Stain protector is a coating that is applied to clean rugs and textiles, this coating doesn’t interact with the rug instead it interacts with the fibres that make up the rug at a molecular level, and helps prevent permanent staining. It also makes it far easier to clean up spot spills and general dirt.
Protector is completely invisible and doesn’t change the look or the feel of your rug at all. Experienced weavers that handle wool all day long can’t tell the difference between fibres that have been protected and those that haven’t. If someone spills something on your rug and then steps on it, your rug will certainly get dirty nothing can prevent that; but a protected rug will clean up easier and will be far less likely to have a permanent stain than an unprotected one.
When rugs get dirty or if there’s a spill it works its way in between the fibres of the rug, that’s not a problem because that can be cleaned out. The problem occurs when the fibres of the rug become stained with something in the spill. When everything is cleaned out from between the fibres there are sometimes stains left behind that have re-dyed the fibres, those stains are now a permanent part of the rug and only expensive reweaving or re-dyeing the rug can sometimes fix the damage.
Many rugs are given up or sold because of issues with appearance, not because the rug is worn out. Good rugs can last hundreds of years but if they look terrible people often don’t want them anymore. Spills should always be cleaned up immediately or as soon as possible and from a practical standpoint what protector does is buy you time. If you have a spill you have a little more time to clean it up before it penetrates the fibres, and possibly becomes a permanent stain. This is especially true for situations involving pet urine, urine is extremely aggressive to fibres and can stain fibres even if protector has been applied. That’s why it’s important to clean up urine stains within 30 minutes using a diluted vinegar solution. If you have any questions about how to do this, give us a call and we’ll be happy to talk you through it.
Protector also makes it harder for dirt to stain your rug. Spots clean up easier and studies show that regular vacuuming is more effective when protector has been applied. If your rug isn’t regularly vacuumed you might not notice this. If your rug is regularly maintained, you’ll likely notice a decreased need for cleaning. Protector really isn’t meant to keep your rug from getting dirty, what protector does is make it far easier to clean up. Protector does cost extra but compared to the cost of a rug, or even just the cost of cleaning it’s inexpensive. As rug cleaners, we hate to see beautiful pieces of textile art that took months to make by hand ruined because of permanent stains. This is why we not only recommend protectors for all of our clients, but we use it on our own personal rugs as well, because we believe it works.
If you have any questions about protector or any other questions about your rugs, give us a call or complete our contact form and we’ll be happy to help.