Do Certain Types of Carpets Attract Dirt?

Carpets and Dirt - What You Need To Know

When you are buying new carpet, the most appropriate choice is not always obvious. For some people, an inviting carpet with a good cushion and fuzzy feel is what matters most. For others who have well-trafficked flooring, a sturdy, soil resistant carpet is a higher priority. You might ask yourself, “Do certain types of carpet attract more dirt than others? The appropriateness of your carpet selection depends on the fiber material and cut pattern, as well as cleaning and care methods. Here’s what you need to know.

The Difference in Materials

Among the most popular carpet materials, synthetic fibers like nylon and polypropylene—a.k.a. olefin—are the top picks. They are both affordable and resistant to rot, mildew, mold, and staining. Olefin, however, is prone to accumulating oils, which can easily entrap dirt. If you have pets, this is something to consider.

For a low-traffic personal space, polyester is a perfect choice. It is stain resistant and comes in a variety of styles. Note that polyester wears down easily and can entrap dirt between its fibers.

If your budget allows, you can go with acrylic or wool for low-traffic areas. Acrylic has many of the perks of nylon with the added benefit of being electrostatic resistant—meaning it will not attract dust. Wool, while the softest and longest lasting, is the most susceptible to staining, mold, and mildew.

How Your Carpet is Cut

The pile type of your carpet, whether cut or loop, can influence how dirt settles on your carpet. Loop pile carpet is uncut, stain-resistant, durable and easy to clean, but soiling is more visible. On the other hand cut pile carpet can fray, mat, and is more difficult to clean, yet conceals dirt, making it appear clean for a longer period of time.

NOTE: The visibility of dirt is not a true indication of whether a carpet is actually dirty. Frequent vacuuming and regular, professional cleaning are always necessary to prevent damage from abrasives that may or may not be visible on the surface.

Carpet Selection Takeaway: Professional Cleaning Removes Dirt

If you want a soft carpet in a personal space, choose acrylic or olefin with a cut style that offers a soft, fleece-like feel. Is your carpet in a well trafficked area? Consider a loop pile and a synthetic material like nylon. Either way, remember that the choices you make can only give the impression of a clean carpet. Dirt will always accumulate, despite the material and cut type. Even if your carpet looks appealing, preventing premature wear through regular professional cleaning is the most essential decision you can make for maintaining the lifespan and cleanliness of your new carpet.


This article is one of a series of articles written and published on behalf of SurpHaces PRO Partners.