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What Is The Process For Cleaning Area Rugs?

There is a real art to cleaning area rugs, and the best professionals may be able to restore even the most soiled rugs. This is a much-needed service for many homeowners, as a delicate Oriental or Persian rug can cost thousands of dollars. The mere presence of soil will accelerate aging and increase the chances of the piece suffering tears and other damage. However, homeowners often worry about the treatment process, wondering if it’s too rough for a fragile or older rug. Fortunately, the techniques that professionals use are much gentler than do-it-yourself options, as over the counter detergents are typically too harsh for the fragile fibers and dyes.

What is the professional process for cleaning area rugs?

Before the more involved treatment processes begins, the technicians will dust the rug to get rid of any loose soil by using a system to loosen and remove the particulates that utilizes an agitation process. Removing loose soil will make the rest of the treatment process much easier and will prevent the dirt from being pushed deeper into the fibers. The technicians should also vacuum the piece to remove even more loose soil, but it’s important not to use too much air pressure to pull soil out. Delicate fibers can easily be pulled apart if the technician is not careful. Prior to cleaning any area rugs, the technician will test the dyes and fibers for detergent tolerance  to insure that there will be no dye migration from the fibers.

After all of the loose soil is removed, the technician will rinse the rug, helping dislodge and suspend any soils entangled in the fibers. This process is essential for facilitating the removal of pet urine, which cannot happen with surface treatment alone. When the rug is completely wet, the technician will employ a soft bristle agitator along with an appropriate detergent and shampoo the carpet.
Depending on how soiled the piece is, it may need to be cleansed and rinsed more than once. Once the rinse water is clear, it is time to dry the rug using a carpet centrifuge, which looks like a long hollow tube. The piece goes inside the tube, and the centrifuge switched on. It spins the rug at high speed and pulls almost all of the water out. It’s similar to how a washing machine pulls water out of clothing or an extraction machine that removes the water with a vacuum.

Following centrifuge drying or extraction, the piece is hung on a drying rack to ensure the rest of the water dries completely. Technicians can also groom the piece and treat any stain spots while suspended from the rack. Most technicians will keep the piece suspended overnight to ensure complete drying.

In general, this is how professionals perform cleaning on area rugs. It’s a thorough process that extends the life of the piece and keeps it looking vibrant and healthy.

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