How Stain Resistant Carpet Works

Stain Resistant Carpet Technology
Most messes on stain-resistant carpet can be cleaned up easily with soap and water.
Most messes on stain-resistant carpet can be cleaned up easily with soap and water.

Carpets can be made from all kinds of fabrics, including polypropylene, polyester, acrylic, silk, wool and nylon. But because of its powerful resilience and resistance to abrasion and mildew, nylon makes up half of the carpeting sold in the U.S. [source: Bane-Clene Systems].

Across the country, major manufacturers make nylon carpeting using different kinds of protective, strain-resistant coatings. Each company uses its own proprietary chemical treatments and application techniques.

While there are many different kinds of nylon to choose from, they are all made in one of two ways. Nylon fibers are either infused with chemicals before they're sent to a carpeting mill or chemicals are applied during the manufacturing process onsite, after the tufting or weaving process.

Just as the name implies, stain-resistant carpeting is fairly impermeable to messes left from food, juices and other beverages, pet accidents, ink, rust and even shoe polish.

The way to clean up spills depends on the type of mess you're left with. Large companies that sell carpeting will provide you with printed instructions that spell out different cleaning methods for different kinds of stains. Sometimes they also have a toll-free phone number that you can call when you're in doubt or have questions.

Often, all you have to do is apply water or a soap-and-water solution to the soiled area. Remember, it's always best to remove spots as quickly as possible before they dry, even though you typically have a one- to two-day window before the stain sets in. Steer clear of bleach-based cleaning agents; they will remove the protective chemicals coating the carpeting fibers and can even intensify stains.

Nylon carpeting is almost always stain-resistant; it's standard practice for manufacturers to apply protective chemical treatments. If you're interested in buying another kind of carpeting, don't worry; if it is stain-resistant, it will be labeled as such. You can always contact the manufacturer if you want absolute confirmation.

Go on to the next page to find out some of the perks stain-resistant carpet has to offer.