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The “Extractable Matter” Test.

Again this week I inspected another site with area rugs that are pilling and getting soiled soon after being laid out.




The customer walks through the rest of her home pointing out her other rugs and broadloom that are in pristine condition. The problem with the new rug? Its made of polyester!


If polyester is not adequately scoured after it has been used as a face fiber for carpets or rugs it will turn gray and in the case of woven products can cause severe pilling when walked on in socks. So why has polyester taken over? Price. Stain resistance. Does not fade in the sun.


Why would I not want to buy polyester? It loves oils. It adsorbs food oils in the air from cooking. It will get soiled quickly. The large carpet manufacturers make ait a priority to ensure their polyester fiber is adequately scoured before they make it into carpet. The smaller mills may not be as conscientious in ensuring this issue.


If your polyester carpet is getting soiled soon after its installed then the carpet can be tested by a carpet inspector by a test known as an “extractable matter” test.


See you next week,

Lee Senter

IICRC Senior Carpet Inspector

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