With proper care, handmade Oriental and Area rugs can last for a lifetime. Because of their complexity and value, rugs should not be trusted in the hands of just anyone. They need to be cleaned and restored by trained and knowledgeable IICRC certified professionals with effective cleaning procedures.
Before cleaning any rug, it is important to determine its origin, age, dyeing methods, previous repair and care, and construction. Improperly cleaned rugs can bleed, shrink, experience fiber deterioration and ultimately, lose their beauty and value. Typical rug cleaning services are appropriate for broadloom or wall-to-wall carpeting only, and are not gentle or thorough enough for most Oriental and specialty area rugs.
Don’t trust your area rugs to an uninformed, uneducated, or downright unscrupulous carpet cleaners. Call MERRITT today to schedule your area rug cleaning.
- Step 1: Initial Inspection upon Pick-Up or Drop-Off
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 or you may drop off “Cash and Carry” rugs at our facility and save the handling fee. Our handling fee is based on the number and size of rugs we transport with a minimum of $50.00. We carefully tag the rug at this time to avoid any mix-up while the rug is in MERRITT’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. 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 beat (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 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 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 cleaner, 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 for Storage
We will carefully wrap your rug/rugs with non-stick plastic tape for ease in handling prior to delivery or storage at no additional cost.
- Step 17: Customer Pick-up or MERRITT 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.