Carpet Cleaning: Olefin Carpets
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 fibre used after nylon. There are several reasons for the use of this fibre, some of which are mentioned below. It is important to remember that this fibre 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, the olefin is often used to make are rugs (something that is commonly made using a woollen fibre). 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 fibre 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 fibre dries quickly and discourages the growth of mildew and moss.
PROPENSITY TO GETTING DIRTY
Olefin is a hydrophobic fibre (fibres that are water resistant or not water absorbent). Due to this property olefin carpets are solution dyed. This means that colour is added into the fibre 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 dying only occurs on the surface and does not go deep into the fibre because of this there will be empty ‘unpainted’ pores which can soak colour from drinks and get stains very easily when a spill occurs. Since olefin fibres 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) fibres.
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 fibres 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 colourfast and discolouration 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 may be misled into thinking that it is an extremely strong and resilient fibre. 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 fibres, the cost of cleaning olefin fibres is high as they require special chemicals that do not contain oil. Oil containing cleaning solutions will not work in favour of keeping the fibre 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.