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Choosing A Carpet Fiber For Your Home

Carpet is one of the most important elements in decorating your home. It can help create a comfortable atmosphere and enhance your home furnishings. Nothing compares to the soft luxurious feeling under your feet as well as protecting you from a fall. It does require more maintenance than tile, wood or vinyl flooring but nothing compares to the sound absorption of a good quality carpet. Carpeting is the third largest investment the average homeowner makes. In years past, a carpet was considered a decorative addition. Now it’s one of the basic building materials that help determine the home value. There are many considerations in choosing the perfect carpet fiber for your home.

Different Types of Fibers:

Nylon Man-made would be the best choice for heavy traffic. If you have a high traffic area, then nylon would be an ideal choice due to the durability. Nylon is stain resistant as well and repels mildew. Nylon is utilized in approximately 65% of the carpet sold in the U.S. It is a very durable fiber with excellent performance characteristics. Its strengths include good resiliency. Most nylon is treated with an anti-static treatment to reduce static. Continuous filament fibers minimize pilling and shedding.

Polyester is another good carpet as it is easy to clean and repels water-based stains. Polyester fiber produces some of the most beautiful colorations available. Polyester is known for the look and feel of wool and it is non-allergenic, sheds moisture and resists moths and mildew at a lower cost than wool or nylon.

Wool the highest quality of carpet you can buy but also the most expensive. Although it is naturally stain resistant, it requires a high level of maintenance including mothproofing. Most wool products manufactured in the U.S. have been permanently mothproofed. While it’s still extremely popular for rugs, it accounts for less than 1% of the fiber used in carpet.

Polypropylene-(olefin) Carpet Fibers another synthetic carpet fiber its strengths include superior stain resistance, with the exception of oil-based stains, and low cost. Olefin makes up about 30 % of the fiber used in U.S. carpet manufacturing today.

Before you buy, make sure you are paying for density. Dig your fingers into the pile. If they reach the backing quickly, the carpet isn’t packed densely enough with fibers. Look for tight tuft twists. Lower-priced carpets will have loose tuft twists in the fibers. Carpet density ranges from 1000-7000. For homes you plan on living in for a while, you’ll want a density rating 2000 or greater. Carpets provide a comfortable place to sit, play or work and give a room an overall warmer feeling. Carpets will maintain its life and beauty for many years to come when you know how to choose the right fibers for your home.

Why you should NOT use baking soda on your carpets.

Baking soda can be nature’s deodorizer for your smelly carpets but it can also be harmful to your vacuums and carpets. You hear all the great things about baking soda and its power to remove odors. You think that baking soda would be a great product to pour on your carpets to get rid of odors in your carpets as most consumers do. It makes total sense doesn’t it? Most cases it will absorb the odor but do you know what it leaves behind? Baking soda absorbs the odor and wetness and adheres to the fibers and backing of the carpets. Once it is in your carpet fibers and backing, it will stay for a very long time. No matter how much you vacuum your home, you cannot remove this product completely. It will stay with you until you replace your carpets and padding.

Reasons not to use baking soda:

The particles of baking soda are so small, that a portion of the product remains in the carpet fiber or sifts beneath the rug and padding to the floor below (never to be recovered!) If you use baking soda and one day rip up your carpeting, you’ll see a surprising amount of its residue left behind! You will be amazed how much your vacuums do not do the trick. Due to the small particle size of baking soda or freshener product, these can clog the pores of your vacuum’s bag or HEPA filter. This can drastically reduce suction resulting in poor cleaning performance and cause clogs to form. Even worse, this dust can escape the filtration system in which your vacuum’s motor and eventually short out. Baking soda will make odor stay in your carpets and not remove them like you think.

Even professional carpet cleaners with the most powerful equipment might not get rid of the baking soda disaster in your carpets. It literally goes from the backing of your carpets to the slab of your flooring. If you must use baking soda, use it in moderation. Do not over saturate the odor area by pouring too much, a little goes a long way. Remember to leave the more serious odor and stains to the professionals that can remove the stains and odor out of your carpets completely without any residue left on your carpets. This is the most important lesson we can give you before making your carpets worse before a professional cleaning. What you put on your carpets can affect your cleaning process and you must always be honest with your professional carpet cleaner before he starts his work. Honesty is the best policy if you want your cleaning to the best experience you can have with the best results as well. These are a few tips on disadvantages of using baking soda on your carpets. Hopefully it’s been helpful.

What makes a good carpet?

There are thousands of different varieties you can choose to customize your home décor. When it comes to getting your carpets professionally cleaned there are particular brands and types that are much easier to clean and other types that you might have to “baby”. There are four main types of broadloom carpet which include Nylon (approximately 60%), Olefin (approximately 30%), Wool (approximately 1%), and Polyester (approximately 10%). Nylon, Olefin, and Polyester are all synthetic fibers, and Wool is the only natural fiber. For heavy traffic areas, Nylon is a very durable fiber. Nylon provides great resilience, is a breeze to clean, offers a wide array of colors and designs, and is relatively colorfast. Some disadvantages of Nylon are that it’s the easiest synthetic fiber to stain (carpet protection is beneficial for this fiber). Also, Nylon will partially loose its color when in contact with chlorine or bleach. Nylon is best for high traffic areas like the stairs or the living room.

Olefin is a little weaker in structure when compared to Nylon, but Olefin does have its positive attributes. Olefin tends to be pretty chemically resistant, which means it can withstand the use of some heavy-duty cleaning products. Also, Olefin is water resilient, and holds up to the colorfast test. Some of the disadvantages of Olefin include that it is attracted to oily soils; it has a short life because it degrades much quicker than Nylon. This explains its lower cost. Olefin is most likely a better choice where there is a lot of moisture in your home, like the area around a bathroom or swimming pool (But remember it’s not best to put carpet in high moisture areas because of the increased chances of mold growth).

Next, Polyester is the lesser of the synthetic fiber market, but it still proves to be a good choice. Many people enjoy polyester because of the softness, it’s because of this reason that it’s used in many clothing, and upholstered items. Polyester also is colorfast, naturally stain resistant, and semi-resistant to chemicals and household bleaches. Polyester is a wise choice for low-traffic areas, like the bedroom.

Now, Wool is probably the most expensive fiber being that is a natural occurring fiber. Wool has a very long life and it wears great. More positive features of Wool include it is moisture repellent, it is fire and flame resistant, it can come in a wide spectrum of colors, and it gives warmth to an area. Some disadvantages of Wool are its price, certain stain removal can prove to be quite difficult, and it is sensitive to harsh chemicals (it will dissolve in chlorine bleach). This natural fiber is great for any room in your home, but pricing is obviously a concern. And if your choice is based on environmental concerns wool is renewable, recyclable and biodegradable.

Deciding on a carpet for your home is a major decision. It’s so important that you do a thorough research, and find the best possible carpet that will suit your needs. You don’t have to spend a ton of money to make your floors look great, shop smart and be creative!