Polyester, nylon, polypropylene, and Triexta are among the synthetic materials used in area rugs that can often be cleaned safely within your home. Our method involves low moisture cleaning, which usually doesn't reach the rug's backing. This allows us to thoroughly clean the rugs without affecting the flooring underneath.
We recommend that wool rugs are cleaned differently than synthetic rugs to fully remove any soil particles. This is due to both the wool fiber itself and the way they are manufactured. Some wool rugs can hold several pounds of soil before they even start to look dirty! This accumulation of grit and debris is abrasive to the fibers and over time causes damage if not properly removed.
Pet urine is among the most damaging contaminants for a natural fiber rug. Urine infiltrates the acid-based dyes that are used to make the rug and can cause permanent color loss and dye migration. If urine is left in a rug for too long, 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, but also contribute to odor issues. Over time, urine changes from acid to alkaline, which further damages the dyes in the rug. This can release color and destabilize the dyes. It is recommended that pet owners get their area rugs cleaned at least per year or more if pet accidents occur.
Sisal and Jute rugs are made from plant-based fibers that are sensitive to moisture. If they get wet, they release oils that typically brown out the rug. They are easily stained and hard to maintain. Soiled rugs need to be cleaned and washed thoroughly, but the challenge with these fibers is that they tend to turn yellow or brown when wet. Unfortunately, these rugs are often thought of as “disposable” in the rug industry as they are not very easy to maintain or clean and the weak fibers easily wear out from the foot traffic and furniture weight in a typical home environment. Viscose is a fiber made of chemically processed wood pulp and cellulose. Viscose does not hold up well to moisture or foot traffic, making it another rug to add to the “disposable” category.
–Rug dusting. We use a machine to gently shake loose the dust and fine particles from both the backing and face of the rug.
–Pretreatment. A neutral PH, wool safe cleaner that is designed to suspend soil is applied to both sides of the rug. A dye stabilizing treatment may be necessary on rugs that have been exposed to urine to minimize dye migration. (Note that pet urine can destabilize the dyes and cause them to bleed into other areas of the rug if exposed to water.) We treat the rugs to help stabilize the dye and control its migration prior to flushing in the rug 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 the extent of contamination using a blacklight.
–Rug bath. The rugs are submerged into a rug bath. High pressure water circulates through the rug at a rate of 85 gallons per minute. This flushes the cotton weft foundation fibers and loosens soil particles until the water runs clear.
–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.
–Rinse. After thoroughly rinsing both sides of the rug, we apply neutralizing agent. -Extraction. The rug is extracted with specialized equipment designed to remove up to 80 percent of the moisture prior to drying.
–Drying. The rugs dry quickly in our temperature controlled drying chamber.
–Grooming. After drying, the rug is groomed with special attention to the fringe.