How Do Professionals Clean Rugs?
A lot of people believe we simply buy a giant cleaning machine and just let it go. Professionals clean rugs by getting the dirt out of it before you clean it. If you can imagine, back in the old days you’d see pictures of people taking a rug outside, hanging it over a line, and beating it with rug beaters. That’s like what we do today first, but we have a machine that does that for us. We run that machine over the back of the rug to vibrate the dust out from the back of the rug, then a vacuum system sucks the dirt out of the front. Many people wash their rugs from the top of it, which pushes all the dirt to the back and can create a cement-like layer at the back of the rug.
Then, we clean everything by hand. We use different detergents based on the different materials that are in the rug. If you have a silk rug, for example, we would use a different detergent with a different pH to it than what we would use for a wool rug.
Cleaning by hand allows us to adjust the cleaning process as we go on. Not every rug is the same. If you have an old, antique rug that’s very fragile, hand-cleaning may be the only thing that will work. With a rug like that, you would not want a machine to touch it due to fear of damaging it.
After it is cleaned, we extract the water from it and place it in our drying room. This room has fans and dehumidifiers that help take the moisture out of the rugs as well. The rug will stay there until it is completely dry. Remember, rugs are usually woven through the back. So, when it gets wet, especially if you’re working with a natural fiber like wool or silk, you have to make sure both the front and back are completely dry. If not, you run the risk of mold and mildew.