When looking into carpet cleaning services for your home, one option that you may come across is carpet stain protectors. Many carpet cleaning companies will apply one to your carpet after shampooing it. You may be able to add the protector as an additional service, or it might be included in your company's standard cleaning package. But to know whether or not a carpet protector is the right choice for you, you'll need to learn a bit more about these products.
What are stain protectors?
Stain protectors are chemical preparations that are sprayed onto a carpet. They adhere to the carpet fibers, forming a sort-of coating. This coating is intended to stop liquids, like spilled coffee, from permeating all of the way into your carpet fibers and permanently staining them. Your carpet cleaning company can apply the stain protector with a simple air spraying device as soon as they're finished shampooing and extracting water from the carpet.
What are the benefits of a stain protector?
Stain protectors do reduce your chances of discoloring your carpet. If you spill something and are careful to blot it up quickly, you may prevent a stain entirely. In the worst case scenario, some of the liquid will still seep through, but the stain should be less vibrant than if you were to have spilled onto an untreated carpet.
If you have kids or pets, a stain protector may mean the difference between having a heavily stained carpet and one that still looks presentable in a few years. It can also give you some peace of mind, allowing you to enjoy beverages and food in your living room or other carpeted rooms with less concern.
Are there downfalls to stain protectors?
Carpet stain protectors are not impervious to failure. They can wear off in areas of heavy foot traffic, and then your carpet will be more prone to stains again. Also, liquids do slowly seep through them, so if something is spilled and left for a while before you soak it up, you'll still have a stain.
Some carpet stain protectors also give the carpet a somewhat stiff texture. If you enjoy sitting or lying on the carpet, this may make your carpet less appealing. On longer-fibered shag carpets, a protector may completely disrupt the original texture since so much of it has to be used to coat the long fibers.
If your carpet cleaning company offers a stain protector, know that it is a good option for keeping your carpet clean – but it's not a 100% effective solution, and it does have a few minor drawbacks to consider.