Area rugs require special care. Like upholstery cleaning, proper chemistry is absolutely necessary. Most rugs that we clean are 100% wool. Wools of New Zealand, one of world's largest manufacturers of wool products, specifies that wool rugs should not be cleaned with a pH over 9, and a temperature over 175°. Improper cleaning can cause color loss and fiber damage. Our company carefully follows all guidelines for proper rug cleaning.
The first step in area rug cleaning is inspection. While most rugs are 100% wool, many rugs are machine-made olefin or nylon rugs. We also encounter silk rugs. All fiber types must be cleaned differently. Each fiber has its own characteristics and cleaning requirements. During inspection we also determine whether the rug is hand-made or machine-made. If the rug is hand-made we will look for unique variations of color in the rug that could become more obvious after cleaning.
2. Dry Soil Removal
Before we can wet clean any rug, we must remove as much soil as possible. Most area rugs have an extremely dense pile, which tend to trap large amounts of soil. We use a commercial vacuum system and vacuum the rug multiple times until dust and soil has been completely removed.
This step is necessary in treating food stains that cannot be removed through normal cleaning procedures. During this step we also apply enzyme deodorizers to urine-soaked areas.
We begin by pre-conditioning the fringes, which are usually made of cotton and tend to show the soil more. While the fringes are soaking, we pre-condition the rug itself, using a pre-conditioner to match the soil level and fiber type.
Like carpet cleaning, agitation of the fibers is an important step in order to remove grease and other oil-based stains. For silk rugs, we are careful not to agitate against the nap, since this could leave visible marks.
6. Rinse and Extraction
We rinse both the fringes and rug several times to ensure that all residue, both soil and shampoo, have been removed. We carefully extract the rug to remove as much moisture as possible, again avoiding leaving marks.
We often re-clean the fringe at this point, and also look for any remaining spots that may require additional cleaning. We finish the process by grooming the rug to set the nap in the right direction.
8. Protector Treatment
If the rug is used in an area where food and beverage spills are possible, we recommend the application of a stain-resistant treatment. We use Teflon© for Wool.
9. Drying Process
We dry the rugs using powerful blowers to speed the drying time.
Q. Can you clean rugs in the home?
A. Generally we only clean synthetic rugs such as nylon and olefin in the home. Natural-fiber rugs, such as wool, may bleed when wet, and could cause permanent staining if cleaned over carpet. In addition, fringes are nearly impossible to clean in a home since they must be soaked and then hung-dried. We prefer to clean the rugs at our own facility and return them to you within a few days.