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Facts & Myths About Fabric Protection (And Why You Need the Pros)

Posted by Hammond Knoll on Mar 25, 2021 12:00:00 AM

What Are the Perks of Fabric Protection?

  1. It gives you time to clean up spills
  2. It makes your carpet easier to clean
  3. It helps to prevent sun fade on upholstery, rugs, and carpet
  4. It makes vacuuming more effective
  5. It makes your carpet and furnishings last longer

There are a lot of rumors about fabric protection that circulate amongst homeowners.

Like this one: Will my carpet fade if I have fabric protection added to my carpet after cleaning?

Or, Will protecting my fabric make my furniture get dirty faster?

If you have concerns about fabric protection, you’re probably the type of person that has spent a lot of resources furnishing your home with just the right carpets, rugs and upholstery that all compliment each other beautifully, and you’re darn proud of it.



So, it’s natural to worry about fabric protection. 

Let’s investigate the facts about protecting your fabrics and upholstery before making the final decision about having something applied that could damage your lovely rugs and furniture.

We’re going to dive into busting myths and exposing the truth, and we promise to be as transparent as possible.

First up, fabric protection myths.

Busting fabric protection myths

Here are some common questions we get about fabric protection.

1. Will it alter the appearance of my fiber or fabric? 

Not at all. 

Fabric protection will not make it dull or shiny – it won’t affect the appearance at all. It magically disappears as soon as it’s applied.

2. Will my rugs get dirty faster? 

This is another falsehood; however, there is a BUT. (We’ll get to that part in a second). 

Fabric protection actually does the opposite of attracting soil. It deflects dirt by providing a protective shield around the fibers of the carpet, allowing your vacuum to remove the dirt from the fibers easily. 

Now, here’s the BUT: If too much fabric protection is applied to the fiber, or an incorrect type of protectant is applied for the fiber type, it can make the fabric sticky. 

And sticky fabric will attract dirt like a magnet.

3. Is it safe for my kids and pets? 

The protectant is applied by spray and dries quickly, leaving behind no residue. 

Fabric protection, such as Teflon and Scotchgard, contain no CFC or solvents, which makes it safe for you and your family.

4. Will my carpet fade after applying fabric protection?  

The answer here is: False. 

Fabric protection will not fade carpet, upholstery or rugs. In fact, it does the reverse: It actually adds a layer of protection (sort of like sunscreen) and protects the fibers from sun-fade.  

5. Does fabric protection leave behind an odor?  

Great news: Fabric protection is odorless when applied and leaves no odor behind.

6. If a wet stain (let’s say, coffee) doesn’t bead up, does it mean the protection is gone?  

When you first wax your car, the water beads up and runs off the hood easily, but it only stays that way for a short period of time. 

Does that mean that the car paint is no longer getting the benefit of the wax? No! 

The wax wears off over a long period of time. And that’s the same thing that happens with fabric protection. 

Just because it doesn’t bead up on the fiber, doesn’t mean that it's not protected.

7. Should I have all the carpet in my home protected?

There is no reason to have all the areas of your home protected, especially when it comes to carpet and rugs

Let’s take a guest room, for example. Areas like these aren’t necessary to protect – unless your guests are messy! 

On the other hand, family rooms, dining rooms, and kids’ bedrooms are prime for fabric protection. These are the rooms where we most commonly see spots, stains and spills, so they’re important to protect.

Perks of fabric protection

Now that we’ve debunked the myths, let’s look at the benefits of fabric protection.

  • It gives you time to clean up spills. The protectant leaves a shield over fabric and fibers that keeps spills from absorbing into the material as quickly. That means you have time to run and grab a towel to blot up a stain before it can soak in.

  • Fabric protection makes the carpet easier to clean. For you AND your favorite carpet cleaning company. This is even true for the well-used areas of the home, such as family rooms, dining rooms and halls.

  • It helps to prevent sun-fade on upholstery, rugs and carpet. Remember that nice protective layer? It also helps to block out the light and sun.

  • Fabric protection makes vacuuming more effective. This is because the protectant resists soiling, making it easier for your vacuum cleaner to “suck-up” more dirt, dust, pollen and allergens in the carpet.

  • Your furnishings and carpeting will last longer. That means you won’t have to replace them as frequently.

Too bad this cushion didn’t have fabric protection. (But thank goodness we were able to rehab it! Look at the difference!)

Before and after Hammond Knoll cleaned a cushion

How frequently should fabric protection be applied?

It depends on the type of fiber that’s being treated, but here’s a general guide.


There’s no need to have it protected when it’s newly installed. Most carpet manufacturers apply a fabric protection when the fiber is made.


Wool has a natural soil repellent. Fabric protection is not necessary with a new rug, unless you want extra protection (if your rug is white, for example). 

A protectant should be applied after each professional cleaning for areas where there may be spots, spills and heavy use.


Unless the fabric has been pre-treated, we highly recommend having a professional apply fabric protection to furniture. It will help protect it from daily use, and those occasions when an “oops” happens, like spilling wine or coffee.

Final thoughts

Fabric protection – when done professionally and correctly – is a fraction of the cost of the cleaning, and will easily pay for itself by extending the life of your carpet, rugs and upholstery. 

It will save you from costly replacement, and the best part, leaves you with a sparkly, shiny, clean and healthy home.

Originally published 8/2019, updated 3/2021


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