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Cleaning Synthetic Carpets and Rugs

Cleaning Synthetic Carpets and Rugs

Home » Tips and Articles » Cleaning Synthetic Carpets and Rugs
Cleaning a synthetic carpet

How to Keep Your Synthetic Carpets and Rugs Clean, Fresh, and Inviting

No matter what type of synthetic fiber your carpets and rugs are, proper cleaning and care not only enhances the look of your carpet but can help prevent premature wear. All synthetic fiber is not created the same, and each material requires its own unique cleaning methods, even when it comes to vacuuming. Let’s look at how to keep your synthetic carpets and rugs clean and looking good.

Nylon Carpets and Rugs

Nylon is the most popular fiber for synthetic carpets and rugs. It is estimated that two thirds of synthetic carpets sold are nylon. It is stain resistant, static free, and retains its pile height extremely well. However, you need to use proper care to help it maintain these qualities.

General Care:
  • Vacuum at a minimum, weekly, and more often in high traffic areas.
  • Use a soft bristle beater bar in the vacuum. Hard bristles can cause fuzzing.
  • For area rugs, flip them over and vacuum the underside as well.

It is recommended that you get your nylon carpet professionally cleaned at least every year.

Spill and Stain Care:
  • Immediately blot up or remove as much of the stain or spill as possible, using a clean white cloth. You can also use a wet dry vac.
  • Wet but do not saturate the area with warm, not hot water.
  • Blot up excess moisture until the stain is removed.
  • If the stain persists or reappears, use a mixture of ¼ teaspoon dish detergent and 1 cup warm water. Rinse with warm water and blot. Repeat until all the detergent is gone.
  • Area rugs can be machine washed on the gentle cycle at home or in a large commercial machine at your local laundry mat.

Polyester Carpets and Rugs

Polyester rugs are affordable, stain resistant and great in high-spill areas. However, dirt and debris can damage the carpet fibers, so routine carpet maintenance is a must.

General Care:
  • If the rug is small enough, shake it outside before you vacuum.
  • Vacuum at a minimum, weekly, and 3-4 times a week in high-traffic areas.
  • If possible, vacuum both sides of the rug.
  • For shag rugs, disable or remove the beater bar and vacuum with suction only.
  • It is recommended that you get your polyester carpet deep cleaned by professionals yearly.
Spill and Stain Care:
  • Immediately blot up or remove as much of the spot or spill as possible with a white towel or paper towels.
  • Put a few drops of dish detergent in a cup of cool water and blot on the spot with a clean sponge. Don’t rub.
  • Clean the sponge and repeat until the stain is gone.
  • Rinse the area with cool water until the soap is all gone.
  • Let dry completely before you use it again.
  • Area rugs can be machine washed on the cold water cycle at home or in a large commercial machine at your local laundry mat.

Olefin Carpets and Rugs

Olefin carpets are fade and moisture resistant. They also dry very quickly after cleaning due to their moisture and stain resistance. One thing to keep in mind is olefin fiber has a low melting point starting at 225 degrees, so be careful with heat treatments.

General Care:
  • Vacuum at a minimum, weekly, but more frequently is preferred.
  • If possible, vacuum both sides of the rug.
  • Steam cleaning is not recommended for Olefin rugs. It can discolor or damage the fibers.
  • Dry cleaning is fine for these types of rugs. There are DIY kits on the market, or you can contact us.
Spill and Stain Care:
  • Immediately blot up or remove as much of the spot or spill as possible, using a clean white cloth.
  • Spray the area with a commercial carpet cleaner and let it dry. Then vacuum the area.
  • Always blot with a clean, white cloth and allow the rug to dry completely before walking on it or brushing up the pile.
  • Olefin area rugs can be machine washed on the cool water cycle at home or in a large commercial machine at your local laundry mat.
  • If the spot or spill is oil based, you may need the help of a professional, as oil-based material is very difficult to remove from Olefin fiber.

Triexta Carpets and Rugs

Triexta is still a rather new material for carpets and rugs. When seeking a carpet cleaning professional, be sure to ask if they are knowledgeable about Triexta.

General Care:
  • Vacuum weekly, but in high traffic areas, more frequently.
  • Set the beater bar at high height to help prevent fuzzing of the fiber.
  • Get the carpet professionally cleaned every 12-18 months.
Spill and Stain care:
  • Blot immediately with white paper towels.
  • Do not scrub, as this may cause fuzzing.
  • Spray with cold water and blot from the outside to the middle of the stain or spill.
  • Repeat until the stain is gone.
  • Press dry by layering white paper towels over the area and pressing in place with a flat weight until dry.
  • If the spill area is large, you can use a wet/dry vac.

Wall-to-wall carpets and area rugs can add so much to the décor and warmth of your home.


By Sharon Koehler. This article is one of a series of articles written and published on behalf of SurpHaces PRO Partners.

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