Cleaning rugs is more challenging than cleaning fitted carpets. Most rugs are unique, which poses cleaning challenges. It’s worth getting professional help.
Why rug cleaning requires special care
The diversity of design, style and materials used in the construction of rugs means specialist cleaning techniques are required to clean them safely.
The construction of rugs is different to carpets in three ways:
- the use of decorative borders.
These differences impact how each rug is cleaned.
Rugs are usually made from dense pile. Individual fibres are packed close together, so grime, allergens and odours are easily trapped.
A quick vacuum can’t remove engrained dirt. A more powerful intervention is required.
Rugs are made in a variety of natural and synthetic materials, including silk, cotton, wool, sisal, bamboo, nylon and polypropylene.
Cleaning protocols vary for each material, so you can’t use the same cleaning method for all rugs.
A deep clean of specific materials requires knowledge, experience and an understanding of specialist techniques.
Some hand-woven rugs, like kilims, dhurries and Persians, have decorative, tasseled borders.
These are the warps – the fragile strands of cotton – that the silk or wool pile knots are tied around. Vacuuming can pull out the tassels and damage the rug.
Careful treatment by an experienced operator is needed to preserve the integrity of the fringe and surrounding border.
Unique risk factors
Unlike fitted carpets, which are usually monochromatic, rugs are intricately patterned floor coverings with rich, lustrous colours.
The use of household cleaners and incorrect cleaning methods can cause permanent damage, particularly fading and discolouration.
One of the greatest risk factors is the bleeding of one colour into another. When this happens, a valuable rug may be rendered worthless.
Rug types that need professional cleaning
Antique and oriental rugs made from silk are precious pieces that deserve special care. Don’t risk a growth investment through DIY cleaning.
Similarly, certain rug materials require unique treatments and techniques. Rugs made from silk should always be professionally cleaned. Wool rugs like flokatis are susceptible to shrinkage.
As a rule, it’s advisable to refer to the manufacturer’s cleaning instructions. When in doubt, a reputable cleaning service will have the answers.
Our rug cleaning process at Chelsea Cleaning
Our comprehensive rug cleaning service is dependent on rug type and material. The entire process – from mechanised rug beating, stain removal and washing to centrifugal spinning and air drying – is conducted off site. It involves the use of sophisticated equipment, cleaning materials and expert techniques.