A lot of customers are opting for stain-resistant carpeting for their residential and commercial spaces. Stain resistance helps the carpeting look newer for a longer period of time. It's also a lot easier to clean up a spill on stain-resistant carpeting without leaving a trace behind, especially if you act quickly. That doesn't mean stain-resistant carpeting is immune to stains, though. It also doesn't mean that the carpeting is immune to the daily build-up of dirt and debris in the fibers. Stain-resistant carpets still need to be on a regular cleaning schedule.
But is there a difference between cleaning stain-resistant carpeting versus cleaning traditional carpeting? It depends on the kind of stain-resistant carpet you'll be cleaning. Make sure you know what type of carpet you are cleaning so you can provide the best results for your clients.
Types of Stain Resistant Carpeting & How to Clean Them
TEFLON or Other Stain-Resistant Coating on Carpet
This is a very common stain-resistant carpeting, especially in residential settings. Manufacturers protect the carpet from stains spraying a special coating over the top. This protective coating prevents liquids from absorbing into the fibers of the carpet, making them easier to remove after a spill. What this coating doesn't do, though, is actually change the makeup of the carpet. The carpet will accumulate dirt just like a piece of uncoated, traditional carpeting will. So it will need cleaning via the same methods as traditional carpeting just as often.
That protective coating isn't going to last forever, either. The stain-resistant coating will eventually wear off of carpeting, reducing the flooring's resistance to stains. This happens through vacuuming, cleaning, and simply the wear and tear of walking over the carpet's surface. You can turn this into an upsell for your business by offering to reapply their stain-resistant coating after their annual cleaning. You'll find protectors here, including some eco-friendly options.
How to Clean It
Standard hot water extraction methods using a low-alkaline cleaning agent to avoid stripping the coating off. Offer to re-apply a stain-resistant coating after cleaning to help customers prevent new stains.
Nylon is a very common material used to make carpeting. It's durable and inexpensive. The big bonus, though, is that most nylon carpets are naturally stain-resistant thanks to the properties of the material. Nylon isn't very absorbent, so as long as someone is able to clean up the spill quickly, they shouldn't leave a stain behind. Some nylon carpets are specifically marketed as stain-resistant. That may be because they have a stain-resistant coating (see above) or because the manufacturer packs in the Nylon fibers so tightly they don't allow the stain to permeate.
How to Clean It
Due to its widespread use, there is a good chance you are already cleaning nylon carpeting. Standard rotary machines and truck mounts will get the job done. If the carpet wasn't treated with a stain-resistant coating, offer to do one for the customer as a value-add to your service.
This is one of the newest carpeting materials out there, and you may also know it as SmartStrand carpet. It's made from Triexta fibers, which are very durable and stain-resistant while still being soft. The big difference between Triexta carpeting and other types of stain-resistant carpeting is that the entire fiber is stain resistant. It's not just the coating on the surface. Manufacturers are including some pretty amazing warranties for these carpets, including lifetime stain warranties. The stain resistance is just that good.
But this is one stain-resistant carpeting that will need special consideration when it comes to daily cleaning. That's because not every vacuum will work with Triexta carpets. The carpet fibers are thinner and more densely packed than other carpet types, and that can make it tough for the vacuum to move across the carpet. Though these SmartStrand carpets are more resistant to stains, they do need vacuuming just as often. If your company provides this service it's worth investing in a vacuum that can handle the fibers. It's bound to become more and more popular in both the residential and commercial markets, so get the equipment you'll need for it now.
How to Clean It
Manufacturers recommend hot water extraction methods for Triexta carpets, which is standard for most types of carpeting. A good pre-spray will help remove any stains or oil spots. Grooming the carpet at the end of the cleaning process will help fluff up the fibers and restore the appearance.
Do You Need to Clean Stain-Resistant Carpeting As Often?
Quick answer: yes. Stain-resistant carpeting needs cleaning just as often as traditional carpeting. That means annual cleaning for residential carpets and bi-annual for commercial spaces. This is something that you may need to educate your clients about. Stain-resistant doesn't mean it's a no-maintenance flooring option. While the coating or the material used to make the carpet may offer some protection from stains, it doesn't make dirt disappear. Dirt coming in on shoes, feet, and pet's paws will still accumulate in the fibers. Removing the debris will extend the life of the carpet and remove allergens. If the carpet has a stain-resistant coating, then it's an opportunity to renew that protection, too, and keep the stain-resistance strong.
Issues With Stains on Stain-Resistant Carpeting
Stain-resistant carpeting is resistant, not stain proof. So eventually you are going to have to remove a stain from stain-resistant carpeting. In general, you should be able to use the same cleaning agents that you'd use on traditional carpets. It's important to do spot testing, of course, to ensure there is no color fading or other unwanted results. What you may find, though, is that stains are actually harder to get out of stain-resistant carpeting. That's because whatever stained the carpet had to penetrate the stain-resistant coating or fibers to get there. Getting it out might require a little more elbow grease. Pre-sprays can be especially helpful, but don't be afraid to try out a few different cleaners if the first one doesn't work. Some are just better than others on stain-resistant stain removal.
Looking for more advice on how to clean stain-resistant carpeting? Check out the Truck Mount Forums to get advice from other professional carpet cleaning teams. You can also contact us to learn more about the chemicals and equipment available in our online store.