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How much protection does stain-free carpet offer?

Stain-free carpet sounds too good to be true - does such a thing exist and can it really stand up to the trials of family life? Well, read on...

There are an array of stain-free carpets on the market all equipped with stain barriers to protect against unwanted spills. The Abingdon Flooring brand offers a comprehensive range of 'stainfree' carpets, all of which are covered by a lifetime guarantee against all food and drink stains. Hard-wearing, with all the comfort and style of a normal carpet, they are perfect for busy homes and everyday living.

StainAway from Associated Weavers offers reliable carpet without the hefty pricetag and comes with a 15-year stain and wear warranty. Protected with top performing polypropylene Stainguard XL, all StainAway Twist carpets are anti-static, non-fading and suitable for underfloor heating.

Belgian manufacturers Lano offer stain resistant finishes on even their entry level carpets, which come with a whopping 10-year stain warranty, whilst Victoria Carpets' EasiCare uses 2ply polypropylene technology, helping it retain its appearance longer than the average carpet. Other manufacturers offering stain-free ranges include Cormar Carpets and Regency Carpets.

So how does it work?

Coated with a shielding finish such as Abingdon's innovative 'Aqua Pro-Tec' coating - stain-free carpet is defended by a protective barrier, meaning any liquid spilt will sit on top of the carpet and not soak in. Quick cleaning will then prevent lasting damage, and in most cases soaking up the errant liquid with a kitchen towel will do the trick. Red wine, coffee, felt tip pen or dog wee can all be lifted off with ease.

Made from polypropylene, the carpet's fibres have a built-in resistance to liquids, dust and dirt, thus protecting against everyday soiling. Suitable for many areas of the home, these carpets could be laid in the lounge, dining room, study, hall, stairs, landing or bedroom.

A little bit of housekeeping is still needed - sorry

Despite incredible stain resistant properties, all carpets do get a little dirty under normal use, so stain-free products will still need regular care and cleaning to keep them looking at their best. Simple maintenance is all that's needed to achieve this.

It's recommended to vacuum frequently to reduce soil accumulation and prolong the life of your carpet. Pay particular attention to high-traffic areas, cleaning these areas when they begin to look soiled. For cut pile carpets it's best to use an upright cleaner with an active beater bar or roller to help loosen and lift soil from the pile. Loop pile carpets are ideally maintained using a suction cleaner. Tackling the dirt early stops it spreading around the house or getting ingrained; make sure to clean those well-used areas around entrances, doorways and favourite chairs, as well as 'traffic lanes'.

Cleaning up accidents

The protective coating gives you more time to clean up those everyday mishaps. However, you should always endeavour to clean up spills and stains immediately. Even with stain-protected carpet it's best to soak up any spillages as soon as possible, rather than leaving them for a few days. The longer a stain is left, the more chance it has to react chemically with the carpet fibres, making it much harder to permanently remove. Most stain-free carpets can be cleaned with household bleach, diluted in equal parts with water.  We would advise testing a small, discreet area of your carpet first before applying a diluted bleach clean to the affected area. There are many professional cleaning products available on the market, none more effective than our very own Stikatak Carpet Stain Remover.

It is recommended to periodically clean the entire carpet to remove build-up of airborne dust and oils, using a specially formulated cleaner developed for your specific carpet. A professional cleaner should be able to advise you with this, or even do the job for you! 

In the tricky occurrence of a particularly nasty stain that cannot be removed by professional cleaning, the Abingdon Lifetime guarantee still covers against all food and drink stains, meaning the carpet will be replaced free of charge. It is important to follow a regular maintenance programme to keep your carpet looking fresh and under a valid warranty. Other manufacturers such as Lano and Victoria Carpets' offer reassuring 10-year guarantees for stains.

So what can't stain-free carpet be protected from?

Well there's very little that can't be got out with the right cleaning methods, and the cleverly protected surface of stain-free carpets give you a leg-up in the cleaning regime. However it's worth being aware of the following:

Naughty cats, dogs and house rabbits using their teeth or claws - this can damage the fibres in the carpet, and potentially the coating, making it vulnerable to stains.

Using the wrong type of cleaning agent - this could damage the factory applied coating so it's best to use a professional company if you're unsure. For regular spillages, household bleach works a treat!

Rampaging elephants - nothing can protect against these.

While no carpet is absolutely stain-proof, polypropylene carpets certainly make those pesky unpredictable spills much less terrifying and give you peace of mind guaranteed.