It is pretty obvious that the carpets and upholstery at your home or office space require regular maintenance. Scrubbing and vacuuming constitute only a part of this maintenance routine; you must also use a fabric protector spray at least once a month for maximum benefit.
Commonly known as a carpet protectant or a fabric stain protector spray, it helps in the long-term care of carpets and rugs, besides upholstery. When used properly and according to the directions provided on the label, these protectants ensure your expensive carpets, sofas, divans, automotive interiors, and even canvas-based products retain their shine for years.
But how does such a carpet protector work? Are they DIY-friendly, or do you require a carpet-cleaning agency to use them on your behalf?
This next section deals with several aspects of sprays available in the market to protect your fabrics.
Mechanism of action
Most of the best fabric protector sprays available in the United States and worldwide are a mixture of several chemicals. These include sodium hydroxide, hydrogen peroxide, some surfactants (foaming materials), and added fragrances.
These products are FDA-approved for domestic use. Note that there are a few brands that contain bleach as an ingredient. You should stay away from them.
When a layer of the protectant is applied, it forms an invisible shield by binding the numerous fibers together. It also transforms the natural quality of the carpet or the upholstery by making it more hydrophobic, meaning that it will repel water automatically.
By repelling water (and any other liquid), a fabric stain protector spray prevents:
- Soiling: Accidental spillage of wine, food, coffee, and edibles is known for leaving behind marks that are difficult to remove. Thanks to the hydrophobic nature of the protectant, these liquids cannot penetrate the top layers of the carpet.
It gives you more time to wipe and clean the area. Essentially, when you start using any of the premium sprays, you can say goodbye to permanent stains!
- Settling of dirt particles: Another lesser-known advantage of using a fabric protection spray is that it helps trap microscopic dirt particles on the topmost layers of carpets, rugs, and upholstery. They can later be removed using a vacuum cleaner.
This action assumes great significance when you have pets or kids running around. Without the spray, the particulates will sink deeper and become practically impossible to get rid of.
- Surface abrasions: Regular use of a good quality spray will help you clear up dry spills and smudges quickly. Without the aid of the spray, you would have to use a rough-edged scrubber with plenty of detergent powder and even some bleach to get rid of these unseemly spots.
Scrubbing hard (and aimlessly, which most of us tend to do) harms the surface of expensive rugs, spreads, and other fabrics.
The sodium hydroxide (and often isopropanol) present in the best protection sprays prevent dry spills from hardening due to the exposure to air. This means you will have enough time to use a mild carpet cleaning fluid and get the job done.
Additional benefits of a fabric protector spray
There are two other advantages which must be mentioned.
- Using a high-quality fabric stain protector spray is also hygienic. Its composition is anti-microbial and reduces the chances of fungal and bacterial infections in heavy rugs, especially since the innermost layers are laden with moisture.
If you are prone to dirt allergies, cleaning all the mats and rugs at both home and office is recommended by physicians.
Plus, if your expensive rugs, curtains, patio furniture, and even leather bags and clutches are mold-prone, consider using a branded fabric protector.
You will notice a difference in a few weeks.
- Applying a few layers of the spray leaves behind a pleasant fragrance that is certainly a value addition. Note that fragrance-free sprays are available too.
A few last words
You can try applying the spray yourself if the carpet is small and without considerable spillage, smudge, or layers of dirt. However, bigger (and more expensive) ones require a professional cleaner to finish the entire process.
A patch test is a must before you begin.
Above all, remember that a fabric protector spray cannot act as a magical cleaning agent. You will have to be careful as well!