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 Are Rugs Sanitary For Your Home?

We think of oriental rugs and wall-to-wall carpets as decorative elements that add soft comfort and aesthetics to our homes. While this is true, textiles work double duty; the rugs on your floor and walls absorb all manner of stuff but can dirty carpets make you sick? 

Rugs and carpets as passive indoor air filtration systems.


Area carpets in your home attract and hold soils from shoes, feet, and paws tracked in from the outside world and the air in your home. This is why a good-quality oriental rug makes sense in your entry and adjacent hallways in your home. Rugs effectively remove dry and liquid soil, like wet shoes with Portland's classic rainy weather. Yes, a handwoven rug is a walk-off mat, but with style! The unique woven structure of a handmade carpet allows these carpets to hold a substantial amount of particulate pollutants and still look fabulous. 

How much pollutants can a wool area rug hold? 

Soil from vacuuming the back of a rug

This is pre-wash dry soil removal or a Pakistan rug. This wool rug did its job absorbing soils entering the home. Surprisingly, the rug didn't look all that dirty but our specialized rug cleaning removes deeply embedded carpet soiling.


Are throw rugs gross and unsanitary?

Remember, this rug didn't bring these soils into the home its owners did. The rug absorbed these household soils and bound them into the foundation so they didn't travel through the air or on feet to other areas of your home, like your dining room, living room, or your bedroom 


The unique woven structure of handmade carpets and rugs allows them to hold a substantial amount of particulate pollutants like a sponge and still look fabulous.

Weavers in Afghanstan weaving a rug

Not all pollutants and soils come from outside. Soils and impurities are also created in your homes, such as cooking oil, pet dander, and off-gassing from furniture, paints, and adhesives. It's these impurities that make your home unsanitary and drive unhealthy indoor air quality not wool rugs and carpets. 


Wool the miracle fiber!

What if I told you not only can wool carpets hold everyday soil from feet keeping your home cleaner wool rugs keep the air in your home cleaner. Wool is an efficient absorber of potentially harmful indoor air pollutants such as formaldehyde, nitrogen dioxide, and sulfur dioxide, soot & dust particles. 


This is well documented by scientific research; wool mark research  


Are wool rugs easy to clean? 

Cleaning wool rugs can be challenging with the wide variety of weave styles and production standards. it's essential to  

Seek a specialized professional rug cleaning service to clean your rugs.


Rental carpet shampoo machines, rug doctors, and even professional carpet cleaning machines can't touch the deeply embedded soils that in-plat drop-off rug cleaning service can provide. The equipment professional rug cleaners use is not portable in your home.


Deep cleaning oriental carpets require washing by trained, experienced cleaners that know rugs. DYI rug cleaning, portable rug cleaning services, in-home carpet cleaning services, and carpet rug cleaning rental machines don't come close. Rental carpet cleaning equipment, like a rug doctor, cannot remove the deeply embedded soils in oriental rugs. 

The best way to keep your rugs looking good is to seek out a local rug cleaning service with a knowledgeable staff and a state-of-the-art modern rug wash plant that specializes in cleaning oriental rugs and area carpets, not a carpet steam cleaner. 


A full rug washing is the best for pet stains and odors and to make sure your rug is truly clean

How to clean wool rugs
A dirty rug being washed

In order for wool fibers to do their job, to help keep your home clean and healthy, you must clean area rugs periodically by a rug cleaning service that understands rug cleaning.


To remove the soils, pollutants, and toxins your amazing rugs have absorbed in your home specialized equipment and techniques are used. All cleaning services are not equal, seek out local rug cleaning professionals. 

Soils in oriental carpets worn into the foundation beyond the reach of shampoo and carpet extraction machines rugs need to be immersion washed and cleaned by hand 


Laundry Strip Rug 

You might be familiar with the YouTube craze of laundry-striping home textiles. A combination of Borax, washing soda (sodium Carbonate), and laundry detergent is mixed together in a bathtub with hot water and left to soak. 


While laundry stripping rugs works to some extent, the heat and strong alkalinity is damaging to wool and silk fibers in Oriental carpets and area rugs. The strong alkalinity causes dyes to become unstable, and color running or bleeding is a common result we see in laundry stripping rugs. 

Often enough dye is lost in the laundry stripping rugs that the color of a rug becomes several shades of lighter from color loss and the wool fibers become brittle. 

Cleaning info graphic .
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