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FAF Blog

Mohawk SmartStrand Triexta Carpet Shines in the SmartStrand Rhino Challenge

By FAF Staff Writer, (868 words) Posted in Carpet on September 1, 2009
There are (88) comments permalink

Mohawk SmartStrand triexta carpet took a beating from Ricko the rhino during the recent two week SmartStrand Challenge. The SmartStrand carpeting with DuPont Sorona had to withstand the constant tracking of mud, dirt, and the daily surprises left by Ricko the 14 year old, 2,800 pound black rhinoceros. A surprise to many, the SmartStrand carpet held up and won the challenge as the carpet was easily cleaned with Mohawk FloorCare Essentials Carpet Stain Remover, the same carpet care product found in many flooring stores.

Mohawk SmartStrand Carpet Cleans Up After Two Weeks in Rhino Enclosure

Birngham, Alabama (9/1/09) – The grudge match is over and the winner has been crowned in the battle between Mohawk® SmartStrand® carpet made with DuPont™ Sorona® renewably sourced polymer, and Ricko The Rhino. The beige carpet emerged victorious in the SmartStrand Rhino Challenge...after two weeks of exposure to Ricko, the 2,800–pound black rhinoceros, the SmartStrand triexta carpeting came clean.

This revolutionary carpet stood up to everything Ricko the Rhino could dish out: the constant tracking in of mud, dirt, and even nastier stains, as well as being trampled on by the animal who weighs in at a staggering 1½ tons. "I never had a doubt," said David Duncan, Mohawk's Vice President of Marketing. "SmartStrand's stain resistance and durability is no match for any stain-maker, whether it’s a rhinoceros or your own pets."

After more than 14 days, the light–colored carpet showed some severe staining. The Birmingham Zoo’s Ricko, a 12–year–old, Eastern Black Rhinoceros, soiled the carpet in many ways. In the last two weeks, a tropical storm had passed through the Birmingham area, forcing the very muddy rhinoceros into spend an extended amount of time in his enclosure for safety reasons. It was during that time Ricko generated some of his most difficult stains.

"To be honest, I didn’t expect it to come so clean," said Billy Cochran, a zookeeper who helps care for Ricko. Billy witnessed the cleaning by a crew from Issis & Sons Carpet, a Mohawk Floorscapes retailer from nearby Pelham, Ala. "This carpet was really a mess but now the cleaned sections look like new," Cochran said.

Using only hot-water extraction and Mohawk FloorCare Essentials Carpet Stain Remover, the dingy, dirty spots washed away. Time–lapse video from the cleaning will be provided later this week in updates on SmartStrandChallenge.com and YouTube.com/MohawkFloors.

"We used the same formula, at the same strength, available to every consumer who purchases Mohawk FloorCare Essentials from their local retailer," Duncan said. "Because this was designed to be a true test of our carpet, we didn't clean it using any extraordinary means. And it didn't need anything outside the norm because SmartStrand triexta proved itself to be that amazingly stain resistant."

Mohawk SmartStrand Triexta Carpet Cleaned

The entire piece of carpeting was not cleaned. As will be visible on the video, sections of carpet were selected for "before and after" displays so that the clean sections would be clearly identifiable.

"We tried to choose areas where you could see a distinct, muddy footprint," said Bart Rich, Mohawk's Director of Brand Management. "It will be the same piece of carpet, just half of it cleaned and the other half not, so you can see the distinct different."

During the two weeks experiment, one of four webcams broadcast the adventures of Ricko the Rhino living on carpeting live at SmartStrandChallenge.com. During that time, tens of thousands of visitors witnessed every stain and stomp by the Rhino. A Facebook page for Ricko also garnered thousands of fans who became friends of the Rhino. "Sure gonna miss watching you play around," wrote one fan. Another asked, "Are you just going to go away now that the carpet’s gone?"

Ricko the Rhino's Facebook postings will continue, promised Michael Cheek, Mohawk's Manager of Internet Technology. “We’ve got a lot more to hear from Ricko and the SmartStrand Challenge.”

SmartStrandChallenge.com will continue to be updated with videos, as will Mohawk's YouTube.com account. A highlight video from thousands of hours of webcam footage will be assembled for posting along with a wrap–up showing the entire project, Cheek said. Additional information will continue through "tweets" on Twitter.com/MohawkFlooring and postings to MohawkFlooring.com.

There are currently less than 500 Eastern Black Rhinos left in the wild and Mohawk is committed to helping Ricko’s brothers and sisters. To support rhinoceros conservation efforts, SmartStrandChallenge.com will continue selling the popular “Save the Black Rhino” t–shirts and “Ricko the Rhino” stuffed animals. Profits from both products will be used to benefit The Birmingham Zoo and the International Rhino Foundation.

"We are proud of our preservation efforts in combination with providing a compelling demonstration of SmartStrand’s attributes," Duncan said. "Just because the Challenge is over doesn’t mean everything ends. Mohawk has a lot more to tell about this extraordinary carpeting."

About Mohawk Industries

Mohawk Industries has been a trusted name in carpets for more than 130 years and is a leading supplier of flooring for both residential and commercial applications. Mohawk offers a complete selection of broadloom carpet, ceramic tile, laminate, wood, stone, vinyl, rugs and other home products. These products are marketed under the premier brands in the industry, which include Mohawk, Karastan, Ralph Lauren, Lees, Bigelow, Columbia, Century, Dal–Tile, American Olean and Quick–Step. Mohawk's unique merchandising and marketing assist our customers in creating the consumers' dream. Mohawk provides a premium level of service with its own trucking fleet and more than 250 local distribution locations.

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Comments (88)

Asanti D posted on: September 2, 2009

Great results. We need new carpet and we will ask the carpet store about smartstrand.

John Dinkins posted on: September 2, 2009

A Rhino did this? My kids might be harder on the carpet than zoo animals, but honestly I have never seen a carpet that dirty and that clean at the same time. Good job to Mohawk but is it the cleaner or the carpet? I would like to have seen common cleaners used to see those results.

Jerry Reid posted on: September 3, 2009

Is smartstrand carpet new? How long has Mohawk carpet been making this? It sounds like Mohawk Triexta is new and therefore I would assume that Mohawk smartstrand is new, but it appears to have been around a while. Can any carpet folks shed some light on this? If smartstrand has been around a while I would like to see how it held up over time and not just during this test.

Christopher B posted on: September 4, 2009

Ricko the rhino destroyed that SmartStrand carpet! The before and after photos are amazing and I must say, that Mohawk carpet is the best! Actually, maybe it was the combination of the carpet and the Mohawk carpet cleaner, but either way, that was amazing and pretty darn risky. I would have placed bets on those stains never coming out. Great job Mohawk and great job Ricko. Help save the Rhino!

TommyMohawk posted on: September 25, 2009

Ricko tried and failed......

If you have a busy lifestyle, you
have kids, you
love the great soft feel of a carpet, And you
have pets....
NO MORE RHINOS PLEASE =)

Look no further. Mohawk Smartstrand Triexta is here.

Fashion Carpets posted on: November 10, 2009

This is the best stain resistant carpet ever. I have done my own tests on the carpet in my store and it has cleaned up beautifully.
The new Triexta fiber is so soft and yet resiliant I would highly recommend it to anyone. I have it installed in my house and my wife loves it!

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D Barfield posted on: November 10, 2009

SmartStrand- may have stood up to a 2800lb Rhino for 14 days- but don't let a 2 year old near it with a harmless dry erase marker- Strangely enough the stain will not come out? I can easily remove the same stain from both a Nylon and a Polyester carpet- but not the SmartStrand. These marker are commonplace for anyone with small children, and they could easily accidentally mark on the carpeting, leaving a permanent stain- that will not be covered under the Lifetime SmartStrand stain Warranty!

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"To be honest, I didn’t expect it to come so clean," said Billy Cochran, a zookeeper who helps care for Ricko. Billy witnessed the cleaning by a crew from Issis & Sons Carpet, a Mohawk Floorscapes retailer from nearby Pelham, Ala. "This carpet was really a mess but now the cleaned sections look like new," Cochran said.

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