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Pros and Cons of Using Polypropylene Rugs

Pros and Cons of Using Polypropylene Rugs That You Shouldn't Ignore

Polypropylene or olefin is a popular and versatile fiber usually used for making carpets, after nylon. It has some excellent characteristics that make it an ideal choice for rugs and carpets. This HomeQuicks write-up tells you some pros and cons of polypropylene rugs.
Tanaya Navalkar
Last Updated: Apr 23, 2018
Did You Know?
The production of polypropylene (Olefin) first began in Italy in the year 1957. Giulio Natta and Karl Ziegler were awarded the Noble Prize for their work of transitioning olefin to fiber.

If you go to the market, you'll find a vast array of rugs and carpets of different materials to choose from. They are mostly made from wool, cotton, acrylic, nylon, or polyester. However, after nylon, olefin or polypropylene fiber is gaining popularity. It accounts for 16% of all the fibers that are manufactured and about 30% of the fibers used in the United States for making carpets. The fiber was first made for outdoor use and has been a popular choice for commercial applications since then. It is a synthetic fiber made of propylene, that is a byproduct of petroleum.
But are polypropylene rugs really safe? Just as a coin has two sides, even the rugs made of polypropylene have their share of advantages and disadvantages that you should consider before finalizing one. Read further to know the pros and cons of polypropylene rugs.
  • Rugs made from polypropylene fiber are more economical and visually pleasing than that of any nylon-based rugs.
  • A polypropylene rug is stain-resistant. It is great for families having young kids around who spill food and drinks anywhere and everywhere.
  • It does not bleach easily since it is colorfast. This means that color on your rug will not fade away quickly because it is solution-dyed.
  • It is also a great choice for outdoors, especially pool areas because it is moisture-resistant. It can withstand mildew and resist water damage.
  • It is lightweight because of its low density, which makes it the only fiber to float on water.
  • It is comparatively easy to clean and does not get damaged easily by any chemicals or cleaning products.
  • It is inexpensive and has very low manufacturing cost. Moreover, it requires minimal maintenance as compared to other materials.
  • Because of low static electricity problems, polypropylene makes a good choice for office furniture, carpets, and interiors of automobiles.

  • Polypropylene is a non-resilient fiber. If crushed, it does not bounce back to its original shape easily. Therefore, it is advisable to avoid placing the polypropylene rugs, mats, or carpets in areas with higher traffic.
  • It is sensitive to heat and friction. Although its melting point is around 300 °F, it can get damaged even at lower temperatures. Even if you drag a furniture over it, it may melt and leave a permanent mark because of the heat generated by friction.
  • The quality of polypropylene rugs deteriorates if exposed to heavy sunlight unless the rugs are chemically modified.
  • Although it is stain-resistant, it is very difficult to remove stains that are oil-based. They tend to become permanent quickly. Polypropylene is an oil-lover and will soak it, making it difficult to remove even with a vacuum. Also, shampooing the rug won't help as it is water-resistant and will make the water droplets float on top itself.

Health Risks
  • Polypropylene rugs contain toxic byproducts which when inhaled may cause certain problems like headache, allergies, dizziness, or nausea. They sometimes tend to emit volatile organic compounds (VOCs) that may outgas. These gases are the "new carpet" smell that you get when the carpet is new. When installed newly, it has the tendency to emit some toxic gases. If your rug is treated chemically and unprotected, then make sure that you keep the area well-ventilated. Since it is mostly used for wall-to-wall carpeting and is usually glued to the floor, make sure that you choose the less toxic ones as the adhesives may also off-gas chemical fumes.

Even though polypropylene rugs have some disadvantages, they surely make a good choice for home environment. However, before purchasing any, make sure you research thoroughly.