10 Tips for Understanding Carpet Labels

Stain and Soil Resistance
Let's hope this carpet has a high stain resistance.
Let's hope this carpet has a high stain resistance.
©iStockphoto.com/Stuart Burford

After you put your blood, sweat and tears into a carpet purchase, you don't want to have to fear literally dripping blood, sweat and tears into that carpet.

Don't let a stain permanently blemish your beautiful, expensive carpet. Though no carpet is perfect, and all spills need prompt attention to keep your carpet clean, you can buy carpet that's stain resistant to assuage your fears. Some materials and carpet constructions are naturally more stain resistant than others. However, companies usually treat carpet with additional chemicals to make it more resistant.

Teflon and Scotchguard technology cause liquid stains to bead on the fabric surface, allowing quick attention to soak it up. However, StainMaster carpets work by neutralizing the electric charge on the fabric. This is because the dye used in many commercial food and drink products are negatively charged, just as the dye used in coloring carpet. Without neutralizing the charge, the spilled food attaches permanently to the remaining positive charges [source: Hilton].

Luckily, you can often find specific information about the stain resistance on the label. This might include what stain remover products to use and information on proper maintenance. Some stain resistant chemicals wear away after years of use, but you can have the chemicals reapplied.