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What Happens When a Carpet Cleaner Washes a Rug?

Time and time again, customers walk into Persian Rug Cleaner with a beautiful piece that has lost much of its value. The culprit is usually carpet cleaners.

As many of you have probably experienced, when carpet cleaners come to clean your carpets and notice a handmade rug, they are quick to tell you that they clean rugs as well and it would be no trouble to clean your fine rug.

Recently, a couple came in with a pair of rugs with extensive damage. The husband had fallen for the carpet cleaner’s promise that they could clean rugs, specifically $40,000 pure silk Persian rugs, as well as carpets, much the the dismay of his wife, who knew better.

These companies often claim to know everything about fine handmade rugs, and assert that they clean them all the time. While it’s true that they could clean the rugs, it’s clear that doesn’t mean they should!

In just two weeks after cleaning, the fringes of their beautiful Persian rug completely unraveled. It was obvious that the destruction was tied to the “cleaning” perpetrated by the carpet cleaner. We won’t say who cleaned their valuable pieces and ruined them, but we will say it was one of the leading carpet cleaners in the area.

Never never never trust a carpet cleaner to wash a handmade rug. The methods and chemicals they use are made for artificial fibers, essentially nylon. You can imagine how bad this kind of method is for a rug made of delicate natural fibers such as wool or silk. Would you clean your hair with the same chemicals you clean your car with? Of course not! Hair is much more delicate and made of a completely different material. The material is what dictates what cleaners you should use on an item.

Rugs are works of art made by hand. The machines used by carpet cleaners for carpets are much too rough on the fragile foundation of fine rugs and can cause your rug to unravel, which is exactly what happened to that couple, unfortunately. Only trust your rug to professionals who specialize in cleaning rugs by hand. Your rug should not be cleaned at your own home. Professional rug cleaning requires your rug to be taken to a specialized facility.

In addition, carpet cleaners typically leave soap inside your rug without rinsing it out. This causes materials like silk to lose their luster, while at the same time becoming cumbersome and stiff. The cleaners they use can even cause color fading and stains.

As we have seen in the past, unprofessional rug washing leads to fringe and binding damage, color bleeding, and harms texture of the rug fibers. If you have allowed a carpet cleaner to wash your rugs, call Persian Rug Cleaner immediately for a consultation to remove the soap and cleaners undoubtedly left within the pile of your rug before they cause further harm.

We use only the safest of organic shampoos and natural enzymes. Our hand washing method is machine free and passed down through generations from Old Persia.

Luckily for the couple that brought their damaged pure silk Persian rug in, Persian Rug Cleaner was able to reweave the fringes and restore them. However, the methods for doing so are expensive due to the amount of manual labor involved and the value of the rug will never be the same. Allowing a carpet cleaner to wash your rug causes the rug to lose a great portion of its value. It would be better yet to not let a carpet cleaner wash your rugs to begin with.

When it comes to cleaning fine handmade rugs, experience matters. Trust the experts at Persian Rug Cleaner for generations of expertise, knowledge, and care.

How to Care for a Silk Persian Rug

dallas silk rug cleaners

Detail of a silk Persian brocade rug. Notice how vibrant the colors are.

Silk is actually a very strong fiber. It is used in Persian and Oriental rugs because it is also elegant and alluring. When cleaning a silk rug, the problem is not so much with the material as with the dyes. You need to be careful that the dyes do not bleed.

The best way to care for your silk rug is by regular light cleaning and spot cleaning when necessary.

It is also important to know that silk rugs stain easily, so you want to avoid putting the rug where there is a lot of foot traffic. Also, if there is a lot of walking on the rug, the color could fade and the embroidery could be damaged (you may, therefore, want to hang a Persian/Oriental silk rug on a wall). Once the damage has occurred, there is no way to repair it. You also want to avoid using any abrasive cleaner on the rug, which can damage it as well.

You can dust this type of rug with an ordinary broom or vacuum. If you use a broom, however, you want to sweep lightly over the rug to avoid damage. When using a vacuum, use only the head without a brush. Again, a brush may cause damage to the rug.

If you spill something on the rug, you need to clean it up as soon as possible. If the stain is allowed to dry, it may become impossible to get out. If there is solid material on the rug, watch that you do not scrape too hard to remove the material, as this could harm the rug also.

To remove a liquid spill, use a clean, white cloth and blot the stain to remove as much of it as you can. Then use a gentle cleaner to take care of the rest. Some people use club soda on their rug to remove stains. To do this, pour the club soda onto the rug, and then blot it dry. Another cleaner that can be used is a mixture of equal parts of white vinegar and water.

You also want to keep the rug away from anything hot, as this may harm the rug. You shouldn’t use a hair dryer to dry any liquid on the rug, and avoid using hot water when cleaning the rug. And you should never use chemical cleaners on the rug, which can damage the color and texture.

To give your silk rug a thorough cleaning, which should be done regularly, you need to take it to a professional rug cleaner. They have the knowledge as well as the specialized equipment and cleaners to properly clean the rug without damaging it.

If you have silk Persian or Oriental rug you need cleaned, we urge you to bring it to a professional Persian/Oriental rug cleaner. Contact Persian Rug Cleaner of Dallas at 972-447-9600 for more information.

Image by Sialkgraph (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Moths and Your Persian Rug

Moths love many Persian and Oriental rugs. That is because these rugs often are made from wool and vegetable dye. All of the materials are natural. Plus, they like areas that are dark and warm, an environment the underside of these rugs provide. Their larvae love to eat wool as well.

Preventing Moth Infestation

The way to keep moths away is simple – keep your rug clean.

The best way to do this is to vacuum the rug often, at least every two to three weeks, without the beater brush extension. And you should get it cleaned by a professional at least once every two to three years. Pay special attention to the parts of the rug that are in darker areas where, as mentioned, moths prefer to nest and breed.

It is also worth noting that mothballs really don’t do much to deter moths from attacking your rug. The lure of the wool and dye is simply too powerful.

The two kinds of moths that are attracted to a Persian/Oriental rug are the webbing moth and the casemaking moth. As far as moths go, they are not large, and they have wings. When they find a Persian or Oriental rug they like, they will begin to build a nest in it.

Moths Issues on Oriental Rug

Since they like areas that are dark, you are more likely to find them in sections of the rug where the light is blocked, such as behind furniture. You are likely to find them in an area under the sofa that is seldom vacuumed, for example. They are also partial to certain types of dyes, and so you may find them concentrated on a certain color area of the rug.

After making a nest, the moths will lay their eggs. You probably won’t see them because the eggs mimic the color of the rug. The eggs then hatch into larvae, which are about one-half inch long, and the larvae begin eating the fibers.

If you’ve found signs of moth infestation in your Persian or Oriental rug, bring them to Persian Rug Cleaner of Dallas.  Contact us at 972-447-9600 for more information.

Image by Olaf Leillinger (Own work) [CC BY-SA 2.5  or GFDL], via Wikimedia Commons.

Why It’s Even More Important to Take a Persian Rug to a Professional Cleaner

If you own a hand-knotted Persian or Oriental rug, you may be tempted to clean it yourself in an effort to save a little money. Now, if the rug is not that dirty, and all you want to do is give it a dusting with the vacuum, doing it yourself is fine.

Dallas Oriental rug cleaner

A Western Anatolia 16th century knotted wool Lotto carpet.

However, if you want to give the rug a thorough cleaning, the best thing for you to do is to take it not just to a professional rug cleaner, but to a professional Persian/Oriental rug cleaner because, simply put, they know what to do and how to do it right. Here are a few reasons why using a professional is the best thing to do.

  1. They understand the importance of dusting.

Before they do any cleaning of a rug, a professional Persian rug cleaner will dust the rug thoroughly. This is extremely important. In fact, it is the most important part of cleaning. And it is something that many people – even professionals – neglect to do.

Dusting is important to remove the small particles of dirt on the rug, especially ones that have fallen into the pile. If these particles are not removed, they can damage the rug because of their abrasiveness. If you do not dust the rug thoroughly, you simply remove the dirt on top, leaving the deeply lodged particles underneath.

Moreover, because of the way they are made, Persian rugs can hold a lot of dirt without looking soiled, literally pounds of it.

Persian rug cleaners are painstaking in their efforts to dust out this dirt. It is a very time consuming process. And they do this before they do any washing of the rug.

  1. They use the right detergents.

Persian rug cleaners use detergents that are specially made for these types of rugs. Moreover, they test the rugs to make sure the cleansers will not hurt a rug’s colors. Then, they wash the rugs using a rug shampoo that is safe for use on wool. After that, they rinse the rug using an acidic solution that neutralizes the alkaline cleanser, which helps to stabilize the dyes in the rug so that they do not run. Finally, they groom and dry the rugs using air movers. Cleaning a Persian or Oriental rug properly takes a lot of time and effort, but the result is worth it.

When you need your Persian or Oriental rug cleaned in the Dallas region, take it to Persian Rug Cleaner of Dallas.  Give us a call at 972-447-9600 for more information.

Image courtesy St. Louis Art Museum via Flickr.com

One Cleaning Tool You Should NEVER Use on a Persian Rug

For the most part, vacuuming a Persian rug is a good thing. It prevents the dirt from working its way down into the rug, where it can add up and cause damage. However, you need to be careful with the type of vacuum you use.

You want to avoid a vacuum that has a rotating brush attachment, or beater bar. These powered brushes work well on common machine made rugs, but on an Oriental or Persian rug, the brush rakes across the pile and can do damage. You especially want to avoid using such brushes on the fringes of these rugs because the brush will shred the fringe. Often, the longer threads of the fringe get caught up in the brush and chewed up.

Vacuuming is the #1 enemy of Rugs | Persian Rug Cleaner Dallas

A vacuum cleaner that uses suction only to pick up dirt is the best kind to use on a Persian or Oriental rug.

When you vacuum your rug, it is best to simply use the nozzle, or with some single-piece attachment. We also recommend vacuuming your rugs often. This is because these rugs are usually wool and are more loosely constructed, which means they can hold a lot of dirt – a pound per square yard before they even begin to look dirty. If you don’t vacuum often, these particles can make their way down to the base of the rug, rub against the fibers and cause wear on the rug.

For thinner woven rugs, those with a short pile or no pile, some rug experts simply use the upholstery attachment to their vacuum cleaner. Again, you want to avoid using the power brush.

Before you turn on the vacuum, you want to figure out which way the pile is running. To do this, simply run your hand over the rug to ascertain in which way the rug’s pile points. You can easily feel if your hand is going with the grain of the pile or against the grain. When you vacuum, you want to go with the grain, using short strokes.

On heavier pile rugs you can probably run the vacuum over the rug, but again, you should avoid using the beater brush. You especially need to avoid the beater brush if the rug has any areas where it is buckling.

No matter how well or how often you vacuum your Oriental or Persian rug, you also should have it cleaned professionally at least every couple of years. Contact Persian Rug Cleaner of Dallas at 972-447-9600 for more information.

Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

Why You Shouldn’t Clean Oriental Rugs at Home

The best way to clean an Oriental rug is by washing it. But to wash it with the care it deserves, you need to take it to a professional.

Rug Cleaning shouldn't be DIY | Persian Rug Cleaner Dallas

Don’t do this at home.

There are several reasons for this. The first has to do with the material from which the rug is made. That material is usually wool. Because of the structure of a wool fiber, which under a microscope looks like overlapping flat plates, wool rugs can hold a lot of dirt. The reason for this is that there are many places for the dirt to go in a strand of wool. A wool rug can hold literally several pounds of dirt and other debris and not look especially dirty, because the dirt is ensconced in all the nooks and crannies in the fibers.

So, the first reason why the rug needs to be removed from the home is because of all the dirt in it. All of the dirt needs to be taken out even before you wash the rug. Moreover, you cannot wash a woven Oriental rug thoroughly in a home with the usual carpet washing machines, which only do surface cleaning. In fact, sometimes trying to wash a rug in a home can cause more damage.

Many people also try to hose down their rugs at home, not realizing how much water a wool rug can hold, again because of the structure of the fibers. It can cause the dye to run, or other problems such as buckling and shrinking of the rug. Plus, it takes a very long time for the rug to dry.

Because the fibers absorb so much water, the rugs become very heavy. The inside fibers swell with water, and so you need the proper equipment to get the water out to enable the rug to dry quickly.

To wash Oriental rugs properly, they need to be taken to a facility that specializes in washing Oriental rugs. It is only there that professional cleaners will be able to use the equipment needed to get the most dirt out of the rug before washing it. And then, through the use of a wash pit or wash floor, the cleaners will be able to completely saturate the rug to loosen up and flush out the remaining debris in the rug. What’s more, they will be able to dry the rug completely before it returns to your home.

When you need an Oriental or Persian rug washed, call upon the experts at Persian Rug Cleaner of Dallas.  Give us a call at 972-447-9600 for an appointment.