Comparing SmartStrand Forever Clean and Polyester Carpet Fibers

Stain resistance experiment using triexta and polyester carpet samples
Cheryl Simmons

Early in 2015, Mohawk unveiled its latest improvement to the popular SmartStrand carpet collection: a new stain-repellent technology named Forever Clean. After learning about Forever Clean, I decided to see for myself whether it really was any different from a traditional stain-resistant carpet.

Since Mohawk manufactures Forever Clean, I decided to keep things as fair as possible, and selected another Mohawk carpet for the comparison. I chose the same cut and loop style, in a close color. Pictured above are my carpet samples: the Forever Clean triexta carpet (style: Starcrest) on the left, and a polyester carpet (style: Rare Wonder) on the right. I selected polyester because of its high level of stain resistance compared to nylon carpet.

What I Used:

  • Two carpet samples: one triexta and one polyester (as listed above)
  • Cranberry juice: equal amounts poured on each carpet sample
  • A piece of plastic (to protect the surface underneath)
  • Several paper towels

The Experiment

I poured an equal amount of cranberry juice on each piece of carpet, and then immediately took the above picture. I’m sure you don’t need me to point out the difference, but I will anyway. The juice on the polyester carpet (the sample on the right) soaked into the carpet fibers almost immediately. The juice on the Forever Clean carpet, however, just beaded up on top of the fibers and did not soak in. In fact, as I continued pouring the juice on the carpet, the juice ran across the top of the sample, which is how it ended up so far from the center, where I poured it.

The Clean-Up

After I was done taking my picture – an amount of time I figure would be equal to the time spent running for paper towels to clean up an unexpected spill on carpet in real life – I placed two paper towels on top of each carpet sample. As you can see in the image above, the juice from the Forever Clean carpet immediately soaked into the paper towels. The juice from the polyester carpet did not, because it was already soaked into the carpet fibers.

Cleaning up a spill on triexta and polyester carpets
The juice on top of the triexta sample (on the left) immediately soaked into the towels, while the juice on the polyester was already soaked into the carpet fibers. Cheryl Simmons

The Result

Once I lifted the original paper towels placed over the juice, I could see the very obvious difference between the two carpet samples. The Forever Clean sample had only two tiny spots on it from the juice -- can you find them? -- and in fact was almost dry to the touch. (I am fairly certain that the spots left on the Forever Clean were drops that I missed blotting up, but at any rate, they are there for you to see.) The polyester sample clearly had a big juice stain, which remained even after blotting it several more times with more paper towels.

While I am fairly certain that the juice could have been cleaned from the polyester carpet using a carpet cleaning solution, it was evident that the polyester fiber would require a lot more effort than did the Forever Clean fiber. I didn’t really even have to blot the Forever Clean carpet, since the liquid did not seep into the fibers. The above picture was taken after several minutes of blotting the polyester carpet.

After conducting my not-so-scientific experiment, I am impressed with how well SmartStrand Forever Clean fibers repel stains.

For more information on the carpets featured here, visit Mohawk’s website.

Cranberry juice stain on polyester and SmartStrand triexta carpets
While the polyester carpet (on the right) still had a large noticeable spot of juice, the Forever Clean triexta only had a couple of small dots of juice. Cheryl Simmons