The first thing you should know about carpet constructed of synthetic yarns-nylon, polyester, acrylic,
polypropylene (Olefin) is that they are solidified chemicals. In other words, when you apply a cleaning agent
to something like carpeting, you are literally applying a chemical to a chemical. If a chemical reaction occurs, permanent
yarn discoloration may result, which gives the first rule in safe spot removal: Never use hard surface
cleaners or laundry cleaners on carpeting. Use only cleaners designed for carpet but if your carpeting
is stain-resist nylon, even more restrictions apply.
What makes stain-resist nylon an exception? Nylon is superior to all other synthetic yarns, save for one respect: Itís more susceptible to permanent stains
from fugitive, acid dyes. Since most food dyes are acidic, this single weakness can become significant, especially
in homes where people consume foodstuffs over carpeting. So, to help control nylonís affinity for acid dyes, some
fibre mills apply dye blocker to their nylon goods. Nylon carpeting, so treated, is called stain-resist nylon.
What is dye blocker? Dye blocker is a colourless dye applied to nylon for the sole purpose of plugging the
dye sites - not unlike putting a cork in a bottle rendering the yarn far less susceptible to discoloration from
foreign, acidic dyes. However, dye blocker is prone to yellow when high pH cleaners are applied.
What is pH? pH is a symbol for percent hydrogen and the pH scale is a rating system for measuring acid and
alkaline strength. The pH scale is numbered from zero to fourteen and is divided in the middle. Seven, the centre
point, is neutral, neither acid nor alkaline and is the equivalent of distilled water. A rating that falls below
7 is an acid; above, an alkaline. As the rating descends from neutral 7, 6, 5, 4 the stronger the acid becomes,
with zero being the strongest acid possible. As the rating ascends 8, 9, 10 the stronger the alkaline becomes,
with fourteen being the strongest alkaline possible.
Because of dye blockerís inclination to yellow when a strong, alkaline cleaner is applied, carpet and fibre mills
do not recommend cleaners with a higher pH alkaline rating than 10. Some restrict the pH to 9.5.
How can I know what the pH is? Sometimes the pH is indicated on the container. Avoid cleaners that donít specify
They could exceed acceptable limitations.
While there are a few acid cleaners around, most, by far, are alkaline, because alkaline cuts soil more efficiently.
Further, when one considers the very wide variety of soils that accumulate in carpeting (to say nothing of quantity)
one can well imagine that chemical strength can influence soil cutting efficiency. Some cleaning chemical manufacturers
will boost pH to increase efficiency, making the product unsafe for stain-resist nylon.
Can cleaning agent yellowing be corrected? Maybe; but there are too many variables to say for sure, for example,
some people use carpet cleaning chemicals irresponsibly, operating in the belief that,
if a little is good, more is better! Consequently, they apply an excessive quantity that becomes virtually
impossible to retrieve. (Add water, you get suds. Add more water, you get more suds.) When the cause is not removable,
the problem is unsolvable. In this instance, the discoloration is permanent. When a minimal quantity of
a strong cleaner has been applied, it may be possible to restore the carpet colour if you call Breeze Carpet and Lounge
Steam Cleaners. .
Carpet or hard surface flooring, which is really best?
The answer might surprise you. Many home owners are learning how expensive short sightedness can be.
However, many others still donít know the whole story: For many years, the popularity of hard-surface
floors were abounding as carpet sales dropped. However, carpet sales have been on the
Why the turnaround? The two primary reasons many people went to hard surfaces were:
Ease of maintenance. Sweep it, mop it and forget it Ö so they thought. And with hard surfaces, they no longer
had to endure the ugly, dirty pathways associated with carpeting.
Once hard surfaces were installed, they no longer had to be concerned with
replacing them, at least not for a very long time. So, the additional expense seemed worth it. However, once they had spent
far more money (than carpet) buying stone, ceramic tile, hardwood and other hard surface types, many people found that
their insights were not all that insightful: They discovered that: Hard surface floors accumulate soils just like carpeting. They found that many hard surface types were just as difficult
(if not more) to clean than carpet. Simply mopping the floors didnít remove the ugly dirt that had collected in crevices
and grout lines.
They also now had a noise pollution problem in their homes. Quieter,
previously carpeted rooms suddenly became nosier because hard surfaces didnít absorb sound.
The likelihood of physical injuries from falls was greater, having no carpet and pad,
no softness under foot and they found that there was the possibility of more falls from coming indoors with damp shoe
leather on rainy days. Children and the elderly could be injured.
There were no excessively soiled carpet pathways, however now the soils were distributed
equally all over the house.
Indoor air quality dropped and allergy problems increased significantly.
Air currents created by foot traffic and air handling systems stirred settled dust back into the air, while carpeting did
a better job of holding it in place. People found that they couldnít sweep their hard surfaces but had to mop, because
sweeping stirred dust into the air. Due to this flooring maintenance increased from a weekly vacuum of carpets to a daily
need to sweep or mop the hard surface flooring. Additionally costs to maintain air ducts and filters also increased.
When it became time to have a professional person deal with hard floor cleaning or restoring they also
discovered that the costs of such procedures were much higher than maintaining carpeting.
While their hard surfaces endured longer than carpet; when some people got bored of the same dťcor
changing out the expensive hard surface flooring was going to be a costly venture. Yes, they could buy new furniture and
drapes but these new furnishing somehow didnít look all that new in a room with old floors (that they were tired of
looking at but had spent untold thousands more to install or replace compared to carpeting).
It appears that carpeting offers far more advantages than hard surfaces,
which explains the increase in carpet sales. Still, itís also obvious that hard or soft there is no final solution
to the floor-maintenance problem.