How Does Stain-Resistant Carpet Work?

Consumers today have become quite demanding. We expect that the things we buy and use will last a long time, work properly and out live the warranty. Our high expectations extend straight down to our carpets. We expect them to resist staining and look new for many years. Fortunately, with modern stain-resistant applications, we can get years and years of life out of our carpets with proper care.

Understanding Stain – Resistant Fibers

True stain resistant carpet is referred to as “5th generation nylon”. Although these fibers are stain resistant, they are not stain-proof. In order to properly care for our carpets and make them stain resistant, we must understand what a stain is.  

A stain is something that has added color to the carpet fibers and cannot be removed with regular cleaning. Some stains are fairly simple to remove. Others are difficult or even impossible to remove completely. One type of stain that gives carpet owners nightmares is the red food coloring typically found in soft drinks. These products dye the carpet in the same way that carpet is dyed at the factory.

5th generation nylon carpet fibers are factory-dyed using an acid based dye system. Nylon fibers have microscopic areas on the surface called dye sites. These dye sites are negatively charged. Acid based dyes and staining agents like food coloring are positively charged. Opposites attract, and the molecules of dye attach themselves to dye sites on nylon fibers giving you the color you want. However, staining agents can do the same thing!

The Magic of “Invisible Dye”

When a carpet is dyed, not all of the dye sites are filled. This creates an open space for stain molecules to attach themselves. To help prevent staining, fiber producers created a process wherein open dye sites are filled with “colorless dye”. Theses “colorless dyes” called acid dye resistors (ADRs) make it very difficult for stains to permanently enter the dye sites, buying the consumer precious time to blot and remove a spill before the spot becomes a permanent stain. If it weren’t for ADRs, most food spills would instantly stain a carpet for good!

Protecting Your Carpet’s Warranty!

There are things that can damage the factory-applied ADRs. Untrained, uneducated carpet cleaners using the wrong type of cleaning agents can void your carpet’s stain-resist warranty. That’s why B/P Carpet & Upholstery Cleaning is always your safest choice when it comes to having your carpets professionally cleaned. The result is that your carpets look beautiful, resist stains and last longer, maintaining your valuable warranty.

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