Rug dye bleeding during cleaning.

Discussion in 'Area Rug Cleaning Forum' started by LisaWagner, Mar 7, 2011.

  1. LisaWagner

    LisaWagner Member

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    I've been hit with a lot of rug help questions/emails these past few weeks by cleaners bleeding rugs and not knowing why.

    I had one person who was given different information from 3 other supply sources before coming to me and discovering what really happened in his case.

    There is a lot of misinformation - or just lack of information - on oriental rugs and dyes. So I made pulled together a lot of the reasons why rugs bleed, and warning signs, and what is true and not on the topic.

    CLICK HERE => Oriental Rug Dyes. What You Need To Know.

    I hope you find value in this, and that it helps some cleaners avoid having to buy their client's rugs.

    Lisa
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  2. mrcarpet

    mrcarpet Active Member

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    Thanks, Lisa. You are a wealth of good info! Printing this one out!
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  3. carpetonmove

    carpetonmove New Member

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    Thank you for sharing that information to us. I appreciated your effort.
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  4. KLR N LA

    KLR N LA Member

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    Thanks for sharing. That is some good info.
  5. Dirtmaster

    Dirtmaster Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for the info ..
  6. DavidVB

    DavidVB Member

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    Lisa,

    What chemistry is involved in the Dye Fix products? I have been told that a mordant is needed to set acid dye and that some rugs weavers don't have access to good mordants. Do any of these products contain mordants? If you applied mordant to a rug that had never had the dyes properly struck, do you think that would help? I know this would not resolve everything like urine or over dye.

    Also, could you explain how acetic acid can both stabilize dye from migrating and also keep dye from redepositing? An acid environment is needed for acid dyes to strike so how does using acid keep dye from striking?

    Thanks
  7. Scott W

    Scott W Preferred Vendor Premium VIP

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    David,

    I can't answer all of your questions, but I will comment on one. I do not believe that acetic acid will stop dyes from redepositing. You need different ingredients for that. Dye-Loc is one product that has specific ingredients to do both. (I know Lisa does not see it the same way, so you can balance my comment with whatever Lisa shares.)

    In some cases, simply moving water keeps the dyes from redepositing or at least reduces this. So when using a wash pit or cleaning with large volumes of water, the flow of the water is one of the helpful factors. If you have a wash pit but don't have a method to keep water flowing, a sump pump taking in water at one end of the pit and discharging at the other end of the pit can be helpful.
  8. DavidVB

    DavidVB Member

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    Scott,

    Whether its acetic acid or Dye Loc, I have a hard time understanding how the same product can serve those seemingly opposing functions. If a rug is a bleeder, we apply a mordant product. If it has over dye or urine issues we apply a product that creates an unfriendly environment for dyes to attach to the dye sites and use lots of water as you suggest. Seems to work well.
  9. LisaWagner

    LisaWagner Member

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    David, mordants are used in the original process of attaching the dye molecules to the wool fibers. I have yet to come across any products that "bulletproof" and "set" dyes after the fact for cleaning - all you can do is to improve the stability of that dye/fiber bond, and protect the fibers from having migrating dye redeposit. Whether it's using acetic acid, citric acid, dye loc, dye stabilizer, salt water, or whatever the product of choice - they all do the same things. Stabilize and preventing redepositing.

    When rugs are newer, and depending on how thoroughly they were washed before sent to market, you have "excess" dye that is going to move no matter what you do. It's the same reason why bright clothing can rub off color on you if you do not wash it before you wear it. (This is also why many grandmothers used to add vinegar to the wash to try to prevent the release dye from finding a home on the "wrong" areas of clothing.)

    Washing the rugs does help by having water aid is suspending the moving dye and move it OFF the rug. It's another reason washing is a plus for rugs... besides the fact that it's simply a more thorough way of cleaning them.

    But no matter what product you choose for stabilizing the dyes, if you use the wrong cleaning solutions (i.e. highly alkaline) or use hot water, you are going to negate any benefit you had by picking a proper stabilizing agent.

    Nothing "sets" and bulletproofs dyes on wool rugs or silk. All you can do is create a better environment for stabilizing those dyes to clean it.

    Hope that helps,
    Lisa
  10. DavidVB

    DavidVB Member

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    Thanks Lisa. Can you explain how applying acetic acid helps keep dye from re-depositing? If dye is weakened by high pH cleaners or urine, I understand how an acid would help stabilize the dye. I don't understand how it helps with an over dye situation.

    Thanks for the info.
  11. LisaWagner

    LisaWagner Member

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    It does NOT help with an over-dye situation. If a rug crocks (dye transfers on a dry towel during your dye test, or a lightly damp one) - then you are out of luck. Acid will not help. Nothing will. So if it's a bad tea-wash application, or the rug has been colored over with ink (especially India Ink) - you will have a mess on your hands if you clean it. The only safe way I see is to clean with a hand tool and try to control the damage as you get the rug somewhat cleaner, because a bath will not be a safe option.

    Lisa
  12. Jimsteam

    Jimsteam Well-Known Member

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    I'm convinced !! Take my clients rugs to the Pros. Little profit but I will have a happy customer and I won't be sweating bullets!
    Thank you Lisa !!!
  13. DavidVB

    DavidVB Member

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    Thanks Lisa. Maybe I didn't use the right term. In your earlier post you said: "Whether it's using acetic acid, citric acid, dye loc, dye stabilizer, salt water, or whatever the product of choice - they all do the same things. Stabilize and preventing redepositing."

    My basic question is how do any of these products both stabilize dye and prevent redepositing? Keeping dye in a fiber and keeping it out of a fiber seems to be an opposite function. I know that sometimes we don't know how something works just that it does based on experience. I'm just curious if there is an explanation available.
  14. LisaWagner

    LisaWagner Member

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    It fills in the dye sites, so that it's tougher to find a spot. So if you are flushing the rug when you see migration, you can "push off" the bleed from the rug with a squeegee or roller or pressure washer. It's the same way you can add vinegar to wash bin water, and soak a new fabric, and when the dye gets into the water, it does not attach to the "wrong" areas already absorbing the vinegar.

    Ink does not follow this scenario... so if the rug has been over-dyed with ink, it just tends to bleed out too much to "move" off and away from the fibers. India Ink is notoriously used by dealers to cover up damage to help sell a rug - and it bleeds out all over the place when it's washed. I've had some success in removing this type of problem with Fels Naptha, a dry cleaner's soap, but not all of the time.

    Hope that helps. I'm not a chemist... this is just what I've seen when working with rugs and all of the different products in our industry, and most big rug plants use acetic acid for stabilizing or a salt water solution. A few I've come across use citric acid also - I have no experience with that though. Fabpro makes a citric acid product - and he has a great line of chemicals - might check those out.

    Lisa

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