A couple times a week I search other blogs about area rug cleaning. The most popular usually are the Do-It-Yourself (DIY)/Green Cleaning/Money Saving blogs.
Nothing wrong with trying to save money and keeping your house chemical free, but where is the advice coming from?
The blogs about DIY rug cleaning are mostly by every day people and not always by professional area rug cleaners.
One of the most important things missing from a lot of these blog posts is what kind of rug/carpet they cleaned. They usually don't say and that is where problems can arise.
Cleaning a synthetic area rug is much easier than a wool area rug. Synthetic rugs are mostly made from Olefin or Polypropylene (types of plastics). They are a great rug to have around small children, pets and in entry ways. They don't absorb spills and last a long time.
When spills or pet accidents happen on a synthetic rug, it is the cotton and jute foundation that absorbs the liquid and smells not the actual rug fibers.
Most cleaners and spot removers are made for synthetic carpets and area rugs, not for wool. They are too strong to use on Wool area rugs. A lot of the spot removers were made when carpet was the most used floor covering. Now hardwood/tile are the most used flooring.
Using the wrong spot removers on a wool area rug can ruin your rug. I use the analogy that wool area rugs are just like the hair on our heads. It is the hair of a sheep, it has cuticles and grows just like our hair and is sensitive to a lot of chemicals. We don't use harsh chemicals or strong shampoos on our hair, why use them on our wool rugs? The results are similar. Use bleach on a wool rug and the wool lightens or dissolves, same as our hair.
Since you cannot be sure of what kind of rug they are talking it about it is like playing Russian Roulette with your cleaning results.
There are safe spot removers for wool. Water is your safest spot remover. A damp White Cotton towel can get rid of a lot of every day spills.
White Vinegar and water is good for fresh, wet pet accidents. Once a pet urine has dried it is pretty much a permanent yellow stain, on wool, cotton, jute and sometimes synthetic.
For red wine put a White Cotton towel on the spill and stand on it. Keep stepping on the towel until either the towel is saturated or you are not getting any more wine off the rug. If you are still seeing wine come up, change to a new towel and keep stepping around the spill.
Club soda, water, salt, dry oatmeal also work at helping remove red wine. The salt and oatmeal absorb the wine, also works for any wet spills.
If you can still see the wine spill, wet a White Cotton towel until it is damp, and keep the spill moist and get it to your rug cleaners as soon as you can. Keeping the spill wet helps the wine not set and stain your rug.
Things to Never use on a Wool area rug are Baking Soda, and any other spot treaters that do not have a Wool safe symbol or say safe for wool. Always do a test spot no matter what you use for spot treatments. Every area rug is different and will react differently even to the same type of spill.
Out of all the stain, cleaning and spot removal advice out there the best things are a White Cotton towel, water, salt, and your professional area rug cleaners.
In a perfect world spills would never happen, in our world they happen every day. Drop by Luv-A-Rug to get your free bottle of our own spot remover. 445 Beta St, (off Alpha St) Victoria, BC 250-590-6210
Thanks for reading, RugloverMary, Your Victoria BC area rug cleaning expert!