Carpet Cleaning: Olefin Carpets
Posted by Konstantin at October 29th, 2014
Okotoks carpet cleaning: Polypropylene also commonly known as olefin is the chemical name for a thermoplastic synthetic polymer that is used to make carpets suited for low traffic areas. It is the second most widely used synthetic carpet fiber used after nylon. There are several reasons for the use of this fiber, some of which are mentioned below. It is important to remember that this fiber is not a completely awesome choice when it comes to durability. However, it has its own advantages.
SIMILARITY TO WOOL
Due to its similarity in appearance to wool, olefin is often used to make are rugs (something that is commonly made using a woolen fiber). It is also commonly used to make a looped berber style carpet. A looped berber style carpet is simply a carpet woven in looped patterns. The term ‘berber’ comes from an indigenous African tribe, the Berber who created handwoven textiles using loops and knots.
Olefin is a water resistant fiber and therefore a good choice for rugs that should be kept outside the bathroom for drying your feet. It is also a good choice for any damp areas such as basements since the chemical structure of the fibre moves the moisture towards the tip of the strand. The fiber dries quickly and discourages the growth of mildew and moss.
PROPENSITY TO GETTING DIRTY
Olefin is a hydrophobic fiber (fibers that are water resistant or not water absorbent). Due to this property olefin carpets are solution dyed. This means that color is added into the fiber during production itself which reduces the sites on which stains can get attached. To understand this concept even more lucidly, imagine a cotton cloth with a number of pores in it. Now place that cloth into a bucket of red dye. Keep it for a couple of hours. When you take out the cloth it will appear to be red. But this kind of dyeing only occurs on the surface and does not go deep into the fiber because of this there will be empty ‘unpainted’ pores which can soak color from drinks and get stains very easily when a spill occurs. Since olefin fibers are solution dyed, they do not have these empty pores or open sites for stains to get attached to making it an extremely stain resistant (only for non oily or greasy stains) fibers.
However, it is also oleophilic, i.e, oil loving. In fact it is used to soak up oil in places where oil spills have occurred meaning that it is not at all resistant to stains caused by oil based products.
In general, these fibers are not easy to clean and tend to get dirty very easily causing streaks and dirt spots to reappear even after cleaning. These are not meant to be used as home beautification rugs and are meant for utilitarian purposes.
As the carpet is solution dyed, it is extremely colorfast and discoloration will generally not happen. It is also tolerant towards UV rays so exposure to sunlight does not cause much harm.
This is not a “bulletproof” fibre or carpet that you can hope to pass on to your generations after generations. They have “warmth”, IE, they provide heat without being extremely heavy. It is not as resilient as nylon and is therefore produced in looped weaving fashion as opposed the traditional “bounce-back” manner required by cut piles. It is therefore mostly used for low traffic areas. The common way of creating olefin carpets is in the “berber” style as discussed above. Due to its abrasion resistance, sunlight , water and fire resistance you maybe misled into thinking that it is an extremely strong and resilient fiber. But this is not so. It is best suited as a bathroom or basement rug due to its ability to absorb moisture.
Although less expensive than nylon fibers, the cost of cleaning olefin fibers is high as they require special chemicals that do not contain oil. Oil containing cleaning solutions will not work in favor of keeping the fiber clean.
I hope all of you living in Okotoks enjoyed our article. For more articles on carpets and how to clean them stay tuned to this site. If you need us to help you out with your cleaning, feel free to call us for a bid.