In the past three articles of our Rug Cleaning 101 series, we discussed the importance of receiving training before beginning cleaning, why you should be cleaning in a shop or plant, and the pre-cleaning inspection process.
In the past three articles of our series Rug Cleaning 101,
we discussed the importance of receiving training before starting rug cleaning,
why you should be cleaning these textiles in a shop or plant environment, and
we reviewed the pre-cleaning inspection process.
Now let’s look at how to equip your new rug cleaning
facility, however humble it may be. Lots of options are available for all
budgets; think of this investment along the lines of buying a new truckmount
The first step in cleaning any textile is dry soil
extraction, so let’s look at your options. If you have a large volume of rugs
to clean, automatic dusters are available again. This type of duster was once
only available from the Moore Company (which is no longer manufacturing), but
is now available from Centrum Force.
Portable dusters are what most new rug plants are using
because they are affordable and effective. The original rug duster was from the
Hild Company and is long out of production – but you can still see them in use.
The two manufacturers offering portable dusters today are The Rug Badger and
If you do not have the budget for a rug duster, use a good
upright beater bar vacuum cleaner. First, vacuum the face of the rug, then the
back. Sweep the floor, then vacuum the face again. You could then repeat the
process and continue to remove more dry soil.
The next step in the process is choosing the cleaning method
that is most suitable based on your pre-cleaning inspection, including the
construction of the rug.
If shrinkage or bleeding is a concern, use a low-moisture
method like an absorbent compound or encapsulation. Hot-water extraction
equipment can be used to clean rugs of course. However, on natural fibers turn
down the pressure to no more than 200 psi to prevent pile distortion.
And turn off the heat! Yes it will slow down the cleaning
process a little, but hot water can contribute to dye bleeding and shrinkage.
Use a longer dwell time with your chemicals to compensate for the lack of heat.
Extremely soiled rugs can be cleaned using an immersion
process, if the rug can withstand an invasive cleaning method. The more
thorough you are with the cleaning process, the more likely you are to
encounter dye bleeding, pile distortion, shrinkage, and hidden defects in the
rug. Only use this method after a complete pre-cleaning inspection. This method
is the most effective way to remove urine.
After washing the rug and grooming the pile, it is ready for
the dry room. Place on a dry pole or flat on a rack if you are concerned with
possible dry bleed.
One piece of equipment receiving more and more attention is
the centrifuge. After the wash process, the rug is spun to remove the vast
majority of the water. With less water in the rug, dry time is decreased
substantially, including browning of the fringe. Both Centrum Force and The Rug
Badger offer centrifuges.
With the great variety of equipment available to the rug
specialist today the task of washing rugs has become easier. Next time we will
look at the proper cleaning chemistry to go with the equipment we have