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What Is a Polypropylene Rug?

A polypropylene rug is one of the most popular rug types – but what exactly is it, & why does rug material matter?

What Is a Polypropylene Rug?

Polypropylene, also referred to as olefin, is a synthetic material, used in rugs for its ability to both withstand heavy use and maintain a soft, plush feel. Because polypropylene rugs are machine-manufactured, they are one of the most affordable rug options on the market (along with nylon).

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Compared to wool and other popular materials, polypropylene offers its own set of advantages and disadvantages. Here’s how polypropylene measures up:

Pros and Cons of Polypropylene rugs:

  • Pro: Natural look and feel. Polypropylene rugs maintain a softness that is very similar in look and feel to 100% wool rugs.
  • Pro: Stain-resistant. Polypropylene rugs are resistant to stains, making them easy to clean most messes and accidental spills.
  • Pro: Affordable. Polypropylene rugs are often mass-produced in factories, making them one of the most affordable options available.
  • Con: Less durable than wool. Compared to an all-wool rug, a polypropylene rug offers less durability; once the fibres of a polypropylene rug are crushed, it can be hard for them to “bounce back.”
  • Con: Not soil-resistant. It may be easy to remove stains in a polypropylene rug, but removing soil can be another story. (The difference between stains and soil? Stains are often water-based, while soil is oil-based.)

In conclusion, when compared to other rug types (we’re looking at you, wool!), a polypropylene rug lacks in durability what it makes up for in look, feel and affordability. If you’re looking for an easy way to refresh a hallway, living room (or other area of the home) with a splash of color, pattern, and comfort, you can’t go wrong with a polypropylene rug.

How to Clean Polypropylene Rugs

Treating a polypropylene rug for stains is easier than other types of rugs, because polypropylene material is already somewhat stain-resistant. If it’s a spill or mud stain, scrape off what you can, and then blot with a cloth. Always vacuum after blotting a stain, to pick up sticky remnants, and make sure to vacuum your rug regularly to help prevent wear and tear.

Polypropylene vs. Wool Rug

A polypropylene rug is made with synthetic material, and a wool rug is made with natural material. Wool rugs feel softer than polypropylene rugs, but can be harder to clean than polypropylene. Because wool is natural, it is more expensive the polypropylene.

 Are Polypropylene Rugs Safe?

Polypropylene rugs are synthetic and safe to use in the home. Some polypropylene rugs contain the possibility for off-gassing (releasing chemicals into the air), an effect that can trigger headaches in some sensitive individuals; in these instances, make sure to air the room out at the time of opening the rug. To up the safety of using a polypropylene rug in a home, make sure to choose one that is flame-resistant.

 Is Polypropylene Waterproof?

Polypropylene material is highly resistant to water. Spills are easily treated on polypropylene rugs, making them household winners. Because of the resistance, polypropylene rugs last for years, as moisture and mildew won’t easily absorb and damage the fibers.

Are Polypropylene Rugs Soft?

Polypropylene rugs are soft. This material is designed to mimic the feel of a natural rug material such as sisal or cotton. Use a polypropylene rug to pad your step!

Are Polypropylene Rugs Durable?

Yes! Polypropylene rugs are one of the most durable rug types. Easy to clean and highly resistant to water and weather, you can expect years of use on a polypropylene rug without noticing major wear.

How to Get Creases Out of Polypropylene Rugs

If your rug has been stored in a roll or folded, laying it out may reveal creases or wrinkles that are hard to remove. One way that can help to remove them is as simple as placing pressure for a few days – through a stack of books or piece of furniture. You can also try steam, but steam with caution, as extreme heat can damage fibers.

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Editorial Disclaimer: Articles featuring tips and advice are intended for educational purposes and only as general recommendations. Always practice personal discretion when using and caring for furniture, decor and related items.