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There’s no magic involved in the Dirt Trapper’s capacity to make muddy footprints disappear, although you may well be forgiven for believing so once you’ve tried one out.
The great ability of a Dirt Trapper mat to literally trap moisture and dirt is down to science. It’s a combination of a natural and a synthetic material that makes up this nifty invention, which is such a boon to anyone who is faced with keeping floors clean.
The top of a Dirt Trapper mat features a plush, dense layer of cotton fibres, bonded securely to the nitrile rubber backing.
Cotton is known to be one of the most absorbent materials on the planet, able to absorb more than 25 times its weight in water. This doesn’t only mean it takes to dye well, allowing us to produce Dirt Trapper mats in a wide range of colours and designs (including customised logo designs), but also makes it ideal for soaking up all the muddy muck deposited by shoes, boots and paws.
For those who like to know the technical detail, cotton is pure cellulose, made up of a long chain of glucose molecules linked in repetitive chain patterns. The cellulose chains are negatively charged, which helps them attract the positively charged hydrogen atoms in water molecules.
In chemistry Cotton is said to have “hydrophilic properties” – from the ancient Greek word hydro, meaning water, and philic meaning loving.
Clever cotton is not just hydrophilic – it has also been proven to have a capillary action, which means moisture is actively drawn in through the fibres and stored in the interior cell walls, until it eventually evaporates and dries out.
Some other great benefits of cotton include the fact that it doesn’t retain odours; it’s tough, hard-wearing and durable; it’s resistant to static electricity and therefore doesn’t attract hair and dust; it is soft underfoot and best of all it is machine washable. Amazingly, cotton is actually 30% stronger when wet, and can withstand many washings in hot water.
It is clear then that cotton is the perfect material for topping a door mat or keeping your carpets clean in a high traffic corridor. But just as important as the cotton top, is the base on which it is mounted.
When we first designed the Dirt Trapper we realised that a cotton mat was great, but unfortunately it was prone to slipping and sliding about, particularly on wood or tile floors.
To prevent this from happening we needed a non-slip backing that was waterproof and firm, but flexible and resilient enough to be washed safely in a washing machine.
The answer was nitrile rubber – a synthetic rubber used in many safety-related applications which has good elasticity and viscosity properties, and is highly resistant to damage from punctures, cuts, abrasion and oily substances.
With the cotton top bonded to the flexible rubber backing all the way to the edges, the Dirt Trapper rug doesn’t curl. And the bobbly design on the underside of the rubber backing is added insurance that the rug won’t slip, even on the shiniest smooth floor.
We’re confident there is no finer rug than this! All you have to do to experience the magic, is wipe your feet on a Dirt Trapper!