Rug Cleaning Disasters: When an Inexperienced Individual Tries to Clean a Rug
Recently, a customer brought a fine Egyptian 100% silk rug in to Behnam Rugs that had been treated with chemicals to remove a pet stain as well as thrown in the washing machine.
The homeowners entrusted the care of their rug to their housekeeper who first used a carpet cleaning product to try and remove the stain and odor. When the first household cleaner did not remove the stain, she tried another, and another cleaner, layering chemicals deep into the rug’s pile.
When this did not work, she threw the rug into the washing machine, along with a few others for good measure, effectively ruining all but the rug brought in to us. The rugs experienced shrinkage, deep creases, and uneven borders.
Behnam Rugs is one of the only companies that utilize blocking to rectify shrinkage. After washing, we block the rug in a rectangular frame larger than the rug. When the rug is crooked or uneven, we use the frame to clamp and pull the uneven portion until it matches the rest of the rug. This is an effective process that requires us to create a frame especially for your rug, which most companies don’t bother to do.
The rugs that didn’t make it were permanently creased and also unable to lay flat due to the fibers of these delicate rugs getting bunched and stretched out by the washing cycle and heat.
Here’s why both these cleaning approaches are huge mistakes.
A fine rug is not the same as a carpet, and you should never use carpet cleaning products on it.
Carpet cleaning products use strong chemicals to try and remove stains.
Some of the harmful ingredients found in commercial carpet cleaning solutions include formaldehyde, acids, lye, ammonia, chlorine, and other dangerous chemicals harmful not just to your fine rug but also to your health and the health of your pets.
The chemical reactions that occur can stain the rug further as well as damage the fibers, whether they’re wool, silk, or cotton.
Carpets are generally made of synthetic fibers that can handle harsher chemicals when it comes to removing a stain.
The rug brought into us had a chemical stain, not from the pet urine, but from the attempted treatment with carpet cleaners.
At Behnam Rugs we use mild organic shampoos as well as live bacteria enzymes that effectively eat the odors in your fine rug.
These two approaches to cleaning are gentle on rugs but tough on dirt and odors.
Our hand washing methods have been passed down for generations from Old Persia and were invented to care for exquisite pieces that are not made to withstand harsh chemicals and washing machines. We gently wash silk rugs by hand in order to restore the rug without damaging the silk fibers.
Never take your fine rug to a carpet cleaner, as the same mistakes this housekeeper made at home will be repeated by these companies.
Why Do Some Rugs Still Smell After They are Washed?
The dirt hiding in your rug’s pile is destroying your fine rug. Over time, dust and debris travel down from the top of you rug to settle in the pile. This can cause your rug to smell, but even worse, it can damage the fibers of your rug and create micro-tears, causing the foundation to wear away, revealing threadbare patches.
So, where does this damaging debris come from, how does it build up over the years, and how can you remove it?
The debris that settles into the pile of your rug typically comes from the daily use of the rug. Pet dander, hair, and urine, skin cells, dirt from outside, food particles, and humidity create the perfect environment for a type of clay mixed with microorganisms to form in the rug’s pile. Vacuuming just pushes this clay deeper into the foundation of your rug. Foot traffic grinds it in as well.
Some types of dirt, such as sand, have sharp edges that can cut the strands of the rug’s wool fibers. This causes fibers to be added to the dirt trapped in your rug, making larger and larger amounts of damaging debris laying in the pile. As your rug experiences foot traffic and vacuuming, the dirt trapped in the pile moves and cuts more and more fibers. Eventually, the foundation of the rug becomes exposed due to a loss of density.
As the density decreases, the sharpness of the design of your rug lessens over time, eventually becoming blurry and threadbare. In addition, this debris can be malodorous and contain many allergens that irritate your immune system. Your guests may notice a smell when they enter your home that you have become nose blind to.
We highly recommend that you vacuum your rug face down every year or two to loosen this clay that is no doubt trapped in the body of your rug. Never use the vacuum’s beater brush when vacuuming your handmade rug’s face. Once the buildup is loosened you can vacuum at least some of it out.
This will extend the life of your rug, but simply vacuuming at home is not enough. Every three to five years your rug needs to be professionally cleaned to remove this damaging substance. Waiting too long will cause your rug to become threadbare and the design to become blurry.
In conclusion, what can you do about this clay lying in the pile and slowly destroying your rug?
The best thing to do is have it professionally cleaned. Behnam Rugs uses a traditional Persian hand washing method that removes this damaging clay. Sometimes, washing alone is not enough to remove the dirt and odor from deep within the rug’s pile. When this happens, the team at Behnam beats both sides of the rug with wood paddles, as well as rolls up the rug with the back side facing up and massages the rug, loosening the debris.
Our deep tissue rug massage is sure to remove this harmful clay by breaking up and loosening the dirt and debris. Once removed, the odor trapped in your rug disappears, and your rug is once more ready to be a centerpiece in your home.
If the rug is professionally washed and still has odor, it for sure has sand and dirt trapped inside the pile and foundation. The longevity of your fine rug depends on how often it is washed and how well the dust and debris is removed.
When it comes to rugs and their care, experience matters.
What is the reason for your pet’s fascination with rugs? Have you ever asked yourself, “So why is my pet marking my Persian Rug?” If you’re reading this blog, chances are you have a pet or dog that just won’t stop marking your rug. Rest assured you are not alone. Behnam Rugs is hosting an event on June 8 to address this common issue among pet owners and especially dog owners. Please attend our upcoming event and click on –> “Rug, Dog, Wine” Event to hear our WRR Radio Ad for our event. If you attend, you will find out why Spot marks your rugs. You will find out what you can do to reduce pet urination on your precious oriental rug. This is actually a fairly common issue among many rug owners. Although we mainly see inappropriate marking occurring among puppies and kittens, adult dogs and cats can also be frequent markers themselves. Let’s find out why. Please read our Press Release “Rug, Dog, Wine”and how to understand you dogs behavior toward your handmade rugs.
Why is My Pet Marking My Rug?
Sometimes, the answer to this question is simply the type of rug that you have. Is your rug a tuftedrug? Tufted rugs are rugs with a glued on backing to them. They are quite popular due to being less expensive options than hand-knotted or hand-woven Persian and Oriental rug.
Tufted rugs have a few common issues, though, and one of them is that the glue used to attach the backing to the rug causes many pets to mark the rug. The glue on tufted rugs can come from a variety of sources. It could be a natural or organic type of glue, or it could be a chemical-based glue. Both types of glue give off a distinct odor. Although this odor may not be detectable by humans, pets can definitely smell it.
Dogs are especially sensitive to the odor that a tufted rug’s glue gives off. The scent confuses them and they may urinate on your rug out of confusion. Although puppies are the main offender here, this behavior occurs in dogs of all ages, not just puppies. Cats can also be confused by this odor. If your pet is constantly urinating or marking your tufted rug, it might be time to replace the rug. Although tufted rugs may seem like an inexpensive option when you purchase them, the amount of cleaning you will end up needing is simply not worth it in the end. Read our blog to find out what you don’t know about tufted rugs.
But My Rug Isn’t Tufted!
Your pet may still mark your rug, even if it is not tufted. There are a few reasons for this:
If your pet has marked your rug for quite some time and it has not stopped this behavior, it might be because your pet believes that marking your rug is allowed. Your pet cannot tell the difference between a fine rug and “its spot.” They are one and the same to your pet. It is important to stop your pet from marking your rug as soon as you see signs of this behavior. All pets are different, so there is no universal approach to stopping the behavior. We suggest taking the approach that you normally do when you are teaching your pet right from wrong.
If your pet is normally well trained and has suddenly started marking your rug for no reason at all, there could be a few different causes.
Is your pet marking many surfaces and not just your rug? Your pet could have digestive or urinary tract issues. This is especially common in older dogs and cats. Call your vet and explain what is going on. Let them know that your pet does not normally do this, and this behavior is recent. They will be able to provide you with the proper knowledge on how to approach this situation.
If your pet is only marking your Persian rug, you must approach the situation differently. This is likely not an issue with your pet’s health but with your pet’s behavior. There is a very good chance that your pet was marking the rug without you noticing, and they have been conditioned to believe that is okay. Keep a close eye on your pet and stop them from marking the rug as soon as you see them trying to do so. Alternatively, you can stop your pet from being on your rug at all. Another reason that your pet might only be marking your rug is that there is some sort of odor attached to it that your pet does not agree with, such as the smell of another animal or, as mentioned above, the smell of your pet’s own urine. At Behnam Rugs we wash rugs with live enzymes and organic shampoos.
How to Get Rid of the Odor
Behnam Rugs strongly suggests having your rug cleaned and opting for an enzyme wash. An enzyme wash will break down the odors in your rug, including the odors that make your pet feel that it is okay to mark your rug. You can read more about this process on our odor removal page, or you can call us for more information. There is no obligation to purchase a service if you call us. We understand that you might want to shop around, and sometimes you just want to know how rugs are cleaned in the first place.
If you’re reading this, chances are, you have a pet at home! Does your furry friend just love to mark everything, including your Persian rug?
Lament no more, because there are steps that you can take at home to minimize the damage done to your rug. While these steps cannot replace having your rug washed and sanitized, you can at least rest easy knowing that there is something you can do before you arrange for a rug wash.
Many Persian rugs are made of natural fibers (ex. wool, silk, and cotton). These natural fibers are especially absorbent, so it can be difficult to deodorize and clean the spot where an accident occurred. You will always want to confront pet accidents as soon as possible to minimize damage. We understand that it is not always realistic to bring your rug in for cleaning or even to have it picked up from your home. There is a common household item you can use to minimize damage until you can have your rug cleaned, though.
Baking Soda and Persian Rugs
Yes, you read that right! Baking soda- it seems like we use it for just about everything except for actually baking.
You can use baking soda to prevent the damage done to your rugs after a pet accident.
Before you proceed any further, you will want to make sure that the accident on your rug has dried completely. Adding baking soda to a wet spot could result in a damaged rug. If you want to be extra sure, blot the spot where the accident occurred with paper towels.
Next, place a generous amount of baking soda on the site of the accident. The spot where the accident occurred should be completely covered in a layer of baking soda. You don’t need a thick pile of baking soda placed on top of the spot, just enough to cover.
Leave the baking soda on for a few hours, then, vacuum or sweep your rug. If you are using a vacuum, make sure it is a lightweight style suitable for the gentle fibers of fine rugs. You don’t want to damage your rug, and since you are only removing dry baking soda, there doesn’t need to be much force put on your rug in the first place.
If you’ve made it this far, congratulations! You’ve done your part as a responsible rug owner. The baking soda will help to minimize any odors and stains. As mentioned earlier, this method will not replace a rug wash, but it will help to keep your rug safe before you can arrange for your rug to be cleaned. You will want to arrange for a rug wash as soon as possible, not just for deodorizing but to sanitize your rug, too.
Behnam Rugs does not recommend using any chemical cleansers to clean pet accidents from your rugs. These chemicals often respond poorly to the dyes and natural fibers of Persian rugs, and we have seen far too many rugs damaged by these cleansers.
To learn more about rug care and rugs in general, feel free to call us at 972-733-0400 or visit our showroom. We are open Monday through Friday, 9AM to 5:30PM.
Preventing and Fighting Moths Living in Your Persian and Oriental Rugs
Moths will eat anything, and your rug is no exception. Moths are one of the worst enemies of any fine rug, especially older and antique rugs. You should be especially aware of the cloth moth, as this is the type of moth that would love to feast on your priceless heirloom.
How and Why Did Moths Make Their Way into My Home?
You might think that your house is moth free and your rugs are safe and sound, but moths are always looking for ways to enter your home. Moths can enter your home easily and be undetected as they do so. Mail, pets, open doors, and moving items in and out of warehouses and storage are just some of the ways that moths can enter your home. To moths, your home is a paradise. It provides shelter from predators, an excellent source of food, and many nesting spots. Once moths enter your home, they can lay anywhere from 30 to 200 eggs per month. Those eggs will eventually grow up to become adult moths, and they will also lay 30 to 200 more eggs every month. A moth problem can easily become a moth disaster for your rugs and the rest of your home.
How to Discover Moths in Your Home
As we enter moth season, it is important to take some time to check your home for moths. Frequent moth checks are the best way to prevent a large moth damage problem from taking over your home, and checking for moths is simple. One of the easiest methods to indicate whether or not your home has moths is by using a moth trap. Make sure the trap you are using is for cloth moths and not another type of moth.
These traps work by emitting a pheromone which attracts male moths into the sticky bottom layer. The male moths are trapped and prevented from reproducing. Do note that moth traps are only an effective way to indicate that moths are in your home. They are not an effective way of getting rid of moths, should you find any.
How to Prevent Moths If Your Home is Moth Free
If your home is moth free, it is important to make sure that your home stays that way. The best way to prevent moth infestations is to constantly be monitoring. Moths can enter your home with no warning. A harmless box from a warehouse could actually be carrying eggs.
Moths reproduce at a rapid rate, and they eat and damage your belongings at a rapid rate, too! To prevent moths from doing damage to your rugs, you may consider keeping a moth trap in your home throughout the year.
Many fine rugs are made of natural fibers, such as wool, which over time lose their natural oily properties and become drier, making them easier for moths to eat than a new rug. Although you can do nothing about the age of your rug, you can prevent your antique rug from becoming a moth’s next meal by regularly cleaning it. A clean rug will not be nearly as appetizing.
You should also regularly vacuum your rugs- and not just the visible areas. Moth eggs love to hide in dark, damp, and quiet spaces with little to no air circulation. This means that areas under your china cabinet, your sofa, and even the underside of your rug are all the perfect spots for eggs to grow. Be proactive and clean these areas regularly. You should also rotate your rug at least once a year. On top of preventing moth growth, rotating your rug will also help in distributing the amount of traffic your rug receives on different areas.
If you are taking an extended vacation, make sure that your rugs are stored properly. Make sure your home is dry and has proper air movement during your time away. When you return, make sure to vacuum and clean your home thoroughly. Your time away is the perfect time for moths to play.
Remember, proper rug protection is one of your responsibilities as a rug owner. When you put in the extra time to keep your rug in good shape now, you are actually saving yourself from weeks to months (sometimes even years!) of headache in the future.
How to Remove Moths If Your Home Has Moths
If you have moths in your home, you should act immediately. Moths can easily do thousands of dollars of damage to your rug. A $50,000 rug can easily receive $30,000 worth of damage.
First, vacuum your house thoroughly. You will want to vacuum both the front and back of all of your rugs. Make sure you vacuum areas underneath furniture and behind your curtains as well. Take your rugs and place them in an area where they can receive direct sunlight. The ultraviolet rays will work quickly to kill any eggs that are still hiding in your rug. Don’t forget- the backside of your rug needs to be placed in direct sunlight, too.
If you have access to a leaf blower, use one to blast air in areas where moths nest. This includes under your furniture, in the corners of your closets, behind your curtains, and any other dark and quiet areas.
Your next step will be to sanitize and wash your rug– bring your rug in for a professional cleaning. At Behnam Rugs, we can determine the amount of damage done to your rug and what steps should be taken next. Small areas can often be rewoven at a cost that would be far lower than replacement. Large areas can be shaved and sheared to minimize how obvious the damage to your rug is.
Even if the foundation of your rug has been damaged by moths, there are still options. Behnam Rugs can permanently dye your rug to minimize how obvious any damage is. The moth damaged areas will be hidden by the dye.
In severe situations, your rug may require a large amount of reweaving. Reweaving is generally a more expensive repair option, and the cost can be very high when reweaving is required on a larger area. In these situations, your rug may need to be sent to a country such as Turkey or Iran for the reweaving job to be completed. This process can be time consuming and costly. Remember to constantly check your home for moths in order to prevent this sort of hassle.
Can I Chemically Treat My Rug?
Behnam Rugs does not recommend chemically treating your rug, be it for moth proofing or moth extermination. Harsh chemicals can damage your rug, and they can also hurt you. Your rug lives with you, whether it is on your floor, your wall, or your stairs. You and your family constantly interact with your rugs. Behnam Rugs prefers natural prevention methods and restoration methods.
If you have any further questions on moths and how they can affect your rugs, please feel free to call Behnam Rugs at 972-733-0400 or visit us during our store hours. Behnam Rugs has over 39 years of experience with rugs and rug repairs, and our rug experts would love to help you.