The Truth About Tencel Carpet and Rugs

Manufactures understand that there is a marketing advantage to positioning a product as “new”, “different”, “green”, etc. The more of these buzzwords that can be applied the better.

In the field of textiles, one of the newest items on the block is the new fiber called Tencel. Let’s take a look beyond the hype and see what makes this new fiber tick.


Manufactured fibers often have two types of names: A generic name and one or more trade names. Polyester, for example, is the generic name for a synthetic fiber that is sold under various trade names including: “Trevira” and “Dacron”. “Herculon” was a trade name ( WAY back when) for an olefin fiber produces by Hercules, Inc.

Similarly, “Tencel” (rhymes with “pencil”) is the trade name for the generic fiber called lyocell. Produced by the Austria based fiber giant Lenzing, local was developed in the 1970’s and was first commercialized in the 1990’s. As the newest thing on the block, it makes sense that the fiber was first incorporated in uber-chic couture fabrics. Over the years, it eventually made its way into home linens and upholsterer fabrics.

Lycell didn’t really gain significant traction until 2005, when Lenzing bough the Tencel business that had been started by rival Courtaulds. Lenzing brought formidable efforts to bear – both technical and marketing in support of the Tencel brand.


There is a LOT of hype in the Tencel marketing we’ve seen. Antibacterial, manages indoor moisture, sustainable, biodegradeable, etc. Distilled to just facts, tow things stand out:
The manufacturing process for viscose ( the most common form of rayon) is considered “dirty”. The manufacturing process for Tencel recovers and reuses the majority of the spinning chemical, making is a “greerer” fiber.
2. Unlike viscose, Tencel does not lose its strength when wet. Tencel also shrinks significantly less than viscose

What really matters, however, is: How does Tencel carpet perform?


While we have given a general “thumbs up” to Tencel upholstery fabrics, Tencel floor coverings are an entirely different animal.

Textile floor coverings are often used in very demanding environments which get foot traffic, pet traffic, outdoor soils, indoor soils and stains. The best floor coverings will do two things very well:
Resist crushing from foot traffic, and
Respond well to water-based cleaning methods

The first point has to do with resiliency. Generally, wool is considered best in this category, with many nylon products rating very good as well. Olefin is known for its poor resiliency. Also known for crush-resistance are the cellulosics: cotton, linen, rayon….. and Tencel ( lyocell).

To be fair, the Tencel carpets we have seen are mostly dense constructions, meaning they will hold up somewhat better than the would otherwise. It’s a moot point, however, because the real stumbling point is cleanability.

The manufactures’ cleaning instructions we have seen are very specific in their recommendation for cleaning Tencel carpet: “Dry Clean Only”. This type of limitation is far from ideal, butt let’s look at how it relates to Tencel carpets.

First, the “dry clean only” suggestion does not always mean that other methods are not always mean that other methods are not also safe. Many upholstery fabrics carry this instruction but are safely wet cleanable.

Based on the testing we’ve done, we believe the manufactures are on the right track and the Tencel carpets should NOT be wet cleaned. Routine wet cleaning methods tend to leave the surface of the carpet distorted / shaded. Also, the Tencel fibers can become stiff after being wet, causeng a significant texture change.

What about the viability of dry cleaning? HOST is the most commonly recommended dry cleaning process for Tencel carpets. A moist powder ( looks like damp sawdust) is sprinkled on the carpet surface and then worked through using a machine with counter-rotating brushes.

Once the HOST product has dried (usually about an hour), the dried material is vacuumed from the carpet.

The problem with this method are multiple:
It does not do the thorough, rinse-type cleaning that water extraction does.
The method relies on a relatively aggressive brushing action which may be too severe for Tencel carpets.
HOST powder can be very difficult to completely remove from the carpet without very thorough vacuuming.


The very limited cleanability of Tencel carpets should be respected. Though we would like to recommend otherwise, it is our opinion that Tencel carpets should be installed only in areas that receive minimal traffic.


How to Get Coffee Stains Out of Carpet

Dang, there’s coffee on the carpet — this is so not what you needed today. It’s easy to lose heart. It’s easy to panic and hit the stores like Ace Hardware and Home Depot in the hope of a magic cleaning solution. But there is hope.

Coffee is one of the most persistent stains, and it’s even been revealed that some manufacturers add darkening dyes to produce a “richer appearance.” Might make for a tall, dark, and handsome cup of joe, but it makes getting coffee stains out of your carpet that much harder.

From basic carpet and rug cleaning to hot water extraction cleaning, Beacon Carpet Cleaning are experts at making stains go away, but we’re also happy to let you in on how to remove those stains yourself.

Cleaning Fresh Coffee Stains

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Every second counts when it comes to removing coffee stains — you’ll want to get moving in a hurry to prevent the stain from spreading wider and soaking deeper.

Use a piece of clean white cloth to blot up as much as you can. Keep using clean sections to make sure as much coffee as possible is soaked up. Pouring a small amount of cold water onto the affected area can help by diluting the coffee, but don’t over saturate the carpet. Work from the outside of the stain towards the middle to prevent it from spreading, and press downward instead of scrubbing to protect the fibers.

When you’re done, you can use a carpet stain remover to get rid of any lingering marks.

Cleaning Old Coffee Stains

Maybe you need to rid your carpet of a coffee stain that has been around for a while. The bad news is that this is going to be harder, but the good news is that the process is just as straightforward. Just use the same method described above, but treat the stain before getting started by lightly wetting the area. Keep in mind that the process will take a lot longer.

In some cases, you’ll need extra cleaning firepower. For wool or wool blends, try adding three drops of mild washing-up liquid to a cup of water and blotting with that. If your carpet isn’t wool, try adding a tablespoon of ammonia to a cup of water, but make sure you test a hidden spot to be sure it doesn’t cause any color changes.



Can My Carpets Be Re-Stretched?

Can my carpet be re-stretched? It depends on a variety of factors, depending on how the carpet has been damaged as well as its age.

We’ve been serving the Orange County area since 1995, and that’s a question we’ve heard time and time again. We see a variety of carpet repair needs, so we understand that each case is different. But what we can do is give you a few pointers and tackle the difference between carpet that can be re-stretched and carpet that can’t.

Carpet That Can be Re-Stretched

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Noticing ripples and waves appear across the carpet can be pretty bothersome, but there’s a good chance that it can be stretched back into good-as-new condition if it’s less than 10 years old. In this case, ripples and waves have likely been caused by nothing more than environmental factors instead of any permanent damage.  Thus, it can be re-stretched.

It’s often an easy fix, but not always. Carpet that can be re-stretched will have been affected by temperature or humidity changes, and a carpet installed on a hot, humid day with no air conditioning should stretch tighter than one installed on a cold dry day with the heating on.

Carpet That Cannot be Re-Stretched

If those waves and ripples occur after the carpet has been laid down for more than ten years, it’s a good bet that the damage is permanent and a new carpet is needed. It’s not an ironclad rule, but older carpeting generally starts to develop those telltale ripples and waves because the backing has decayed. With the glue tasked with holding together individual fibers no longer doing its job, the primary and secondary layers of latex will fail. Beyond checking the age of your carpet, check the carpet itself — the ripples will be be short, tight, and lacking any bounce if the backing has decayed.

This process of decay becomes more likely as time marches on, but inexpensive carpets are at greater risk. It’s just one reason cheaper carpets typically don’t last as long.

Looking to replace your carpet, visit Hemphill’s Rugs & Carpets

WOCA Wood Floor Cleaning Guide

Great video showing the proper cleaning of a oil finished wood floor.  Note the two bucket cleaning method for an even better end result.


DIY Tips: Ways to Care for Your Rug

Keep your area rugs looking and feeling their best by following these seamless tips for basic care, deep cleaning, and stain removal. Furthermore, learn how to properly treat specific types of rugs.


Basic Rug Care Tips


Typically, exceptional rug care is determined by size, construction, and material.  Hemphill’s Rugs & Carpets recommends that you care for large-size area rugs as you would wall-to-wall carpet.

Vacuum big rugs to remove dirt. As with carpet, the most essential thing you can do for larger rugs is to vacuum them on a daily basis. If an area rug is reversible, vacuum both sides. This removes grit and grime that can wear out your area rug prematurely. Take care to not vacuum the fringe of your rug.

Hemphill’s Rugs & Carpets also recommends that you brush out pet hair.  A vacuum will sometimes leave pet hair behind. Use a stiff brush to remove the hair, brushing in the direction of the nap of the area rug.

We also advise you to turn your area rugs every year. Foot traffic and sun can put additional stress on your area rugs. Turn them once or twice a year to even out the wear and tear from everyday food traffic.

Shake small rugs. If the area rug is small enough, you can take it outside and shake it or beat it strongly to remove dirt and grit.

Cleaning Special Types of Area Rugs

Special types of rugs require special cleaning care. Our Orange County Rug Cleaners recommend that you keep care tags on the area rug or in a file which can end up saving you from costly mistakes. Follow these tips for taking care of specialty rugs.

  • Handmade, hand-knotted, antique, and Oriental rugs: Vacuum a new Oriental rug as you would carpet and wool area rugs. Hemphill’s Rugs & Carpets recommends that you use special care with delicate vintage or antique area rugs. Protect them from the vacuum by placing a piece of nylon screen over the rug and weighting it down with books or bricks. Vacuum over the screen. Or, tie a piece of nylon mesh over the vacuum attachment and change the mesh frequently as dirt accumulates. Have these area rugs professionally cleaned once a year. Rotate rugs to ensure even wear; direct exposure to sun will cause fading. Note: When buying antique rugs, learn as much as you can from the seller about the rug’s fiber content and construction. Ask for care tips.
  • Coir, sisal, rush, and grass rugs: Area rugs made from these natural fibers feature an open weave that allows dirt to sift through to the floor beneath. Vacuum regularly, removing the area rug occasionally to vacuum the floor, as well. Many of these rugs are reversible; if that is the case, flip the rug every time you vacuum for even wear.
  • To clean stains or discolorations on a room-size natural-fiber rug, leave it in place. Protect the floor beneath it with a plastic drop cloth and towel. Scrub the stains with a soft brush dipped in soapy water. Rinse with clear water. Place a towel over the wet area. Blot the cleaned spot as dry as possible. Use a portable fan or hair dryer to speed drying. Move small rugs to a protected table or counter to clean. Water weakens the fibers, so work fast and dry thoroughly to extend the life of these area rugs. Some natural-fiber rugs are made in squares that are sewn together. Buy a few extra squares or a smaller size of the same rug. If a rug square becomes unalterably stained, clip the threads that hold it in place and replace with a new square. Hand-stitch it in place with heavy-duty carpet thread.
  • Fur, sheepskin, and hair-on hides: Shake unscented talcum powder on fur, sheepskin, and hair-on hide rugs and leave for several hours. Brush the talcum powder through the hair, then shake it out. Repeat this process several times, depending on the length of the fur. To clean the back of such a rug, use a clean cotton cloth dipped in lukewarm soapy water. Wipe off any dirt or spills. Rinse with a cloth dipped in clean water and allow to dry completely before putting back in place.

Stain-Removal Guide for Rugs


Time becomes essential when your area rug becomes stained. Remember to blot — not rub — the stain and remove moisture from spills as quickly as possible.

  • Alcohol and soft drinks: Use a solution of 1 teaspoon liquid dish detergent, 1 quart of warm water, and 1/4 teaspoon of white vinegar. Apply to the stain, rinse, then blot dry.
  • Coffee or tea: Using the detergent mix above, apply to stain, rinse, and blot. If a stain remains, use a commercial spot carpet cleaner.
  • Fat-based stains: For foods such as butter, margarine, or gravy, use a dry-solvent spot carpet cleaner.
  • Gum: Peel off what you can, then put ice cubes in a plastic bag and harden the gum, scraping the gum off with a spoon or dull knife. Vacuum and use a dry-solvent spot cleaner if needed.
  • Paint: For acrylic and latex paint, while the stain is still wet, spot-clean with the detergent solution. If color remains, dab with rubbing alcohol. For oil-base paint, sponge with odorless mineral spirits, being careful not to soak through to the backing.
  • Tomato sauce: Sponge with cool water, dab with detergent solution or a citrus-oxygen cleaner. Rinse with a solution of 1 cup white vinegar and 2 cups of water and blot until dry.
  • Urine, feces, and vomit: Apply detergent solution or a citrus-oxygen cleaner, rinse, and blot until dry.
  • Melted wax: Use the same treatment as gum, hardening it with ice cubes in a plastic bag and scraping. Dampen a clean white cloth or cotton ball with rubbing alcohol and blot to remove any remaining wax.


We recommend purchasing a WoolClean kit – there are two liquids and one powder designed for specific stains.  An instruction guide and cleaning towel are in included.  Purchase online HERE 

More cleaning tips can be found from the  Wools of New Zealand at our website –

Rug Stain Warranty Protection Program


Stain Protection Warranty Program.

Hemphill’s Rugs & Carpets is leading the industry with the launch of the Nationwide Stain Protection Warranty. The extensive coverage is available to consumers, designers and retailers of all sizes, ensuring everyone has the opportunity to purchase affordable peace of mind for luxury products. While ideal for high-end rugs that can be difficult to clean – such as silk and bamboo viscose – the new program is offered for rugs of all price points.

Warranty Coverage Includes

•    5 Years of Coverage
•    Stains from all food and beverage
•    Stains from human and pet blood, vomit and urine
•    1 – Bottle of All-Natural General Purpose Cleaner
contains Coconut Oil, Organic Alcohol, Folic Acid, Soy-Based Astringents
•    1 – Bottle of Water-based Oil and Grease Cleaner
contains Plant-based degreasers
•    1 – Microfiber Cloth
•    1 – Agitator Brush

Warranty Service Includes

•    Warranty certificate packaged inside box
•    Toll-free warranty number to call for service
•    Nationwide network of service technicians
•    In-home cleaning and repair service
•    Full replacement if item cannot be cleaned

Purchase at Hemphill’s Rugs & Carpets Costa Mesa, CA

Repairing Small Carpet Burns

There are a few simple methods to repair small burns in your carpet.  For the first method you will need:

  • Sharp manicure scissors
  • Tweezers
  • Super glue or manicure glue
  • A Clean Heavy Object (Book or brick wrapped in foil)


Use the scissors to cut away all evidence of singed carpet fibers. Then using the tweezers carefully remove any remaining carpet fibers that look burnt or dark due to being singed by the embers.

small carpet burnOnce all signs of the burn have been removed you’ll most likely have a small hole or indentation. Using a piece of leftover carpet or carpet from an area that is not in plain view use the miniature scissors again. This time you’ll use them to trim a fair amount of small, clean carpet fibers. Cut enough fibers from the hidden area in order to completely fill in the burn area.

Then apply a small amount of glue into the burn hole and use the tweezers to fill in the hole with the clean-cut carpeting fibers. It’s important to fill it as full as possible. Place a heavy object over the repaired area. Leave it there for 3 to 4 days. After removing the heavy object use a clean comb to fluff the fibers and vacuum to blend in the repaired spot with the rest of the carpet.

The second method we’re going to explore is how to fix a very minor surface burn to nylon carpet using a box cutter. The video below demonstrates a gentle method using just a straight razor or box cutter to scrape the damaged areas of the fiber from the tufts of a very minor burn.