Staining vs. Soiling in the World of Carpet Warranties

Published: May 12th, 2017 | Updated: September 20th, 2019

When it comes to carpet warranties, there are many different stipulations and rules as to what and what is not covered. And, it is common that a customer may not be familiar with the slight differences in terms. Some carpet manufacturer’s warranties cover staining and/or soiling and it is important to understand their many differences and how to protect your carpeting against them. Prior to purchasing a new carpet, it is important to check its warranty and familiarize yourself with what it covers. As experts in all things carpets, we have plenty of experience with carpet warranties and would like to provide you with a few clarifying points about the differences between staining and soiling. Once you understand the differences, check your carpet warranty so that you know what to do in the event of a soil or stain.

Stains and Soiling on Carpet


Stains work their way into carpet fibers by soaking into dye-free sites. These sites are spots in the fiber where it did not receive a colorant when the carpet was dyed. Certain dye processes and fibers are more prone to staining than others. Carpets dyed post-production and nylon fibers are more absorbent and vulnerable to stains. However, certain stain treatments can help protect them. Polyester and solution-dyed fibers tend not to absorb stains as quickly, giving you more opportunity to clean up after a spill.

A stain is the most common type of carpet discoloration and occurs when a substance comes into contact with the carpet and imbeds itself within the fibers. The best way to prevent a spill from soaking into the carpet is to clean it as quickly as possible after it occurs. Blot up as much of the spill as possible and then treat the area with a stain remover product or homemade cleaning solution. At this point you should already know whether or not your carpet warranty covers stains. But if you do not and the stain will not come out, contact your carpet manufacturer for next steps.


Soiling has the appearance of a stain but is not necessarily the result of a spill. Residues or oily substances present on the carpet can come into contact with dirt or debris and result in a ‘soil.’ This oily residue can be left behind by a variety of culprits including a spot treatment product or sticky spill what wasn’t fully rinsed away. It can even be the result of natural oils in the skin when you walk on the carpet barefoot. Cooking oils and baby oils are additional sources of soiling in the home.

You can avoid these occurrences by wearing slippers or socks and protecting your carpet from your natural oils. Keeping other oils away from carpeting and cleaning up sticky spills thoroughly can help protect your carpeting against soiling. Draw as much of the cleaner, oil or other substance out of the fibers as possible, cover the spot with a thick white towel folded over a couple of times and then place something heavy over it to apply pressure. And, if you notice the spot reappearing, repeat the cleaning and rinsing process again.

Depending on the nature, manufacturing and quality of your carpet, it may require several treatments before its complete rid of a stain or soiling. And, in the event you are unable to completely rid your carpet of stains or soiling, it is time to check your warranty or call your carpet manufacturer to learn more about what your options are.

If you have any questions about staining or soiling or about carpet warranties in general, contact Hopkins Carpet One at 952-933-8944 or Contact Us Here.