A high quality rug could last lifetimes if cared for properly and should be cleaned by professionals.
Polyester, Nylon, Polypropylene, Triexta varieties. Most synthetic area rugs can be safely cleaned in your home, much like the wall to wall carpet that is installed. Our low moisture cleaning process does not typically penetrate the rug backing, so we are able to clean rugs without disturbing the floor beneath.
It is recommended that wool rugs are cleaned differently than synthetic rugs in order to fully remove the soil they can hold. This is due to both the wool fiber itself and the way they are constructed. The picture above shows a microscopic view of a wool fiber. You can see in this picture that there are many grooves in each fiber. Each of these “fish scale” like grooves will hold on to dust and dirt until the rug is thoroughly dusted and cleaned. In fact, a wool rug can hold several pounds of soil before it shows any sign of appearing dirty. This accumulation of grit and debris is abrasive to the fibers and over time can cause damage if not properly removed. It is always surprising to see how much dirt is removed from the rugs prior to washing, even rugs that do not appear very dirty on the surface, hold a surprising amount of dry contaminants.
Pet urine is the most damaging contaminent that a natural fiber rug will encounter. Urine is warm and acid-based. It infiltrates the acid-based dyes that are used when the rug was created and can cause permanent color loss/fading and dye migration also known as “bleeding”. If urine is left in a rug for an extended period of time, dry rot may occur. The innermost wefts of a wool or silk rug are constructed of cotton. These cotton fibers are very absorbent and become saturated, holding onto the urine. This creates an environment for mildew and bacteria to grow. Mildew and bacteria are not only unhealthy contaminants in our living spaces, they also contribute to odor issues. Over time, urine changes from acid to alkaline further damaging the dyes in the rug. This can realease color and destablilize dyes, creating color “bleed”. It is recommended that homes with pets have area rugs cleaned at least yearly or more often if pet accidents occur.
These rugs are constructed of plant based fibers which are very sensitive to moisture. When they get wet they release oils that turn brown. They are easily stained and hard to maintain.Typically, soiled rugs need to be cleaned and washed thoroughly, but these fibers like to yellow when wet. Low moisture cleaning with a natural cleaning solution is the only option, with limited results.
For area rugs that are needing extra attention such as pet soiling and urine problems, bring your rugs to us for extensive cleaning and odor remediation!
In shop cleaning process:
1. Rug Dusting - use a machine to gently shake loose the dust and fine particles from both the backing and face of the rug.
2. Pretreatment - a neutral ph/ wool safe cleaner that is designed to suspend soil is applied to the both sides of the rug. A dye stabilizing treatment will be necessary on all rugs that have been exposed to urine to minimize dye migration. *Pet urine can destabilize the dyes and cause them to bleed into other areas of the rug when exposed to water. We treat the rugs to help stabilize the dye and control its migration prior to flushing in the “bath”. Urine also breaks down the latex glue in rugs that are backed with fabric causing damage to the bond between the back and rug and surface. Rugs that have had their integrity jeopardized may not hold up well to a rug bath. We will do a thorough pre-inspection to determine the integrity of the rug and extent of contamination using a blacklight.
3. Rug Bath - rugs are completely submerged into a rug “bath”. High pressure water is circulated through the rug at a rate of 85 gallons per minute. This flushes the innermost cotton weft foundation fibers and the soil is agitated loose until the water circulating out runs clear.
4. Fiber treatment - both sides of the rug are scrubbed with soft counter rotating brushes designed to lift the pile and remove any remaining soil from the fiber.
5. Rinse - each side of the rug is thoroughly rinsed and a neutralizing agent is applied.
6. Extraction - the rug is extracted with specialized equipment designed to remove up to 80% of the moisture prior to being dried.
7. Drying - rugs are quickly dried in our temperature controlled drying chamber.
8. Grooming - after the rug is dried, it is groomed with special attention to fringe.