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Carpet Chemistry 101

All carpet care professionals have had customers who have stubborn stains in their carpet. New or old, the stains are hardy and getting rid of them is certainly a chore. We know you want to keep your home or office clean and healthy, and wince when wine, soda or a pet makes a stain on the carpet. After you finish cussing you wonder why do carpets accept stains so easily? Why are some easier to get out than others? It all boils down to chemistry.

Carpet Chemistry 101 Carpet is made from a man made fiber called olefin or polypropylene. There's a chance the carpet is made from another fiber but the majority of the time it's olefin. It's a super durable material and can withstand quite a bit of regular daily abuse. However, in the case of a glass of red or a puppy accident, the fibers show some abuse.

Dye Sites All carpet is coloured with dye. The dye site is where the colour sits on the carpet. The problem with dyes and liquids that stain is a matter of "opposites attract". Dyes have a negative charge and liquids often have a positive charge. Just like love at first site, the dyes and liquids bond as they meet. The Intervening Carpet Cleaner The commercial three step cleaning process: hot water, clean and agitate, are like a new love interest. It breaks up the two colours and take away the foreign colour. As the carpet dries the colour returns. Unfortunately, a dye site only has a finite number of times it can expand or contract before eventually it loses the ability to do so. In the real world, this means that you’ve only got one or two real shots to get the stain out before it sets.

If all that stuff about “dye sites” and “expanding/contracting” made your head spin a bit don’t sweat it. The good news is that you can deal with most stains out yourself if you a) react fast enough, and b) haven’t stained that area of carpet repeatedly before. Quick action is always the best solution. Clean the spot with water and blot dry. This will hold you over until a professional can come and take over. It may be a particularly stubborn stain, but we at Corner 2 Corner Cleaning may be able to help you remove the stain completely. Call us as soon as you find a stain you can't get out.

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