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Facts & Myths About Fabric Protection (And Why You Need the Pros)

If you’re worried about the negative side effects of fabric protection, this guide is busting myths and exposing the truth about protecting your fabric furniture, drapes and more.

There are a lot of rumors about fabric protection that circulate amongst homeowners: “Your carpet will fade if you have carpet protection added after cleaning.” “Protecting your fabric makes your furniture get dirty faster.” And while it’s true that with communication comes knowledge, it’s also true that there’s a lot of false information out there. So how do you tell the difference between facts and baseless rumors? The answer is: with us, you don’t have to! In this article, we’ll deal with the real benefits and drawbacks of fabric protection. Let’s dive in!

Fabric Protection Myths

First off, let’s deal with what’s not true. Here are some common questions we get about fabric protection.

Does Fabric Protection Really Work?

The simple answer is: yes, fabric protection does work. It acts as a shield, enveloping fibers to repel liquids and prevent stains. This invisible barrier doesn’t alter the fabric’s feel or appearance. However, effectiveness varies based on the type of fabric, the quality of the protectant, and the application process. Professional applications, such as those offered by Hammond Knoll, use high-quality protectants tailored for specific fabric types, ensuring optimal effectiveness. These protectants are meticulously applied to cover each fiber, providing comprehensive coverage. In contrast, DIY products may offer varying levels of protection, often dependent on the user’s application skills.

Will it alter the appearance of my fiber or fabric?

Not at all. Contrary to common belief, fabric protection will not make it dull or shiny–it won’t affect its appearance at all. It disappears as soon as it’s applied.

Will my rugs get dirty faster?

No, fabric protection actually does the opposite of attracting soil. It deflects dirt by providing a protective shield around the fibers of the carpet, allowing your vacuum to remove the dirt from the fibers easily. However, if too much fabric protection is applied to the fiber, or an incorrect type of protectant is applied for the fiber type, it can make the fabric sticky, which attracts dirt.

Is it safe for my kids and pets?

Yes, fabric protection is safe for everyone. The protectant is applied by spray and dries quickly, leaving behind no residue. Fabric protection, such as Teflon and Scotchgard, contain no CFC or solvents, which makes it safe for you and your family.

Will my carpet fade after applying fabric protection?

Nope! Fabric protection will not fade carpet, upholstery or rugs. In fact, it does the reverse: it actually adds a layer of protection and helps prevent sun-damage.

Does fabric protection leave behind an odor?

No. Fabric protection is odorless when applied and leaves no scent.

If a wet stain doesn’t bead up, does it mean the protection is gone?

No. When you first wax your car, the water beads up and runs off the hood easily, but it only stays that way for a short period of time. This does not mean that you’ve lost the benefits of the wax. The same way that car wax fades over time, fabric protection fades. Even when you can’t see the physical signs of it, it’s still there.

Should I have all the carpets in my home protected?

There is no reason to have all the areas of your home protected, especially when it comes to carpet and rugs. Fabric protection is pretty much wasted on areas with little traffic, such as guest rooms. On the other hand, family rooms, dining rooms, and kids’ bedrooms are prime for fabric protection. These are the rooms where we most commonly see spots, stains and spills, so they’re important to protect.

Is Fabric Protection Worth It?

Deciding whether fabric protection is worth the investment depends on several factors: the value of the items you’re protecting, and the cost of cleaning and maintaining the fabrics. Fabric protection helps preserve high-quality like carpets, upholstery, and drapes, ensuring they maintain their beauty and functionality for longer, which can be particularly important in high-traffic areas or homes with children and pets. Fabric protection also simplifies cleaning and reduces the need for professional services, ultimately saving money in the long run. Plus, it gives peace of mind, knowing that your furnishings are safeguarded against accidental spills and stains. So, short answer: yes.

The Perks of Fabric Protection

Now that we’ve debunked the myths, let’s look at the benefits of fabric protection. What’s the truth of why you should do it in the first place?
  • It gives you time to clean up spills. The protectant leaves a shield over fabric and fibers that keeps spills from absorbing into the material as quickly. That means you have time to run and grab a towel to blot up a stain before it can soak in.
  • Fabric protection makes the carpet easier to clean, for you and your favorite carpet cleaning company. This is even true for the well-used areas of the home, such as family rooms, dining rooms and halls.
  • It helps to prevent sun-fade on upholstery, rugs and carpet.
  • Fabric protection makes vacuuming more effective. This is because the protectant resists soiling, making it easier for your vacuum cleaner to “suck-up” more dirt, dust, pollen and allergens in the carpet.
  • Your furnishings and carpeting will last longer. That means you won’t have to replace them as frequently.

How Frequently Should Fabric Protection be Applied?

It depends on the type of fiber that’s being treated, but here’s a general guide.

Carpet

There’s no need to have it protected when it’s newly installed. Most carpet manufacturers apply a fabric protection when the fiber is made. However, fabric protection takes about 3-5 years to fade, so if your carpet is older than that, fabric protection might be a good idea. For more information about maintaining your carpet, visit our article here.

Rugs

Wool has a natural soil repellent. Fabric protection is not necessary with a new rug, unless you want extra protection (if your rug is white, for example). A protectant should be applied after each professional cleaning for areas where there may be spots, spills and heavy use.

Upholstery

Unless the fabric has been pre-treated, we highly recommend having a professional apply fabric protection to furniture. It will help protect it from daily use, and those occasions when an “oops” happens.

Final thoughts

Fabric protection–when done professionally and correctly–is a fraction of the cost of the cleaning, and will easily pay for itself by extending the life of your carpet, rugs and upholstery. It will save you from costly replacement, and the best part, leaves you with a clean and healthy home.

Why Trust Hammond Knoll?

Hammond Knoll is a professional carpet cleaning company that can help you keep your carpets looking and smelling new. We use advanced equipment to wash carpet floors and remove dirt. Professional carpet cleaners have the knowledge and expertise needed to provide thorough yet gentle care for all types of carpets in any environment. Contact us today to get started on restoring the beauty of your carpets!

Here at Hammond Knoll, we service Washington cities from Tacoma to Olympia to Puyallup and beyond. Originally published 8/2019, updated 8/2023

What Are the Perks of Fabric Protection?

  1. It gives you time to clean up spills
  2. It makes your carpet easier to clean
  3. It helps to prevent sun fade on upholstery, rugs, and carpet
  4. It makes vacuuming more effective
  5. It makes your carpet and furnishings last longer

There are a lot of rumors about fabric protection that circulate amongst homeowners.

Like this one: Will my carpet fade if I have fabric protection added to my carpet after cleaning?

Or, Will protecting my fabric make my furniture get dirty faster?

If you have concerns about fabric protection, you’re probably the type of person that has spent a lot of resources furnishing your home with just the right carpets, rugs and upholstery that all compliment each other beautifully, and you’re darn proud of it.

Right?

So, it’s natural to worry about fabric protection.

Let’s investigate the facts about protecting your fabrics and upholstery before making the final decision about having something applied that could damage your lovely rugs and furniture.

We’re going to dive into busting myths and exposing the truth, and we promise to be as transparent as possible.

First up, fabric protection myths.

Busting fabric protection myths

Here are some common questions we get about fabric protection.

1. Will it alter the appearance of my fiber or fabric? 

Not at all.

Fabric protection will not make it dull or shiny – it won’t affect its appearance at all. It magically disappears as soon as it’s applied.

2. Will my rugs get dirty faster? 

This is another falsehood; however, there is a BUT. (We’ll get to that part in a second).

Fabric protection actually does the opposite of attracting soil. It deflects dirt by providing a protective shield around the fibers of the carpet, allowing your vacuum to remove the dirt from the fibers easily.

Now, here’s the BUT: If too much fabric protection is applied to the fiber, or an incorrect type of protectant is applied for the fiber type, it can make the fabric sticky.

And sticky fabric will attract dirt like a magnet.

3. Is it safe for my kids and pets? 

The protectant is applied by spray and dries quickly, leaving behind no residue.

Fabric protection, such as Teflon and Scotchgard, contain no CFC or solvents, which makes it safe for you and your family.

4. Will my carpet fade after applying fabric protection?  

The answer here is: False.

Fabric protection will not fade carpet, upholstery or rugs. In fact, it does the reverse: It actually adds a layer of protection (sort of like sunscreen) and protects the fibers from sun-fade.

5. Does fabric protection leave behind an odor?  

Great news: Fabric protection is odorless when applied and leaves no odor behind.

6. If a wet stain (let’s say, coffee) doesn’t bead up, does it mean the protection is gone?  

When you first wax your car, the water beads up and runs off the hood easily, but it only stays that way for a short period of time.

Does that mean that the car paint is no longer getting the benefit of the wax? No!

The wax wears off over a long period of time. And that’s the same thing that happens with fabric protection.

Just because it doesn’t bead up on the fiber, doesn’t mean that it’s not protected.

7. Should I have all the carpets in my home protected?

There is no reason to have all the areas of your home protected, especially when it comes to carpet and rugs.

Let’s take a guest room, for example. Areas like these aren’t necessary to protect – unless your guests are messy!

On the other hand, family rooms, dining rooms, and kids’ bedrooms are prime for fabric protection. These are the rooms where we most commonly see spots, stains and spills, so they’re important to protect.

Perks of fabric protection

Now that we’ve debunked the myths, let’s look at the benefits of fabric protection.

  • It gives you time to clean up spills. The protectant leaves a shield over fabric and fibers that keeps spills from absorbing into the material as quickly. That means you have time to run and grab a towel to blot up a stain before it can soak in.
  • Fabric protection makes the carpet easier to clean. For you AND your favorite carpet cleaning company. This is even true for the well-used areas of the home, such as family rooms, dining rooms and halls.
  • It helps to prevent sun-fade on upholstery, rugs and carpet. Remember that nice protective layer? It also helps to block out the light and sun.
  • Fabric protection makes vacuuming more effective. This is because the protectant resists soiling, making it easier for your vacuum cleaner to “suck-up” more dirt, dust, pollen and allergens in the carpet.
  • Your furnishings and carpeting will last longer. That means you won’t have to replace them as frequently.

Too bad this cushion didn’t have fabric protection. (But thank goodness we were able to rehab it! Look at the difference!)

How frequently should fabric protection be applied?

It depends on the type of fiber that’s being treated, but here’s a general guide.

Carpet 

There’s no need to have it protected when it’s newly installed. Most carpet manufacturers apply a fabric protection when the fiber is made.

Rugs 

Wool has a natural soil repellent. Fabric protection is not necessary with a new rug, unless you want extra protection (if your rug is white, for example).

A protectant should be applied after each professional cleaning for areas where there may be spots, spills and heavy use.

Upholstery 

Unless the fabric has been pre-treated, we highly recommend having a professional apply fabric protection to furniture. It will help protect it from daily use, and those occasions when an “oops” happens, like spilling wine or coffee.

Final thoughts

Fabric protection – when done professionally and correctly – is a fraction of the cost of the cleaning, and will easily pay for itself by extending the life of your carpet, rugs and upholstery.

It will save you from costly replacement, and the best part, leaves you with a sparkly, shiny, clean and healthy home.

Hire a Professional Cleaner

There are many ways to keep your carpets looking great, from vacuuming regularly to spot-cleaning spills and stains right away. For a deep clean, you should consider hiring professional cleaners. Hammond Knoll is a professional carpet cleaning company that can help you keep your carpets looking and smelling new.

Here at Hammond Knoll, we service Washington cities from Tacoma to Olympia to Puyallup and beyond.

We use advanced equipment to wash carpet floors and remove dirt. Professional carpet cleaners have the knowledge and expertise needed to provide thorough yet gentle care for all types of carpets in any environment. Contact us today to get started on restoring the beauty of your carpets!

Originally published 8/2019, updated 8/2023