Pets and Carpets – The Best Kind of Carpets to Get and Why

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Sometimes when we have pets we wished we had nothing but linoleum floors. But we love our comfort and carpets are comfortable and beautiful. If you are going to have carpets and pets then it would sure be good to know what kind of carpet fiber and style would be best.

Let me first say that I have been a professional carpet cleaner in Anchorage Alaska for over 30 years and I have answered this question many times.

The answer is… It depends.

It depends on the problems that your pets cause with your carpet.

Urine- Again it depends, if you have the occasional small accident and you are good about cleaning them up quickly the only carpet I would suggest you stay away from would be wool carpets and the frieze style of carpet. The frieze style is like a shag carpet but where fibers are tightly twisted together.

If you know you are going to have significant urine issues then a medium grade cut pile nylon carpet would be your best bet. A cut pile olefin carpet might be another good choice. They are not as comfortable but due to a high “plastic” content do not take stains as easily. If you have a large animal then you need to be aware that a large amount of urine may spread down into and even past the backing of the carpet where it is much more difficult to remove. The olefin because it does not absorb the urine is a poor choice with large dogs.

If you have cat urine issues then I would recommend that you put in inexpensive carpeting in the problem areas. Because cats use the same spot repeatedly sooner or later you are going to be replacing carpet and padding. Purchase some extra carpet in this case so you can just replace the areas with urine. Usually they urinate along a wall or in the corners so new carpets would still blend in okay.

There is microbial padding that is supposed to kill bacteria from urine and also padding that is supposed to be water/ urine resistant. My experience is that these work with small problems but not big problems.

Overall soiling- Pets have oils on their skin, which just like us people is transferred to their hair. Every time your dog lays down on your carpet or upholstery he/she is leaving some oil behind. Dust and everyday soil sticks to this film of oil. Also dogs never take their “shoes” off when they come in from outside and they are not very concerned about tracking in dirt.

Fortunately this kind of soiling of the carpet is easy to remove with regular carpet cleaning. If you have this concern then you are going to need to get your carpets cleaned at least every eight months and maybe more depending on the severity of the problem.

The best type of carpet for this situation is Saxony nylon carpet. Olefin is a poor choice because olefin tends to hang onto oil. Polyester wears too quickly and is more difficult to clean. Wool is definitely a poor choice because it has pockets that hold onto the soil.

Wear and tear- Looped Berber carpets whether they be olefin or nylon are poor choices because pets can snag and tear loose the loops. For your money again the cut pile or Saxony style nylon carpet is your best choice. They stand up well and clean easily.

Colors- From a hiding the stain and dirt viewpoint a dirt brown with multi-colored patterns would be best, but that sounds pretty ugly. Multi-colored carpets do hide stains and dirt better. Darker colors hide more than lighter. Stay away from pastel blues, grays, rose and green in that they seem to show every stain.

write by Mitchell Sandson

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