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In-Home Extraction vs In-Plant Rug Washing

Area rugs are undoubtedly an incredible addition to any home especially ones with tile, hardwood or laminate flooring. They immediately tie in a stylish, decorative element to the room, as well as help with noise reduction, comfort and warmth. Unfortunately, area rugs have a tendency to get dirty, more so than other home decor items. They’re on the floor so they can easily be stained with food or drink spills, footsteps or other accidents from people around the house. It is recommended that area rugs should be cleaned once every three months. Love Your Rug is the top choice for a thorough clean that ensures your beloved area rug is free of stains, dirt, dust, mildew, mould, allergens and more. Here are some of the advantages of in-plant washing and the disadvantages of in-home extraction when it comes to cleaning area rugs:

In-Home Extraction

First, let’s break down the long and laborious process of cleaning an area rug at home. Remember that at every stage of this process there is potential for wear and tear or damage to your rug. If you have a rug from an antique store, a vacation in another country or a family heirloom, remember that it is irreplaceable.

1. Vacuum

First, as you should at least once a week, vacuum the top side of your area rug. To deodorize your rug, sprinkle a light layer of baking soda onto the top layer before vacuuming. Before you put your vacuum cleaner away, flip your rug over and vacuum its underside. The bottom part of rugs is often forgotten but it is just as important to get this side clean.

2. Shake

Vacuuming really only sucks up surface level dirt and debris on your area rug. The next step in at-home cleaning is to vigorously shake it outdoors. This will help remove any dirt and debris that stuck deeper into the rug’s fibres.  If your area rug is made of precious fabrics, old or expensive, you should skip this step as it can cause damage.

3. Brush

If you have a furry friend, you’ll need to brush out pet hair with a stiff bristle brush. Pet hair can very easily get embedded in the fibres of your rug. Never use a brush with metal bristles as this will tear the rug’s fibres, always use a brush with stiff plastic bristles.

4. Find Rug Shampoo Designed for Rug Material

For a deeper clean, use a rug or carpet shampoo. Find out what material your rug is made from by checking the manufacturer’s tag. Check rug shampoo labels carefully and purchase one that clearly states it cleans your rug’s material. You can find rug shampoo at home-improvement stores, hardware stores or large supermarkets.

5. Patch Test Shampoo

Once you’ve found the right rug shampoo, the next step is to patch test it before ruining the whole area rug. Apply the shampoo to a very small patch of the area rug. If the rug patch isn’t discoloured after 1-2 hours, the shampoo will work for your rug. If the patch is discoloured, you’ll have to continue your search for the right rug shampoo and keep patch testing them until you find one that works.

6. Spray Rug with Garden Hose

Before applying rug shampoo to your entire area rug, spray it with a hose. Like shampoo for your hair, rug shampoo only works on wet fibres. If you don’t have a water hose, dump 8-10 bucketfuls of water on the rug.

7. Scrub with Brush

Once the rug is completely saturated with water, use a soft-bristle brush to scrub the shampoo deep into your rug’s fibres. Your rug should be covered in a thick lather of bubbles.  If there are any surface stains, scrub extra hard in these areas.

8. Rinse Rug

Use your bucket or garden hose to rinse the rug out. Keep rinsing until all bubbles or signs of the shampoo are gone.

9. Squeegee

At this stage of the process, your rug should be soaking wet. To remove excess water, lay your rug out flat and run a squeegee along the top side. At this point, your rug will be soaking wet. To help speed up the drying process, run a squeegee along the top side of the rug.

10. Dry

Lastly, you must lay the rug flat to dry for 1-2 days. It can not be stepped on while it is drying. Every six hours, you should pat the surface of the rug to see if it’s dry. Once the top surface has dried, flip it over and let the underside dry. For a quicker drying process, set up floor fans to circulate air over it.

shampooed rug

Disadvantages of Cleaning Rugs at Home

As you can see, the process of cleaning area rugs at home is time-consuming, takes up a lot of space and requires a lot of specific purchases like brushes, shampoo and a squeegee. If you live in a tiny home or apartment with no outdoor space, it’s impossible. Here are a few more disadvantages to cleaning your rug at home:

  • A thorough rug cleaning requires dusting and pre-soaking and various other processes that require special facilities or machinery.
  • The floor under the wet area rug may get damaged if the rug is not hung to dry.
  • Besides damaged floors, inadequate drying of your area rug can also cause mould and mildew as well as permanent damage to your rug, in effect shortening its life span. 

In-Plant Area Rug Washing

Your best choice for a deep-cleaned area rug that looks, feels and smells as good as new is to bring it to professional rug cleaners like Love Your Rug. We’ll handle everything in one of our two 10,000 square foot rug cleaning and rug repair facilities. Here’s a look into our process:

1. Inspection

First and foremost, our rug experts will closely inspect your area rug to identify stains, damages, discolourations and any special requests you may have. Everything is inspected from the rug fibres, fringes, colouration to underpadding. The rugs are catalogued in our system with a special tag based on the type of material, size and origin of the rug.

2. Dusting

One crucial step that cannot be replicated at home is proper dusting. Dusting prevents dust particles and other allergens. Our top-of-the-line dusting machine will extract every dust particle. Skipping this step can mean allergy flare-ups for anyone who lives in or visits your home.

3. Pre-Treatment

At home, you simply scrub up your area rug with shampoo after doing a quick patch test. One application of rug shampoo doesn’t necessarily mean all the dirt and stains will be cleaned. At Love Your Rug, we pre-treat each area rug with a safe and eco-friendly dual solution of soap and treatment before they are machine washed. This dual solution is applied by pressure washing each rug to soften and break down dissolved minerals that cling to your rug over time.

4. Manual Wash

After the pre-treatment is applied, our area rug technicians use powerful pressure washers to loosen up fibres and to extract dirt from deep within your rug, which is followed by extensive rinsing with fresh water.

5. Machine Wash

Next, the rugs are machine washed using special rug cleaning machinery similar to a car wash. Each rug is gently scrubbed by a line of soft brush pads that deep clean and completely remove remaining mineral deposits and stains. The use of this machine ensures that your rug is properly washed including rug pile and fringes, without damaging your rug in the process.

6. Draining

Your rug will then be rolled up and put into our centrifuge machine. In the centrifuge, all the remaining water and moisture is completely drained from your rug, ensuring that no dyes stain it and that your rug keeps its natural colours and texture.

7. Drying

After the machine wrings out 90% of the water, the rugs go to our climate-controlled drying room to remove all remaining water from the fibres of the rug. Unlike leaving your area rug flat in your home for two days, our drying room will ensure your rug is completely dry and safe from mildew and mould.

8. Final Inspection

After the rug has been in the drying room for 12 hours, our lab technicians will perform a final inspection to ensure quality control. They will inspect every inch of your rug, recording and photographing the results. Each rug is lightly airbrushed to recondition and remove loose fibres from your rugs.

9. Packaged Ready to Ship

Once the rug has reached our standards after the final inspection, we will safely and securely package it up for you and have it ready to ship back to you.

As you can see, Love Your Rug‘s process is not only more intensive, it also requires zero effort from you, the rug owner. Home rug cleaning may not always get rid of all the odors, making professional cleaning a better option. If you live in Southern Ontario, We will even pick up and deliver your rug for free. Don’t even think about cleaning your area rug at home, instead leave it to the experts at Love Your Rug who will ensure no dust, stains or dirt are left behind. Contact us or request a free online quote today! We love your rug and so will you!

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