Cleaning Berber Carpet

When it comes to cleaning berber carpet, it's important to understand berber refers to a style of carpeting not a carpet fiber.

Berber carpet is best described as a looped carpet that is generally constructed from polypropylene (olefin), nylon, wool, polyester, or a blend of these fibers.

The type of carpet fiber often creates the biggest challenge when cleaning this carpet style.

A 100% wool berber needs to be cleaned like any other wool carpet with attention to the pH of the carpet cleaning chemical, and temperature. The same holds true for a polypropylene, nylon or polyester berber carpet. Whatever cleaning challenges are inherent to that particular carpet fiber.

The majority of berber carpet is made of polypropylene also know as olefin. A 100% olefin berber is ideally suited for an application where heavy traffic is expected, such as an office setting.

The feel or "hand" of this carpet can be stiff or rough. When used in a residential setting, like a family room, carpet manufacturers may blend some nylon with polypropylene or use larger loops in the design to give a softer hand.

Berber carpet made of 100% polypropylene is not a resilient carpet. Once it begins to crush or flatten from traffic wear, it stays crushed and does not spring back like a nylon carpet will. Cleaning berber carpet can give the nap a uniform appearance but will flatten down again with the introduction of foot traffic.

A loop style carpet wears well, and if made of 100% polypropylene, it can also be the most stain resistant carpet fiber. The downside of this petroleum based carpet product is its love for oil based soil like grease, cooking oil, tar/asphalt, etc. These oily soils bond to the olefin fiber. The carpet cleaner must break this bond in order to remove the soil.

Because an olefin berber behaves like it's non-absorbent, water based spills tend to run off and settle at the base of the carpet. Unless completely removed, the spill may wick to the surface as the carpet dries. The stain may appear to be gone with cleaning but will reappear as it dries.

Which carpet cleaning products and carpet cleaning methods are best for cleaning berber carpet?

Whatever the choice of carpet fiber, berber carpet cleaning should always begin with a thorough vacuuming to remove as much of the dry soil as possible. The loop design is a perfect hiding place for dirt.

Berber carpet can then be cleaned using either a "wet" method like hot water extraction or a "dry" method like bonnet cleaning. Whichever method is used, the carpet cleaning product should be safe for the user, not negatively affect the indoor air quality and be environmentally conscious.

Carpet cleaning products that meet this criteria can be found in the carpet cleaning solution center of this website.

To minimize wicking the carpet should be dried quickly. The use of a fan or air mover will help speed dry. If cleaning with hot water extraction, running a dry bonnet over the cleaned berber carpet will aid in faster drying times.

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