The Difference Between Carpet Fibers: What You Need To Know

Carpet offers a soft, comfortable and attractive flooring choice that is very popular in American homes, and there are a range of different synthetic and natural carpet fibers to choose from. Each carpet fiber type offers different characteristics and requires different methods of care and cleaning to provide beautiful results in your home. Here we take a closer look at 4 of the major carpet fiber choices available in the U.S., their strengths and weaknesses and how to clean your carpet fiber type more effectively and safely according to it’s characteristics.


Nylon is one of the most popular choices of carpet fiber, with over 65% of the carpet in the U.S. being made from nylon. The advantages of nylon fiber carpet include its durability and performance, with resiliency that will allow it to spring back, and amazing abrasion resistance that gives a guarantee your nylon carpet will last longer than any other fiber. Nylon carpet fiber is also easy to clean. It hides dirt well, giving a spotless look and feel even between cleans, and responds very well to most professional cleaning methods and treatments, drying in no time and springing back to its original condition.

One of the issues with nylon carpets is that they are often acid dyed for their coloring, which can make them susceptible to issues with bleaching, fading and stains from acidic substances like urine and spilt drinks. A professional carpet cleaner can help to safely remove stains from nylon carpet and provide the ultimate care for this popular flooring choice.

Olefin (Polypropylene)

The demand for Olefin carpet fibers is one of the fastest growing today due to its low price. Because olefin is dyed before it’s made into a fiber, it’s extremely stain resistant to dye-related stains.  However, it is also made from oil based chemicals which makes it very susceptible to great and oil stains.  In fact, you should avoid having it in the dining room or hallways leading to the garage.  In addition, olefin is more crush and heat prone than other carpet fibers, and even the friction of furniture being dragged across it can be enough to cause damage.

It’s also very resistant to water, which makes it challenging to clean.   As a result, cleaning the carpet can be tricky and will require professional carpet cleaner to get them out.


The popularity of polyester carpet goes up and down, however because of the beautiful color options available for this carpet and its relatively low cost it’s still frequently chosen today. Polyester carpets offer excellent stain and fade resistance, and it’s quick drying so it’s easy to clean.

However, polyester carpet is susceptible to crushing, pilling and shedding, and isn’t as resilient as other fibers. Oil based stains can really wreak havoc on this carpet fiber but it responds well to professional carpet cleaning and can even be enhanced by stain removal treatments.


Wool remains the premier and traditional favourite of carpet choices, but it’s price is out of reach for many. While the synthetics aim to mimic the qualities of wool, none can get all of them right, and wool retains high quality and performance for resilience, durability, color and response to cleaning.

However, wool is very expensive and requires maintenance, particularly mothproofing. It has a tendency to wear down as well as being slightly more prone to stains, so it’s ideal if wool carpet cleaning is conducted by professionals. Because wool can hold a lot of moisture it’s also prone to shrinking, as well as mold and mildew which can cause odors, so odor removal may also be necessary for wool carpets.

With this guide to 4 of the most popular carpet fibers, you can choose the right carpet for your home, and the most effective cleaning technique for your carpet choice.


Don’t Touch Another Carpet Stain Until You Read This!

The scenario is all too familiar. You’re sitting in the living room, entertaining friends, and someone has a spill on your carpet. You spring to the rescue to try to blot up the excess …but now what? Do you dab, blot, put vinegar on it, bleach it? The moments just after a spill and your actions could be what determines whether your carpet is left with a permanent stain. Remember, staining is influenced by many factors and no carpet is completely stain proof.

What you need to know:

What type of fiber is the carpet made from? Knowing the type of carpet fiber greatly helps you when selecting the type of spot and stain removing solutions you want to use. Most carpet (60%) sold in the USA is Nylon or Synthetic Fiber. This type of fiber is fairly stain resistant and many of the cleaning/spotting solutions sold through your local retail stores are made for these carpets. Wool/Natural fibers are more sensitive to stains and over the counter cleaning products. Yes, there are variations and brand names that will confuse this issues, but what you really care to know is if the carpet fiber is a synthetic (man-made fiber) or natural.

What was spilled?

Knowing what was spilled on the carpet will help you determine what approach and the types of spotting or stain removing solutions you might select to remove or reduce the likely hood of residual staining or permanent damage.

Spot Removal Steps:

Blot: Never scrub carpet fibers, as this can cause permanent damage to the carpet fibers. If you have solid or semi-solids in, scrape/remove them up with a spatula or spoon. Blot up the liquid with a dry, white, absorbent cloth or white (no print) paper towels. We suggest fold the cloth/ towel(s) to increase the absorbency. (Hint: Applying downward pressure to the cloth/towel will improve absorption. Step or the cloth/towel will help with downward pressure. Change to dry cloth/towel frequently).

Pretest any spot removal solution in an inconspicuous area to make certain it will not damage the dyes or carpet fibers. (Hint… Closet or hidden corner)

Apply a small amount of the cleaning solution to a clean white cloth/towel, and work the solution in to the affected area….gently. Work from the edge of the spill to the center to prevent the spill from spreading. If the spill is large, work with a small portion of the stain and test the result.  Let the spotting solution sit for about 10 minutes and blot-transfer the spill to a dry clean white cloth/towel. Be patient, as the removal or the spill may require repeating the same step several times.

Rinse: After the spill has been removed, rinse the affected area thoroughly with cold water and blot with a dry cloth/towel.

Spot/Stain Removal Guide: Go to There is a published guide that can assist you in selecting the appropriate solution for removing various spots and stains.

Call a Professional Carpet Cleaner if you have any doubt or require professional assistance.

Spotting Solutions to have on hand: Make your own and save $$$$$$$$$$:

Detergent Solution: Mix ¼ teaspoon of clear Dawn liquid dish soap with 1 cup of warm water. Caution: Do not use dishwasher detergent, laundry detergent, bleach, as these cleaning products are not made for carpets and will affect the color and dyes.

White Vinegar Solution: Mix 1 cup of white vinegar (NOT WINE) with 1 cup of water.

Although it’s easy to overreact when a spill occurs and run for the bottle of bleach, avoiding cleaning a stain yourself could be the best thing you do for your carpet. If your carpet is an investment you want to preserve and protect, call in the professional carpet cleaners to get the best stain removal results and to extend the life of your carpet