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Rug Washing

Steam cleaning rugs

By 5 December 2023December 12th, 2023No Comments

Rugs can make a room look spectacular. They can bring a room to life with colour and texture. They can separate living spaces easily and effectively. Every day your rugs endure a lot of wear. You walk over them, your children or pets play on them and babies crawl and eat on them.

Steam and chemicals

If you steam clean your rugs, ESPECIALLY handmade rugs, the steam and chemicals used can damage the fibres and natural dyes. This causes discolouring and fading, and the dyes can bleed into each other. In some cases, damage caused by steam cleaning is noticeable in the long term by shortening the life of your rugs.

Additionally, this cleaning method can be a health risk to your children and pets.

The Steam Cleaning Method

The steam cleaning method is a surface cleaning method only. It does not clean your rug. It involves spraying chemicals on top of the rug then vacuuming the rug. This removes some of the chemicals and loose soiling near the surface.

During the process, there is no brushing, rinsing or washing the fibres; or care taken to manage dye run. In most cases, the back of the rug is not even cleaned, and this is the most important side of the rug to clean.

When you spray the surface of your rug, dirt is pushed deeper into the fibres causing it to become heavier and stiffer which may cause rotting. Vacuuming cannot remove most of the dirt that sits deep in the fibres.

When you spray cleaning agents onto your rug, the spray only covers up the dirt and odour, it does not remove it. The only way to effectively remove dirt and odour is by washing and rinsing deep inside the fibres.

The Hand Wash Method

The origin of beautiful hand made rugs, in places like Turkey, are used in homes in which most people take off their shoes before they enter the home, hence they only hand wash their rugs once a year.

However, in Australia, it is not customary to remove shoes before entering a house, so rugs experience a harder life under shoes and sneakers, pets, prams, toys and food.  Therefore, to ensure rugs stay fresher and brighter, and their lifetime extended, we recommend they are washed a couple of times a year.

For handmade rugs, which are generally made with vegetable dyes, they require more care when cleaning due to dye runs; so choose your rug cleaning company wisely and confirm they are qualified to care for your expensive rug.