Very few carpet cleaning companies have skilled rug cleaning experts on the payroll and even fewer have a facility where an Oriental rug cleaning professional can really spread their wings and perform their magic. Carpet cleaning is more about science and technology whereas washing and cleaning wool rugs is an art that takes years to master. An individual can purchase the necessary equipment, spend a week reading technical data, a month in the field applying the knowledge and becoming familiar with the equipment and voila!, they are a professional carpet cleaner. Not so with fine area rugs.
A deep knowledge of the chemistry involved in dealing with synthetic and natural dyes in rugs is necessary but it won’t help you identify the rug’s origin which is one of the most crucial aspects to a successful cleaning. Once we identify where the rug was made it gives us a good idea of which direction to go with the cleaning/washing process. Immersion washing is a centuries old practice but many rugs cannot be immersed. For instance, many Persian rugs manufactured after the 1979 embargo will bleed. Why? The quality of Iranian rugs has suffered tremendously since the embargo for various reasons but primarily due to the exodus of so many skilled workers. Rugs made in Pakistan today are of much better quality than Iranian rugs in my opinion.
Once a rug cleaning expert has determined the construction and origin of a rug then and only then can we proceed with confidence and assurance. If one proceeds without that basic knowledge the likelihood of major problems exist. Bleeding, shrinking, pile distortion, browning, buckling and many other complications can occur. Most companies that do not have a deep knowledge of rugs will NOT wash a rug. And from a business prospective , it’s smart. Cleaners are in the business of cleaning rugs and not purchasing them from customers after they’re ruined. At best an inexperienced company will surface clean a rug as they would wall to wall carpeting, which can cause real problems. If the rug survives the process the consumer loses because the rug is not clean. No matter how you look at it, someone loses out when a professional rug cleaning service isn’t utilized.