Olefin Carpet Cleaning


This is a synthetic fiber with an amazing ability to resist stains. It is solution dyed. This means when the clear pellets (about the size of bb shot) are melted to go through the spinneret (like water going thru a shower head) and are extruded (pushed thru holes) into a fiber, colored pellets are added prior to the meltdown. This melting of the white pellets and the color pellets (pigment) together, is called solution dying. The color is now locked into the fiber.

Most stains clean off olefin due its lack of absorbency. This fiber absorbs one-tenth of 1% its weight in moisture. It's basically a type of plastic.

Solution dying is the only way it can be colored. After the fiber is made, it won't accept dye.

It does not need a stain resist (acid dyes) treatment; it is stain resistant on its own. A problem is, it's an oily fiber that attracts oil. Sticky clear plastic runners, left too long have been known to leave a slight stickiness on the fiber that can be impossible to remove.

Duct tape can be another issue.


Because it loves oil, olefin carpet prespray is recommended. It does a better job of removing oily soil from this fiber than presprays made for stain resist nylon carpet. In fact, olefin prespray is not meant for use on fifth generation nylon carpet.


Cleaning olefin carpet can be an easy job, but it has a wick back issue, which can sometimes be a problem. Prespray can go down, the non absorbent fiber, to the backing and mix with, spilled, staining material already there. The staining material wicks up, with the moisture, to the top of the fiber. You now can have stains, on the olefin carpet surface, that weren’t there before, that "wicked" up, while the fiber was damp!


There are several ways to combat this.

1. Good vacuuming.

2. Use less prespray, than with nylon. Nylon will absorb more.

3.Turn down water pressure, if using hot water extraction. Don’t push things down, pull them up.

4 .If hot water extracting, dry stroke immediately, before the moisture goes down the fiber.

5. Encapsulation can be a good choice as it, usually, contains an anti wicking ingredient. Be careful, of brush machines. This fiber melts with very little friction.

6.Another method, is spray the carpet with Encapuguard, by Bridgepoint, after cleaning, which can help prevent wickback. (also called wicking)


One last problem; crushing of the berber loops, in walkways. The crushed loops will reflect light differently and give an illusion of “apparent soiling”, that may not be soil, just light being reflected different than non crushed loops.

Olefin berber is great for kids play rooms, rent houses and anyone with dogs and cats. This carpet fiber is virtually stain proof. Just be ready to qualify some crushing of loops, making dark walkways and some oily soil issues, once in a while and work on preventing wick back.


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                Dennis Klager






Copyright 2012 by Dennis Klager