Rug Cleaning Process, explained.

Joseph Rogers

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Dec 9, 2010
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The following applies mainly to synthetics, machine woven, and most hand-woven wool rugs. I will be describing cleaning using large amounts of water, whether in a pit or on a sloped wash floor. There exist older, more delicate, and different fibers like silk, viscose (fake, or "art silk"), cotton, sisal, and banana peel rugs with which these processes should NOT be used. I will also NOT be held liable for anything you mess up, for whatever reason, so proceed with caution.
  1. Rug/Fiber Identification
  2. Bleed Testing
  3. Dusting
  4. Cleaning/Rinsing
  5. Fringe Detailing
  6. Drying
Rug/Fiber Identification:
- This can become very complex, and would require multiple threads to discuss fully. You learned the burn test and various other ways of identifying fiber types in IICRC CCT, though, so you already know the basics.


Bleed Testing:
- Make sure to test for crocking, as well as bleeding. I will usually dip a white terry towel in the cleaning solution, and place it on the top of the rug, then roll the rug up. Try to position the towel in a place that will cover all of the colors in the rug. Use multiple towels if necessary.

Dusting:
- Several ways to do this. Cheapest is to hang the rug on something, and absolutely WAIL on it with a baseball bat. There are compressed air systems you can purchase that will blow out amazing amounts of dust. Something called a Mor machine that I've been hearing a lot about lately, and know absolutely nothing about. Turn it upside down, and vacuum the heck out of it, until there's no more dust coming out of it when you flip it back over. Rug Badger is very similar to beating it, but you place it upside down on grids, and the badger has multiple flail arms inside that spin at high RPM, and basically vibrate the dirt out of the rug. It will fall out and collect under the rug, in the grid. I like this method, because you can sweep the dust up, collect in a bag, and return the bag to the customer. Their eyes tend to bug out when you do this, and it's a pretty effective moment of truth.


Cleaning/Rinsing
- This is where things begin to get seriously in-depth. There are so many fibers types, and rugs tend to be thicker than carpet, so it's a little more difficult to clean. Not to mention the difference in rugs you buy at Lowe's, basic hand woven rugs, and full on investment quality rugs (rugs that are purchased with the intent of providing a return one day because of their value/history). Understanding construction and dye types/processes, regardless of what some say, is critical if you want to be a GOOD rug cleaner, and cater to higher end clients such as interior designers, rug dealers, and the like. I digress. We're going to assume you're working with something like a Karastan, or a lower quality/value handwoven.

- If the rug has urine contamination, the very first thing you're going to want to do is spray it with something that is designed to deal with bleeding. There are two types of products, Dye Fixers, and Dye Repellents. Without going into details, make sure you speak to the manufacturer and understand which you’re working with, HOW it works, and how it should be used.


Fringe Detailing:
- When cleaning the fringe, NO chlorine bleach or oxidizing chemicals if at all possible. Warp fibers, which make the fringe, are usually cotton. Cotton does not hold up well when bleach/oxidizers are applied. Cotton, molecularly, is different from wool, and will deteriorate after awhile in high moisture conditions. It also shows dirt a sight easier.

Drying:

- Whether you dry it flat, hanging over a 2 x 4 with a piece of 6” pvc around it, drying table, whatever…make sure it’s dry quickly. There are pieces of equipment, like centrifuges and wringers that speed this process, and you can build drying tables as well. Centrifuges and wringers cost beaucoup bucks.


There’s a LOT that goes into this, but these are the basics.
 

Joseph Rogers

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Guys, I apologize. I just realized I left a lot of the cleaning process out...I was pretty tired when I posted this. Give a day or two, and I'll post more about pit vs. river wash techniques, and all that.
 

LFC

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Oct 8, 2009
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- Whether you dry it flat, hanging over a 2 x 4 with a piece of 6” pvc around it, drying table, whatever…make sure it’s dry quickly. There are pieces of equipment, like centrifuges and wringers that speed this process, and you can build drying tables as well. Centrifuges and wringers cost beaucoup bucks.

Read more: http://www.truckmountforums.com/threads/rug-cleaning-process-explained.41870/#ixzz2RUMQHbNe

It would be interesting to know if anyone on here has one of these. You would only have to do one rug 365 days of the year, for five years to pay the cheapest one off.



.
 

Joseph Rogers

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Dec 9, 2010
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- Whether you dry it flat, hanging over a 2 x 4 with a piece of 6” pvc around it, drying table, whatever…make sure it’s dry quickly. There are pieces of equipment, like centrifuges and wringers that speed this process, and you can build drying tables as well. Centrifuges and wringers cost beaucoup bucks.

Read more: http://www.truckmountforums.com/threads/rug-cleaning-process-explained.41870/#ixzz2RUMQHbNe

It would be interesting to know if anyone on here has one of these. You would only have to do one rug 365 days of the year, for five years to pay the cheapest one off.



.
They're for high volume operations. When you've got to utilize all your space for other stuff, leaving rugs drying on a rack for four days is not an option.
 

ibokural

Member
May 31, 2009
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Houston,TX
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Ibrahim Kural
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The following applies mainly to synthetics, machine woven, and most hand-woven wool rugs. I will be describing cleaning using large amounts of water, whether in a pit or on a sloped wash floor. There exist older, more delicate, and different fibers like silk, viscose (fake, or "art silk"), cotton, sisal, and banana peel rugs with which these processes should NOT be used. I will also NOT be held liable for anything you mess up, for whatever reason, so proceed with caution.
  1. Rug/Fiber Identification
  2. Bleed Testing
  3. Dusting
  4. Cleaning/Rinsing
  5. Fringe Detailing
  6. Drying
Rug/Fiber Identification:
- This can become very complex, and would require multiple threads to discuss fully. You learned the burn test and various other ways of identifying fiber types in IICRC CCT, though, so you already know the basics.


Bleed Testing:
- Make sure to test for crocking, as well as bleeding. I will usually dip a white terry towel in the cleaning solution, and place it on the top of the rug, then roll the rug up. Try to position the towel in a place that will cover all of the colors in the rug. Use multiple towels if necessary.

Dusting:
- Several ways to do this. Cheapest is to hang the rug on something, and absolutely WAIL on it with a baseball bat. There are compressed air systems you can purchase that will blow out amazing amounts of dust. Something called a Mor machine that I've been hearing a lot about lately, and know absolutely nothing about. Turn it upside down, and vacuum the heck out of it, until there's no more dust coming out of it when you flip it back over. Rug Badger is very similar to beating it, but you place it upside down on grids, and the badger has multiple flail arms inside that spin at high RPM, and basically vibrate the dirt out of the rug. It will fall out and collect under the rug, in the grid. I like this method, because you can sweep the dust up, collect in a bag, and return the bag to the customer. Their eyes tend to bug out when you do this, and it's a pretty effective moment of truth.


Cleaning/Rinsing
- This is where things begin to get seriously in-depth. There are so many fibers types, and rugs tend to be thicker than carpet, so it's a little more difficult to clean. Not to mention the difference in rugs you buy at Lowe's, basic hand woven rugs, and full on investment quality rugs (rugs that are purchased with the intent of providing a return one day because of their value/history). Understanding construction and dye types/processes, regardless of what some say, is critical if you want to be a GOOD rug cleaner, and cater to higher end clients such as interior designers, rug dealers, and the like. I digress. We're going to assume you're working with something like a Karastan, or a lower quality/value handwoven.

- If the rug has urine contamination, the very first thing you're going to want to do is spray it with something that is designed to deal with bleeding. There are two types of products, Dye Fixers, and Dye Repellents. Without going into details, make sure you speak to the manufacturer and understand which you’re working with, HOW it works, and how it should be used.


Fringe Detailing:
- When cleaning the fringe, NO chlorine bleach or oxidizing chemicals if at all possible. Warp fibers, which make the fringe, are usually cotton. Cotton does not hold up well when bleach/oxidizers are applied. Cotton, molecularly, is different from wool, and will deteriorate after awhile in high moisture conditions. It also shows dirt a sight easier.

Drying:
- Whether you dry it flat, hanging over a 2 x 4 with a piece of 6” pvc around it, drying table, whatever…make sure it’s dry quickly. There are pieces of equipment, like centrifuges and wringers that speed this process, and you can build drying tables as well. Centrifuges and wringers cost beaucoup bucks.



There’s a LOT that goes into this, but these are the basics.


How about the chemicals, what chemicals would you use?
 

stevebrk

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Mar 26, 2012
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Steve Brooke
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We have 2 rug spinning machines that we bought overseas. If you do enough rugs they will change everything. If you clean shag rugs, you need to get rid of alot of water and it can take a long time to dry. A spinner will remove almost all of it. The manufacturer said 90%-95%. Usually I would doubt this but when you feel the difference in weight of the rug you put in the machine and what it weighs after you spin it, it sounds accurate.
The main thing about the spinner is that it get rids of the dirty water from the rug. And if you hang a rug with water, it can cause a hump in the rug or to lose its shape.
Another plus is that the rugs dry within a day or two so you can schedule a delivery sooner and get your money.
We use to outsource the rug cleaning but it was costly and often mistakes were made that we only discovered when we unrolled the rug in front of the client. The worst was a $10k Persian rug that they did not dry fully. As a result when we unrolled it, you could hear the rug cracking as it fell apart right in from the client and family.
Bottom line is, if you are soaking your rugs, a spinner is a big plus to your cleaning process.
Right now we buying new spinners and if anyone is interested in getting a used one contact me.