Finding a qualified cleaner to handle professional cleaning of Oriental rugs, Persian rugs and wool carpets can be tricky. Here’s how to do it.
If you have wool, silk or other natural fiber rugs down on the floors they need to be serviced more often than you may think. These rugs and carpets are made out of colored “yarns’ and either hand-knotted or woven into the final product, which is a rug or carpet.
The Woolsafe organization recommends regular cleaning in order to maintain a beautiful appearance for many years. Most people get this cleaning only when the piece or room looks dirty. Actually the fibers need professional maintenance more often, because soils that won’t vacuum off will adhere to yarns and permanently stain them, as those particles act as a vegetable dye on the fibers. Whether a machine-made area rug or a fine hand-knotted Persian or other Oriental rug, caring for it is a worthy investment.
But that begs the question “who should I hire?” and “what method should be used?”
It’s well worth looking into the Woolsafe organization, who trains and approves companies, technicians, and cleaning products for safe and effective cleaning of wool rugs, carpet or upholstered furniture. First of all, a Woolsafe certified rug and carpet cleaner is the best choice. These are called “approved fabric care specialists,” and the companies who are certified are called “Certified Operators.” To qualify for the Woolsafe instruction, testing and certification, the following criteria must be met:
- A company owner must have been in the carpet and upholstery cleaning business for at least five years.
- Must be currently certified by the Clean Trust (formerly IICRC)
- Must have current business license and liability insurance and workman’s comp for employees.
- Must exclusively use Woolsafe approved and pretested products in cleaning operations when cleaning wool
- Must ensure the highest technical and business practice standards in carpet and upholstery cleaning
As to the question of the cleaning methods, several have been approved by the organization. For Oriental rugs or wool rugs with no secondary backing, when appropriate, the most thorough method is the “full water immersion” method. This is where the rug is “dusted” to shake our most of the dust, then vacuumed, then shampooed in an approved detergent, then completely rinsed in a large fresh-water bath. Next comes water extraction, forced-drying and grooming.
Of course with this method, a huge amount of training knowledge and skill must first be acquired by the cleaning operator. Several other less invasive methods are also approved by Woolsafe , such as hot water extraction.
In conclusion, finding a reputable wool rug and carpet cleaner is much easier when you know the right resources to go through.