If you take good care of your carpet, it can last for the life of your home. This means being very careful to protect it from spills and vacuuming at least once a week. But let’s be realistic… in a busy home, we don’t always stick to a cleaning schedule, and we have accidents.
The desire to protect your carpet from inevitable spills and stains may make you consider using a carpet protectant on your carpet, but you aren’t exactly sure what they are, what they do, and if they are worth the price. Well, we’re here to help!
What They Are
Carpet protectors are available commercially and through your professional carpet cleaning company as well. If you are working with a carpet cleaning company, you can ask them what brands they use and what they’d recommend for your particular carpet.
If you are buying one to apply yourself, you have many brands to choose from. Scotchgard is probably the most popular brand name associated with carpet and upholstery protection. DuPont makes a good one, too. Other reputable brands include Prochem, KleenRight, KleenGuard, Matrix and MasterBlend. These products range widely in price, and all will need special equipment – at least a clean, empty spray bottle – for application if you do it yourself.
What They Do
Carpet protectors extend the life of your carpet in a few ways.
First, they resist stains by coating the fibers. When you spill something or a pet has an accident on unprotected carpet, the mess immediately begins soaking into the deepest parts of your carpet. A protector will buy you some time to clean up the mess before it gets set into the carpet and carpet backing.
Also, a carpet protector repels dust and dirt. These things won’t settle down into the carpet fibers if they are coated with a carpet protector. Instead, they will sit on top of the carpet. With regular vacuuming, a carpet protector can help you keep dust and dirt, known for their allergy-inducing properties, out of your home.
Finally, carpet protectors help carpet stand up to heavy traffic and acts as a sunscreen against UV light for carpet that gets a lot of sunlight. These are two of the biggest reasons carpet looks faded and worn out even after only a few years, so protecting it against wear and sunlight can really extend its life.
Are They Worth It?
Carpet protectors are worth the money if you think your carpets may experience above average use, if they are exposed to sunlight, or if your home has a tendency to make messes.
People who choose to use carpet protectors have them applied about as often as they have their carpets cleaned – anywhere from 12 to 24 months.
Most warranties will guarantee new carpet for a certain number of years because it comes with carpet protector already applied. Check your warranty to see how long it recommends waiting before you apply new carpet protector.