Ads about Invista's new Stainmaster "PetProtect" were out as early as last November. The new product is durable, easy-to-clean and resists most pet stains according to the publicity releases. They claim pet hair lets go easier when vacuumed. That reminded me that it's time to do my annual puff-piece on the Stainmaster we bought for our family room in January of 1987. Actually it's the truth, but it sounds like a PR rep has played spin doctor on it.
DuPont spent $50,000,000.00, a lot of money in 1986, introducing Stainmaster with little Ricky throwing his food on the carpet. The commercials said it was easy to clean, but apparently they couldn't afford maintenance literature and wouldn't answer my inquiries about cleaning the new product. As cleaning professionals we needed to know if there were special requirements, so I started a testing program to see for myself how to clean it and how it would perform.
L. S. Ayres & Co., installed a champaign-colored cut-pile, by WestPoint Pepperell in our family room which is adjacent to a blacktop driveway and garage. Foot traffic funnels through the center of the room, so it was a poor choice of color and pile texture. The salesman never questioned my selection and when I asked about cleaning he said, "Don't worry about it, it hardly ever needs cleaning." No cleaning or warranty information was delivered by the installers.
For the next five years that Stainmaster was cleaned monthly and a variety of topical treatments (some later not recommended by DuPont) were applied to monitor the effects. In May of 1991, DuPont sent Cy Gantt to look at the carpet. The entry he made in our guest book reads, "The carpet is beautiful. It is difficult to put into words what it means to have Bane-Clene as a friend." Cy brought an artificial tree for our pool as a gift, which we cherish to this day.
In June of 1991, DuPont dispatched Caren McCabe to our home. Her entry in our guest book says, "Thanks for a wonderful two days. It was a pleasure meeting the folks at Bane-Clene and seeing the results of your testing program. It really looks great." Caren wasn't as kind to me as she was with her approval of our carpet tests. She beat me in golf at my club and again the next year when I was her guest at DuPont Country Club.
DuPont has sold the Stainmaster brand name, but twenty-seven years later, that carpet is still here. It has survived all of our early rigorous testing along with normal wear and tear like grandchildren, pizza, and pets. The traffic lane is not apparent, the tip definition is excellent and the fibers demonstrate remarkable resilience. If the new Invista product is half as good as our old Stainmaster it's a winner.