relish the task of cleaning most anything. We would much rather be doing something else. What are the best ways to clean the carpet and what are the best types of materials used to make a carpet? First, let’s talk a bit about the different materials used to make carpets in our modern world. Before the invention of plastics and synthetic Fibers, carpets were made out of natural materials. Silk and wool were widely used and are still in use today. In fact, these two materials make some of the higher-end carpet and rugs that people buy in this modern-day. Not only were these materials used but animal hair and animal hides were widely used as floor coverings before our Modern Age. Our thanks to Carpet Cleaners SCV, a local Santa Clarita Carpet Cleaning company for their help in this article.
With the invention of oil-based synthetic fibers, we have a multitude of new materials that are widely used in manufacturing carpets. They vary in quality and price as would be expected. Not all carpet fibers are equal. Does it make sense to understand some of the fundamental differences in the base materials used to make the carpets? This applies for area rugs also. Obviously, an area rug is very similar to a carpet in many ways. So the same materials are often used to make both.
Synthetic vs. Natural Carpet Fibers
This depends on which you would rather have and how much you’re willing to spend and what kind of Maintenance you’re willing to put up with. Some wool rugs are centuries old because wool is a very tough material. Now even though it’s a tough material is unlikely that it would have held up for centuries and a high-traffic business area. But the fact that it lasted for centuries is an amazing fact itself. Wool is obviously a sustainable or renewable resource because it’s not necessary to slaughter a lamb or sheep in order to get the wall. So this makes it an attractive alternative to environmentally conscious consumers. You will pay a premium for the luxury of wool but you will also have the knowledge and peace of mind that you have imposed less on this Earth finite resources.
Synthetic carpet materials consist predominantly of fibers that are oil-based. Olefins, polyesters and nylons are the most common. Nylon is a very durable synthetic material and a great choice for most carpet applications. Being that it’s very tough it will wear oftentimes significantly longer than polyesters and olefins. It is a bit more expensive but it may be a better choice in the long run as replacement costs will be less over time.
Nylon 6 and nylon 66 are the most widely used forms of nylon in carpet manufacturing. The coloring of nylon occurs in two ways. It can have a dye applied topically, or to the surface on the nylon material or it can be colored through the solution dying process. The solution dying process occurs while the nylon is in a molten state as opposed to applying a dye to the fiber surface, Thus the color is uniform throughout the fiber body. Topically applied dyes are a surface application and the inner body of the fiber is the native color of the nylon. Thus, if the fiber is scratched the color will change.
Polyesters are also widely used and are on the lower end of the cost scale in general. Many vibrant colors are available and in wide use today. It is often the contractors grade carpet that is installed in new homes in your typical tract houses and it is usually a polyester grade carpet. These generally last for a few years and then need replacement in most homes if you want to have a nice looking carpet. Polyester is a hydrophobic material meaning it does not attract water to its surface which helps to increase its stain resistant properties. The color of polyester carpet fibers is typically created with the solution dying method mentioned above.
DuPont has a product that is created from corn oil. Thus it is a renewable material. It has a toughness close to that of nylon making it an attractive alternative to the workhorse of the carpet industry, nylon.
Polyesters are also widely used and are on the lower end of the cost scale in general. Many vibrant colors are available and in wide use today. It is often the contractors grade carpet that is installed in new homes in your typical tract houses and it is usually a polyester grade carpet. These generally last for a few years and then need replacement in most homes if you want to have a nice looking carpet.
Olefins are used quite often also and are very stain resistant due to the chemical makeup of their natural fibers. There are a great number of different olefin fiber carpets in production today all the fins are of the polyethylene family of plastics which are an extremely widely used material. Therefore, the costs can be less than nylon because the raw material costs are lower. All of the synthetic carpets perform relatively well.
Carpet Cleaning Maintenance
All of the carpets we have discussed in this article perform well in many applications. The difference is outlined above can be important when making a choice as to which to purchase.
Make sure to hire reputable carpet cleaners and cleaning services in general when you higher these Professional Services to keep your carpets looking as new as possible. Talk with the technician to make sure that you get the feeling they understand and they know what they were doing. Don’t fall for the bait and switch where they charge $3 to clean a room and then come out and leave your room sopping wet and up charge you to finish the job. That has happened with some less-than-reputable carpet cleaning companies so be on the lookout for these scams.
Reputable carpet cleaning services have the right equipment and trained staff to get the job done quickly and effectively at a reasonable cost. They will know what type of carpet you have if they are of a good quality company. They will typically use what’s called hot water extraction to clean your carpets but it’s important that there is an agitation step included with any carpet cleaning tasks. Typically, you will want to have them apply some type of a detergent to your carpet, usually a slightly alkaline solvent is used to create the best results. This is then agitated into the carpet by a number of different means, sometimes a rotary buffer is used with a very soft towel-like pad which will fundamentally shampoo the carpet. After this that the hot water extraction process is done by which water is sprayed onto the carpet and then vacuum back up with a high suction head. This typically does a very good job of cleaning most carpets but will leave the carpet slightly damp and some other methods. It is probably the Workhorse of the industry to use a hot water extraction method sometimes called steam cleaning.