Before 1986, carpet staining was not a consumer concern. Consumers would buy carpet in colors that helped hide carpet stains. At that time, Scotchgard® soil treatments were the best hope for repelling carpet stains. The Scotchgard® principal worked in the same manner in which a Teflon® frying pan worked.
Scotchgard® initiates surface tension, and like wax on a car, it allowed stains to bead on the surface. For most stains if you attempted quick removal, most of the stain could be removed. However, these treatments were principally soil treatments and after a minute or so the bead penetrates the coating and soaks into your carpet fiber.
Kool-aid®, Gatorade® and other food items, which utilized acid-based dyes, would permanently stain most carpet fibers. Most food products utilize acid-based dyes. Your carpet get’s it color or pigment through an acid dye process as well.
In 1986 StainMaster was introduced and it was a breakthrough in that it resisted these acid-based dyes. StainMaster is a carpet stain treatment, not another soil treatment. Simply explained, it introduces a clear, colorless dye after carpet dyeing to neutralize or populate the remaining dye sites in the carpet fiber so there are no potential stains.
StainMaster was engineered to prevent carpet stains. Spills do not need to become permanent stains.
About 10 years after the introduction of StainMaster, a new generation of carpet treatment was created by combining the stain treatment with the soil treatment. So you get the beading along with the clear colorless dye. In our opinion, this is what carpet care professionals should offer, it is the level of care consumers want for their carpets. An example of this type of product is RhinoShield and it is what we offer.
It is virtually impossible to get carpet today without some treatment. Lower cost fibers are either plastic (Olefin) or have the Scotchgard® soil treatment. Higher end carpets are treated with StainMaster stain treatment.
In our opinion, it is better to get a higher cost carpet for better performance. However, if budgets dictate, a Scotchgard® treated carpet can be upgraded, after installation, to give you stain resistance, ask the proper carpet care professional.