Professional Area Rug Cleaning Services For Salem, Portland, Monmouth and Independence Oregon:
Consider the services of The Carpet Cleaning Expert before your area rugs begin to show soil in the traffic lanes. In some instances, the dull appearance of soiled areas in traffic lanes may be the result of permanent fiber damage caused by abrasive soil. Allowing area rugs and rugs to become excessively soiled will shorten the useful life of the area rugs.
Some of the services provided by The Carpet Cleaning Expert:
- Stain removal
- On-location cleaning (in your home)
- Full Interior Detail Of Cars, RV’s and Boats
- Off-Site cleaning (for rugs)
- Carpet Protection After Cleaning
- Urine Damage Abatement
- Odor control
Wool Area Rugs
In some cases I can clean your wool area rugs onsite and in most cases I will take them out of your home, deliver,and re-place them for you. My corporate competitors begin charging at $3.00 per square foot,depending on condition and that does not include the fringe border,if that is applicable. Those fringe borders are typically $2-3.00 a linear foot with my competitors. My pricing is about the same of my corporate competitors in most cases and can be significantly reduced if you are having me clean in multiples and/or negotiating while performing other services.
General Information For Area Rugs:
Area Rug Care and Cleaning:
Whether you buy discount area rugs or a priceless treasure, you will need to know how to care for your new area rug. Most area rugs can be cleaned with any type of carpet cleaning method, but the cleaning chemistry may vary by area rug fiber type or dye method. Use a cleaning system that is appropriate for the specific area rug fiber type or fiber system for your particular rug.
Many area rugs blend two or more fibers in the pile. The blending of fibers helps overcome the weaknesses of certain fiber types. Typical blends include wool/nylon, nylon/olefin, nylon/acrylic, wool/silk, jute/wool, sisal/wool, and cotton/rayon.
The primary approach for cleaning area rugs is to clean for the primary fiber that is present in the area rug.
Examine area rug tags and identify the fiber with the highest percentage of fiber content. Generally, the primary fiber is listed first, but use caution when the blend is near equivalent such as a 60-40 blend. In these cases, you should clean for both types of fiber. Some fibers, such as silk, are extremely sensitive to certain cleaning chemicals, so extreme care should be used.
Beware of Dye Bleeding:
Carefully watch for dye bleeding in silk or silk blends and use caution with excessive heat in olefin area rugs. also, carefully watch for browning or yellowing with blends of natural fibers. The pH of the cleaning solution should be monitored carefully. High pH < 8 will affect some sensitive fibers.
You should be especially cautious in cleaning braided rugs or woven rag rugs, needle point rugs and hand-tufted or hooked rugs with a scrim back material. Always pretest any cleaning chemical you select on a small area of the rug to ensure the chemical properties of the cleaning chemical are suitable for your rug.
If you are unsure of the fiber content or if you are unsure of the cleaning procedures for your new area rug, cleaning expensive rugs is best left to a professional. However, remember not all carpet cleaners have experience with different fiber types. Many carpet cleaners rarely clean anything but synthetic fibers, which are very forgiving fibers. In selecting a carpet cleaner to clean your expensive rugs, make sure you review our carpet cleaning section.
The following information should help by providing basic rug care information for the various types of area rugs and area rug fibers that you will encounter. This explanation is not intended to make you an expert in rug care, but it should help you maintain your own rugs.
Woven Rugs, Velvet Rugs and Interlock:
Woven carpet is constructed using warp and weft yarns to create a backing and pile yarns are woven into these fibers. Any number of fiber types may be used in the backing or pile fiber and may be natural fibers or synthetic fibers. Most expensive woven area rugs will utilize wool or wool blend fibers.
All cleaning methods are safe but a dry cleaning method is the preferred method. Wet cleaning may be used, but excessive over wetting may contribute to color bleeding or shrinking. If you use a wet cleaning method, minimize moisture use and speed the drying process. Pretest darker colored areas to checking for color bleed before you begin cleaning.
Cleaning Cotton and Cotton Blend Fibers:
Cotton is a natural cellulosic fiber and rayon is a manufactured cellulose fiber manufactured from wood pulp. These two fibers have similar properties, and can be cleaned using the same cleaning methodology and cleaning chemistry.
Cotton and rayon are rarely used in wall-to-wall carpet, but are often found in area rugs. These fibers offer a soft hand and provide beautiful coloration’s. Cotton may be used in weft yarns of many woven area rugs, especially hand-knotted Oriental rugs.
Both cotton and rayon are relatively inexpensive fibers, have the tendency to absorb a large of water, and dry very slowly. Since these fibers are organic, they must be dried quickly to limit microbial growth which may use the organic compounds in the fiber as a food source.
Both have fair to good resistance to changes in alkalinity, but the use of highly alkaline cleaning solutions should be avoided. Both fibers have disadvantages just as any other fiber. They have the tendency to crush or flatten fairly easily and they offer poor resistance to direct sunlight. They can become a food source for mold and mildew and they are flammable without fire retardant treatments.
Rayon has poor dimensional stability when wet and will shrink and distort when exposed to excessive moisture. Rayon is called art silk in India and is used as silk in some handmade area rugs.
The cleaning method used for cotton and rayon rugs depends on the types of dye used, the finishes applied and the percent of cellulosic fiber content. You always should pretest all colors in cotton and rayon area rugs constructions before proceeding with any cleaning method or cleaning chemistry because both cotton and rayon have the tendency to bleed.
If a flame retardant chemical has been applied to the fiber, ensure that the cleaning chemistry will not remove the flame retardant properties. Area rugs constructed of 100 percent rayon should be cleaned using a dry method only, since rayon is extremely susceptible to shrinking. Host, Capture, or a dry foam carpet cleaning method are preferred.
Both cotton and rayon are susceptible to browning if a high pH cleaning chemistry is used. Cleaning on the acid side- pH of 7 or less is recommended from both cotton and rayon.
Use the following precautions when cleaning cotton or other plant fiber rugs:
- Vacuum aggressively to remove as much embedded soil as possible
- Pretest all colors for browning and color stability
- apply pre-spray and allow 8-10 minutes dwell time before attempted cleaning
- Use minimal moisture cleaning methods with a pH of 5-8
- Accelerate drying using air movers, dehumidifiers or other drying equipment
- Use an acid rinse following alkaline cleaning
- Use only an oxygen safe bleach, reducing agent or anti-browning agent to restore color
Cleaning Sisal Fiber Area Rugs:
There are a number of fibers used in rug making that originate from vegetable or plants. These include jute, hemp, flax (linen), raime (rhea) abaca, sisal, pineapple, coir reeds, or sea grass and kapok. Each of these specialty fibers have cleaning properties similar to cotton. Most provide a coarse texture rather than the refined look of cotton, but each rug is unique unto itself. Sisal originates from the leaves of the Agave Sisalanaâ plant which is native to Central America.
Jute is a baste fiber obtained from the stalk of the jute plant found, primarily in Pakistan, India, and South America. Jute was once used as the secondary backing of choice for most broad wall carpet constructions until a greedy monopoly in India forced US carpet producers to seek other material for this secondary backing.
Rayon is manufactured from regenerated cotton pulp or wood pulp. Rayon uses several chemical properties to develop the refined look of silk. Since each of these fibers are cellulosic, each has a high probability of browning as a result of cleaning. Use a low moisture technique such as dry foam extraction carpet cleaning, Host or Capture, for these rugs to minimize cellulosic browning. Use the guidelines for cotton in cleaning these plant fiber rugs.
One added precaution for Sisal is the type of dye system used for the rug- many utilized a stenciled or printed dye system to apply dye. Color stability is usually a primary concern for these types of rugs. Careful chemical selection and light agitation should be used in caring for these rugs.
Nylon Area Rugs:
Nylon is the most common fiber that you will encounter in buying area rugs. It provides the best all-around performance of any fiber, offering long wear life, abrasion, resistance, good clean-ability with a wide variety of cleaning chemicals and cleaning methods. It offers low water absorbency (6-10% moisture regain), good resiliency, and excellent dimensional stability. Visit our carpet cleaning section for information on cleaning these types of rugs.
Cleaning Olefin Rugs:
Olefin fibers (polypropylene) are found in a large number of rugs because they are easy to manufacture, can be manufactured cheaply, provide good durability, can be cleaned with all carpet cleaning methods, and can be cleaned with almost any cleaning chemistry. Review our carpet pile fibers area for a complete description of the advantages and disadvantages of olefin.
One caution should be noted with olefin area rugs, however. Olefin is an oleophilic (oil-loving) fiber. Oily soils are easily absorbed into the fiber. By the same example, oily cleaning solvents have the same negative characteristic. For example, while mineral spirits is a very good cleaner for many fibers, its oily texture might not be a good choice for cleaning oleophilic fibers like olefin or polyester.
Cleaning Polyester Area Rugs:
Polyester, like olefin, is another of those oleophilic fiber systems and care should be taken in placing a polyester area rug in areas exposed to oily soil or other oily stains. Polyester is a fiber that is most similar to wool in the way it reflects color.
Polyester is easily cleanable and is very versatile, in that it is very affable to a variety of cleaning chemistry’s and cleaning methods. It cleans very well and dries relatively quickly.
Cleaning Wool Rugs:
Wool rugs require special care and our section on Cleaning wool carpet addresses many of the issues with wool fiber. The pH of wool should be cleaned on the neutral or acid side of the pH scale to limit browning. Wool holds up to 10 times its weight in water and is subject to shrinking, so use caution with wet cleaning.
There are 4 basic recommendations Made by the Wools of New Zealand for chemistry selection:
- low alkalinity (pH of 7 or less)
- Select a solution that leaves no sticky residue following drying
- Select a product with good cleaning efficacy
- Do not use cleaning products with added bleaches or dyes
One of the most important recommendations (not mentioned by Wools of New Zealand) is to select a product that DOES NOT CONTAIN OPTICAL BRIGHTENERS. Optical Brighteners actually dye the fiber and make them appear brighter. However, these dyes degrade and can remove rug color, yellow, and cause fibers to take on a dingy hue over time. At one-time Woolite contained these optical brighteners. Check label information carefully. Even if the cleaning product carries the Wools of New Zealand seal, check the label to confirm that these products are not contained. For an image that shows this optical brightener damage, visit or Unusual carpet stains page.
REGULAR AREA RUG CARE:
From the modest welcome mat to the antique treasure, all rugs require regular care to prolong their life and appearance. These rugs can quickly fill with dry soil allowing soil to transfer to other surfaces inside the home. Dry soil, environmental pollutants, and spills also can damage the fibers of rugs and reduce their attractiveness.
A regular maintenance program will extend the life and the original appearance of your area rugs. Specific care information may be available from your area rug dealer, or from an 800 number provided by the area rug manufacturer or fiber producer.
Regular attention can keep your area rugs clean and new looking. A good practice is to vacuum clean area rugs that receive the most traffic on a daily basis. These areas are where the bulk of the soil is located. Vacuum the entire area rug a minimum of twice per week.
To properly care for your rugs, vacuum regularly to remove dry soil, taking care when vacuuming fringe and edging. A straight suction vacuum is recommended to limit raveling. Cleaning should take place at regular intervals to remove insoluble soils and environmental pollutants. Removing loose soil while it remains on the surface is important. Normal traffic will work soil deep into the pile. Removing embedded soil is more difficult and time consuming than removing surface soil.
To remove surface soil, push the vacuum forward with the pile direction of the area rugs in a slow, deliberate motion. Push the vacuum several feet before reversing direction. To remove embedded soil, pull the vacuum, against the pile direction, over the same area using a slow, deliberate motion. There should be more resistance when pulling the vacuum against the pile. Pulling the vacuum against the pile direction stands the pile upright and improves the removal of embedded soil. Repeat this procedure several times to remove as much embedded soil as possible. Make the final vacuum stroke in the same direction throughout your home for a more uniform appearance.
Area rugs should be professionally cleaned yearly to remove environmental pollutants, spills, and insoluble soils. In selecting a cleaning method, consider that most cleaning methods may be used on synthetic fibers; however, natural fibers may require specialized care. Do-it-yourself cleaning of natural fibers is discouraged.
Bath Mats and Small Rugs:
Many bath mats and small rugs can be cleaned in a washing machine. Wash them in warm water (90ÂºF – 105ÂºF) using a neutral (mild) detergent. Rinse thoroughly, and tumble dry using the lowest possible heat setting. Larger bath mats and rugs may be spread in a shaded area and brushed lightly to facilitate drying.
Entry mats limit more soil from entering a home than any other soil removal method, but entry mats are cleaned too infrequently to offer their full benefit. Once these mats have become filled with soil they become a source for additional soil. To remove dry soil from entry mats, vacuum regularly to remove surface litter. Remove embedded soil weekly by shaking or striking with a brush. For a thorough cleaning, wash entry mats with a brush and detergent solution and rinse thoroughly. Allow entry mats to dry completely before vacuuming.
Maintain outdoor carpet installed indoors in the same manner as other carpet in your home. When the carpet is used outdoors, surface litter can be swept up with a broom or deck brush. For a thorough, overall cleaning, wash outdoor carpet with a good carpet cleaning solution. Follow dilution instructions. Spread solutions over outdoor carpet with a garden sprayer. Using a scrub brush, work the solution into the pile. Rinse thoroughly with a garden hose, and allow the carpet to dry completely before vacuuming.
Selection of a Vacuum Cleaner:
The Carpet and Area Rug Industry recommends choosing an upright vacuum cleaner that has a rotating brush and high efficiency filtration. Canister-type, straight suction vacuums work well in removing surface soils, but a vacuum cleaner with revolving brushes is recommended to remove embedded soil and properly care for your area rugs. Today, upright vacuums have become the most popular type of vacuum purchased because they are easy to handle, offer attachments for special cleaning jobs, and they come in a wide variety of pricing options. High efficiency filtration is an important feature because it reduces the number of particles that pass through the vacuum bag to become airborne. Other features to consider include a powerful suction, high airflow, brush height adjustment for efficient soil removal, sensors to identify clogs or full bags, a long power cord for convenience, and maneuverability.
For the best cleaning results, no matter which vacuum cleaner type you purchase, be sure to inspect it periodically to make sure it is mechanically fit.
- Keep brushes clean and replace them when worn.
- Keep vacuum hoses and attachments free of obstructions which restrict air passage.
- Inspect the vacuum head for rough edges or bent metal that may damage your area rugs.
- Inspect belts frequently to make certain they are working properly.
- Always keep a spare belt for replacement as needed.
- Follow the vacuum cleaner manufacturer’s instructions, and change the vacuum bag when it becomes more than half full. With most vacuum cleaners, as the bag becomes full, soil removal efficiency is reduced.
Today’s area rug fibers are designed to hide soil and reflect light, and have the ability to resist soiling and stains. The effect of soiling in area rugs is not readily visible, as it is on hard surface flooring where soil remains on the surface and is easily seen. The ability of today’s area rug fibers to hide soiling is a positive feature for most consumers. However, the lack of apparent soiling does not eliminate the necessity of regular cleaning.
Most dry soil has razor-like edges that cut or scar area rugs fibers causing light to reflect differently. This is what makes dirty area rugs look dull and worn. Soil can damage the fibers permanently if it is allowed to remain in the pile. Daily vacuuming is the most important cleaning activity, but deep cleaning must also be performed to remove stubborn or embedded soil. The Area rugs and Rug Institute recommends that area rugs be extraction cleaned a minimum of every 12 to 18 months before it shows soiling. The use of a cleaning method recommended by the area rugs manufacturer can extend the life of your area rugs. The use of any cleaning method not recommended by your area rugs manufacturer may void specific warranties on your area rugs.