What are Soil Retardant Carpets?

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  • Written By: Malcolm Tatum
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 12 September 2019
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Common for many producers today, soil retardant carpets are simply carpeting that has been treated with a chemical finish that helps the fibers within the weave of the carpet to resist stains and discoloration. By creating a layer between dirt, liquids, and other substances that could soak into the carpet fiber, the soil retardant process helps to lengthen the life of the carpeting. The added protection that is present due to the chemical treatments also makes maintenance of the carpet much easier.

Many people assume that a soil retardant carpet will remain resistant to soiling for a number of years. The truth is that the combination of regular wear, vacuuming, and periodic steam cleaning will slowly wear off the protective coating. This means that it is necessary to introduce a new layer of protectants from time to time in order to allow soil retardant carpets to maintain the same level of resistance to deep soils and stains.

Another misconception about soil retardant carpets is that the resistance is strong enough to allow long periods of time to pass before addressing the dirt or liquid that is deposited on the carpet surface. While the layer of chemical protecting agents will delay the foreign substance from soaking into the fibers of the carpet, the action will not prevent staining. Cleaning the area with immediately is the only means of ensuring that soil retardant carpets maintain their appearance.


Just about all types of carpeting sold today have some type of stain or soil protection treatment before leaving the factory. Some of the exact formulas for protection are patented and have name brands that are familiar to many consumers. In other instances, manufacturers will use stain and soil resisting compounds that are developed in house, rather than relying upon one of the better-known name brands.

Soil retardant carpets are especially attractive for public buildings and high traffic areas in homes. Once considered to be an expensive option, treating carpeting for resistance to stains is a very common practice with wall to wall carpeting, as well as some brands of area rugs. As a result, there are a number of soil retardant carpets on the market today that are affordably prices, and available in retail establishments ranging from discount stores to high end floor covering shops.


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