Many people do not know that staining and soiling are different when it comes to carpets. They think that the two terms refer to discoloration of the carpet and that is all that matters.

Well, that is not so. You may learn this the hard way when you go to claim your warranty from the manufacturer only to realize that these two terms are applied differently.

Most common types of carpet warranties will be null and void, and you may start feeling like you’ve been robbed which may not be the case. That is why you need to understand the difference between a carpet that is soiled and one that is stained.


This is the term mostly used to refer to a discoloration on the carpet. When an object gets on the carpet and attaches itself to the carpet fibers, it causes the particular spot on the carpet to be discolored. If you spill a cup of hot tea on the carpet, it will certainly form a stain.

Carpet fibers typically have some areas that were not colored during the process of dying the fiber. These spots are referred to as dye sites. Each carpet has empty dye sites. When a substance gets on the carpet, it turns in to a stain, and this stain gets inside the empty dye sites.

It is important to note that this only happens for fibers that were dyed after production had been completed. There are cases where color is added to the fibers before production and these types of fibers are known as solution-dyed fibers.

In such a case, the entire fiber absorbs color because the process takes place when the fiber is in its liquid form. Therefore, this kind of carpet does not have open dye sites that can absorb stains.

Also, fibers have different capacities for staining. Some are more prone to it compared to others. An excellent example is nylon’s fiber is highly absorbent, and that is why it needs the extra protection provided by stain treatment. Polyester is not quickly absorbent, and so you can be able to clean a spill before it turns into a stain.


The soiled area on a carpet might appear like a stain even though it might not be due to a spill. Soiling comes from residue or accumulation of oily substances on the carpet which attract dirt particles. If someone spilled something on the carpet and failed to remove the substance, it will get into the fibers. The carpet fibers will then attract surrounding dirt particles and create a large brown spot on the surface.

Various substances can leave a residue behind, and examples include oil-based products like cooking oil, a spot treatment substance or even simply walking on the carpet with no shoes. Some fibers easily contributed to soiling compared to others. For example, Olefin is sensitive to oil-based products, and that is why it relatively gets easily soiled.

If you want to protect your carpets from staining and soiling make sure you clean a spill as soon as it happens. Make sure that no residue remains that can attract unwanted material and ruin your carpet.

For both carpet stains and soiling, call Arevalo Bros Chem-Dry at (708) 795-5932. We have over 20 years of experience in professional carpet cleaning removing both stains and soil spots. Call today!