Rug Cleaning Don’t Just Let Anyone Clean Your Fine Oriental Rugs! They Require Special Treatment! Universal Cleaning it Most Trusted Source for Rug Cleaning in Raleigh!

By John Alderson

Area rugs can be very expensive and are mostly made from wool, cotton and silk fibers. Professional cleaning of a rug requires special tools and a Certified Woolsafe Professional.  Area rugs are NOT cleaned the same a way to wall carpet is cleaned. Most of todays modern truck mounted equipment solutions temperatures are too hot and use too high of PH. This will cause shrinking of natural fibers and dye bleeds. 

Warning:  Never allow anyone to clean rugs inside the home, they cannot be properly cleaned!

Common issues that occur with in home rug cleaning:

  • The fringe cannot be cleaned properly, cotton fringe will brown out
  • The fiber and dyes if left too wet for too long can bleed
  • Musty odors can occur without proper drying equipment
  • Proper removal of dry soils that have settled at the base of the fibers
  • Pet stains and pet odor cannot be removed
  • Damage to other floor coverings from moisture(wood floors)
  • Moth and insect treatments cannot be applied
  • Odor problems cannot be corrected
  • Waste of money for poor cleaning

Don't gamble with your investment, it could be permanently damaged! 
Universal Cleaning Services has a rug cleaning system that guarantees maximum soil removal while not damaging the fibers of fine or antique rugs.  This cleaning process usually takes about 7 days and is all done by hand. Universal Cleanings Services also uses special equipment and rug cleaning certified technicians by IICRC and Woolsafe Organization. Approved WoolSafe Specialist John Alderson       John Alderson IICRC Certification

1. Complete Pre-inspection
Each rug is carefully examined for pre-existing conditions. Special testing is done to determine the fiber type and construction methods. Rugs can be made out of so many different types of fibers but most will generally all natural, synthetic or a blend.  Area rugs are also inspected for damage by insects, rips, tears and certain types of dye lot variations.

Many times heavy soiling conditions can cover up variations in dyes, stains and dye bleeding that is usually uncovered after the cleaning.  Four of the most common things that come up with area rugs are abrash, tea cupping, white knots and unsymmetrical weaving.  

  1. Abrash is a dye-lot variation when wool is dyed a certain color lets say the green for example. After the rug weaver has used up all of the first lot then a following batch is dyed green; however,  it was dyed a shade or two off. Then the rug is finished with 2nd batch of green fibers causing Abrash to appear. 
  2. Tea cupping is when a rug is dyed with a hot tea.  This is done because it adds a distinct aged look to a rug. Tea Cupping will usually lighten up with cleaning  process, but can be corrected. Usually inspecting the fringe of the rug can determine if the rug has been tea cupped. If the outside of the fringe fiber is darker dye (tan or beige color dye) and the inside of fringe fiber is white is good indication that the rug has been tea cupped.
  3. White Knots are when the cotton foundations of the rug start to present themselves. When the rugs are being woven together and rugs are being packed for shipping the yarns will break. They cannot be replaced, so the two ends are tied into a knot. Over time the rug can wear and these knots can be exposed. These can be color corrected if the customer cares to.
  4. Most hand made rugs are rarely symmetrical because of the weaving process; however, machine made rugs are usually symmetrical because they were made by computer and not by hand.

2. Dye Testing
Every color present on the rug is tested for bleeding even the foundation yarns are tested. It will never be known which dye will bleed until they are all tested. This testing usually takes about 24 hours because dye bleed usually occurs right before the fiber dries. If a dye bleeds, special dye setting products are used to set the dyes.

3. Dusting
Dusting a rug to remove the dry particulate soil can take several hours depending on how soiled a rug is. Each square foot of a area rug can hold 1 POUND of soil!  Rugs are vacuumed with a high speed commercial vacuum on both sides.  After they are thoroughly vacuumed, a high speed rotary tool is used on the back of the rug that gently tamps the dry soil from the foundation of the rug. The tamping action of the rotary tool with the help of gravity releases the imbedded soil deep within the pile and the foundation of the rug. After several passes with the rotary tool the rug is flipped back over and the face pile is vacuumed again. The process is repeated until no more soil is visible.

4. Pre-Conditioning
Preconditioning is applied to break down traffic area soil and general spots and to prepare your the rug for maximum soil removal. Universal Cleaning Services uses SPECIAL plant based, hypo-allergenic cleaning products that come from renewable seed and vegetable sources. These products don't contain perfumes, VOC's, solvents, phosphates or any hazardous products. The are biodegradable and environmentally safe. The pre-conditioner is also deep scrubbed into to the face pile.

5. Rug Bath
The rug is given a cold water bath or flooded to rinse all the soils from it and the pre-conditioner. Special tools and brushes are used to flush remaining  soils from the rug.

6. Fringe Cleaning
The fringe is carefully agitated with a brush and cleaned with special fringe cleaning solution. Cotton backing and fringe has natural lignin dye in it. This brown dye can bleed out during the rug cleaning and drying process. Quick drying of the fringe and drying the rug face down will prevent the dyes from wicking to the face pile.    
7. Extraction
All remaining water is carefully extracted from the rug to prepare it for the drying process.

Special Rug Treatments

Pet Stain Treatments: Pets can really do number on your delicate rugs. Pet stains are a 2 part process to remove them from the rug. First you have the visible(yellow dye) stain and usually a odor problem with the stain.   Universal Cleaning Services has Guaranteed pet odor removal.  Stains(yellow dye) will have to be addressed case by case. Most stains will improve with cleaning some will need additional treatments to remove the unwanted color. If you have a pet stained rug do not roll it up and put it out doors. Moths will infest the rug and cause permanent damage.

Area Rug Protector: After your rug has been cleaned we can also protect your investment from stains and soils with rug fiber protector. Wool stains very easily and all it takes is one spill or pet stain and a beautiful rug can have permanent damage.

Anti-Allergen Treatment: This Guaranteed treatment can be applied to control dust mites and allergens for up to six months.

UV-Protector: Just like sunscreen for your body rugs that are going to be placed in front of a window or in high sun exposure areas can also be treated with a UV-Protector. Natural fiber rugs will fade in sunlight.

Moth Treatments: Moths can ruin and infest rugs in short order especially here in North Carolina. Moths do most of their dirty work at night snacking on clothing and rugs. They love natural fibers like wool and cotton. If you notice any holes or areas of missing fiber moths are usually the culprit. Any rug that has moth damage will have to be treated before cleaning.

Rug Padding: Universal Cleaning  will custom fit the pad deliver it with your freshly cleaned rug. Rug padding will add years of enjoyment to a rugs life and helps with the shock of foot traffic. Padding will also keep a rug in place and prevent slip and fall accidents. We have two pads available Solid rubber pad for thinner rugs and Dura Hold  Plus is for rugs going over carpet or wood/tile flooring.  Dura Hold Plus is the best pads for your area rugs and will last up to 15 years.

8. Drying
All of the rugs are dried in a dry room where we have commercial dehumidifiers that remove moisture from the air. This speeds up the the process; however, it can still take up to 3 days for a rug to fully dry. Rugs are dried face down to prevent any dyes from bleeding to the face of the rug during the drying process. High velocity air movers are used to help with the drying process by providing much needed airflow to wick moisture out.  Finally all rugs are tested with a moisture meter to determine if they are 100% dry. This ensures that no moisture is left in the rug.

9. Final Finishing
The fringe is cleaned one last time and the rug is groomed and vacuumed.

10. Repairs
Some rugs may need a repairs or new fringe, if this is the case your rug can be fixed after the cleaning process in our rug repair department.

11. Packing
Rugs are packed in rosin paper and stored in the dry room before they are finally delivered back so you can enjoy the rich beauty of freshly cleaned rug!   After we deliver your clean rug a final inspection will be done with you to assure you are thoroughly satisfied.  

Call now for a Free no obligation Rug Audit at 919-602-5592. A Rug Audit is much more that just a quote.  Universal Cleaning Services Inc. will fully inspect your rugs current condition, construction type and soiling. We will also address any stain concerns, show how to maximize the life of your rug and how to protect if from stains and soil. We also offer FREE pick and delivery for new customers!!! Call now at 919-602-5592