My Steam Cleaner’s 18 Step Area Rug Cleaning Process
Rug experts agree that in-plant rug cleaning is highly recommended for proper maintenance of Orientals and other loose-laid rugs. They should not be cleaned on location like synthetic, wall-to-wall carpet for many reasons:
- Rug fibers are very different from those found in residential and commercial broadloom carpet. There is far more natural fiber such as wool, cotton, silk and jute used in rugs than in broadloom carpet.
- Backings are very different, as natural foundation yarns are more prominent in rugs as opposed to separate synthetic backing fabrics for tufted carpet.
- Construction is different: woven constructions are most prevalent in area rugs, as opposed to tufting being the dominant construction in the broadloom market.
- Cleaning technology is different due to the potential for dye migration and fiber distortion.
My Steam Cleaner’s rug care staff is trained through the IICRC Organization and is well qualified to care for the finest to the most basic rugs from around the world. We will thoroughly and safely clean your rugs in our special, “state of the art” cleaning plant where they will receive our thorough 18-Step Cleaning System to get maximum soil and spot removal. Having your rugs cleaned in our plant allows us to give them special attention and treatment for a more thorough cleaning, controlled drying, and the use of various tools and processes that are not available on location in your home or office.
Failure to perform specialized procedures in a plant may result in permanent damage to the rugs and flooring materials under and around the rug. Incomplete soil removal may occur due to an inability to dust or adequately vacuum both sides of the rug. It is recommended that any rug as well as carpet exposed to heavy traffic, be cleaned at least annually. My Steam Cleaner, Inc. is fully bonded, licensed and insured and has been cleaning fine furnishings in the Miami-Dade and Broward County area for more than 23 years.
Step 1: Initial Inspection upon Pick-Up During our initial inspection we will determine as much as we possibly can about the type of rug and inherent characteristics and conditions that may affect cleaning. A company representative will come to your home to transport your rugs to our facility. Our handling fee is based on the number and size of rugs we transport with a minimum of $40.00. We carefully tag the rug at this time to avoid any mix-up while the rug is in My Steam Cleaner’s possession.
Step 2: Pre-Inspection and Photo Documentation Every rug is thoroughly pre-inspected and photo documented front, back and sides to determine and identify if there are pre-existing conditions, which could potentially affect the cleaning process. We will carefully document these conditions to help determine the best method of safely yet effectively cleaning your rug. You will be contacted by our rug cleaning expert prior to cleaning to discuss your rug’s condition. Once we get your authorization to proceed, we guarantee to give you expertise and workmanship consistent with industry standards of care combined with results that may be limited by the conditions and cleaning situation we encounter.
Step 3: Pre-vacuuming Your rug is carefully pre-vacuumed with a Carpet and Rug Institute (CRI)-approved commercial vacuum to remove surface hair, dander, lint and other insoluble dry soil.
Step 4: Dusting Woven rugs, especially hand-knotted wool pile rugs hide substantially more dry soil than wall-to-wall carpet. Studies performed by the Eureka Company found that a 9 x 12 rug could hold as much as 87 pounds of particulate soil. We use a variety of techniques to ‘dust’ the rug. Gently beating (like Grandma used to do), the rug from the backside with a specialized machine allows soils to sift downward and out of the pile. This is the most important step in cleaning any rug, as dry particle soil can cut the rug’s delicate fibers and cause premature wear. Following dusting, the rug’s face is vacuumed once again to remove fine particles left on the surface.
Step 5: Color fastness test as appropriate. One of the worst situations that can occur during rug cleaning is dye migration or bleeding. Since most fine rugs are made of wool or silk which is dyed with acid dyes, dye migration is always a concern. We will perform a prolonged colorfastness test to determine which cleaning method to employ to avoid potential color migration problems while achieving the most effective cleaning results.
Step 6: Pre-spotting Any potentially difficult spots will be pre-treated with special solutions to increase chances of removal.
Step 7: Pre-Conditioning Most area rugs are made with natural fibers. All of the cleaning agents we apply to your rug have been tested by the WoolSafe Organization (www.woolsafeusa.org). Pre-conditioning your rug prior to cleaning allows the soil to be thoroughly dissolved and emulsified prior to the actual cleaning process.
Step 8: Fringe Pre-treatment The fringe is also pre-treated with a specialty fringe cleaner for maximum soil removal.
Step 9: Agitation for Chemical Distribution and More Effective Cleaning Our rug experts will evaluate your rug to choose the best cleaning procedure possible for maximum soil removal based on fiber content, delicacy and colorfastness. These methods may range from minimum moisture to complete submersion cleaning.
Step 10: Rinse or Flush Depending on the type of rug, soils will be thoroughly rinsed from your rug with extraction equipment or flushed with a specialized wand in a rug bath designed especially for area rugs and Orientals.
Step 11: Forced Air Drying After soil removal, the rug may be dried flat on our specialty rug drying platform or hung to dry on our rug tower in a climate controlled environment. Inadequate or incomplete drying or wet cleaning on-location could cause prolonged drying, texture change, cellulosic browning, dye migration, mold growth, dimensional change, and/or dry rot.
Step 12: Additional Fringe Cleaning or Correction Some rugs require additional fringe cleaning or correction after the initial cleaning. We have special procedures and solutions to restore the original color to the fringe. We never use chlorine bleach which causes degradation and permanent damage to the foundation fiber.
Step 13: Grooming and Final Vacuuming When the rug is dry, it is groomed in the direction of the pile with a soft bristle brush made for specialty rugs. A final vacuuming will remove loose fibers and dry soil that may have surfaced during the drying process.
Step 14: Application of Fabric Protection Fluorochemical protectors resist particle soiling as well as water and oil-based stains. Application of fabric protectors can enhance the performance of your rug and help keep it clean longer. Since fluorochemical coatings may be worn off over time by traffic and maintenance (e.g., vacuuming), they should be reapplied after a period of use and following professional cleaning.
Step 15: Post Inspection Our cleaning specialist will give the rug a final inspection and release it for pick-up or delivery.
Step 16: Roll and Secure with Plastic Tape or Wrap in Colorfast Kraft Paper for Storage Since most rugs are made of highly absorbent natural fibers, it is not recommended that they be wrapped in plastic. However, we will carefully wrap them with non-stick plastic tape for ease in handling prior to delivery. Or, if they are to be stored, we will wrap your rug in acid free Kraft paper at no additional charge.
Step 17: My Steam Cleaner Delivery Upon delivery, we will re-lay the rug for you as long as you have secured your breakables and the area is clear of all large furniture.
Step 18: Rug Underlay or Pad Not only will rug pads bring comfort and cushion to your rugs, but they’ll also add durability to make them last longer. You can even protect your floors underneath with padding that prevents color transfer and staining. Rug pads create a safer environment by reducing the wrinkles and slippage of your area rug, which also makes it easier to vacuum. Whether you need a rug pad for a hard surface or carpet, we have the selection for you. My Steam Cleaner offers three different types of quality rug pads. One is for use under Oriental or pile rugs, a second for flat weaves and a third for use with rugs laid over carpet. Pre-cut or custom cut sizes are available. Other specialty services include:
- Urine decontamination
- Minor rug repair
- Blocking or re-stretching
- Moth deterrent