Having a handmade area rug cleaned can be risky business. Who do you have clean it? Why not ask your carpet cleaner? It is just another type of carpet after all. What if he says he can ‘lightly run over it’ while cleaning your wall to wall carpet? Does he know what kind of damage he can cause doing this? Do you? With our Phoenix rug washing process you can rest easy that your rug will be cared for properly. Let’s take a look at what properly cleaning a rug means.
Phoenix Rug Washing – Never In the Home
This is a big one many cleaners simply ignore or never knew in the first place. With a handmade rug there is simply too much to go wrong if cleaning in your home is attempted. From deep embedded dry soil to dye stability, there are just too many variables to risk an in home cleaning. This does not mean that a cleaning in the home will not improve the appearance of the rug, but over the life of the rug, you will have done some damage.
Phoenix Rug Washing – Dry Soil
This is the number one reason why your rugs should be cleaned off site in a rug washing facility. All rugs, even cheap machine made rugs with stable dyes and strong construction suffer from the Arizona desert. The first step once in our facility is to use a special rug beating system to remove all of that desert dirt and grit. If allowed to remain when cleaned in home, this dirt will become mud. This mud will dry to a tougher grit that will grind the life out of your rug as you walk on it, greatly shortening the life of your rug.
Phoenix Rug Washing – Dye Stability
Many handmade rugs are made with dyes from all kinds strange sources. These sources do not always have the strongest hold on the fiber. When a dye releases its hold from one fiber to another, we call it migration. There are two ways a dye will choose to migrate. First is as it is getting wet, our industry calls this bleeding. The second is when a dye migrates as it dries, this is know as crocking. We can effectively test for bleeding, crocking is a little more tricky. Cleaning in our facility allows us to control the environment to dry the rug rapidly, avoiding risk of crocking. The image to the left shows a rug that was hosed by a client and hung to dry. Obviously not all the colors were stable.
Phoenix Rug Washing – Washing v Cleaning
Cleaning a rug in the home uses the wrong tools for the trade. Carpet tools are designed for a more durable backing construction than a hand knotted rug. The powerful suction can damage the hand woven knots. The carpet cleaning wand uses jets to spray the rinse water onto the fiber. These jets are often designed for fibers that can tolerate higher pressures. The fibers used in handmade rugs can not tolerate such pressures. Washing a rug gently submerges the rug allowing soil to be floated away.
Phoenix Rug Washing – Grooming
Grooming a rug can be done in the home, but having adequate lighting to do so well is helpful. Here we see what a difference proper grooming can make. Wool fibers need to be laid down while they are wet. If you fail to do this, they will dry seemingly discolored. As you can see in the pictures, this discoloration is simply fibers reflecting the light differently.