This started with a question from one of our clients here in Portland, Oregon. Lisa is considering buying a new rug for her family room or should she? -“Isn’t wool and carpet bad for people with allergies? Doesn’t an oriental rug or area rug make a home more polluted?”
The answer isn’t as simple as a yes, or no. Let’s talk soils first, yes I’m going to talk dirty to you. There are two types of soil soluble soils like drinks, oils, starches, soot, proteins, and insoluble soils such as sand, gravel, and clay. Soils enter the home in various ways on clothing, feet, paws, airborne from an open window, door, or are generated in the home such as dander, fire, furnace, cooking, or a remodel.
When you walk across a rug in your shoes a wool rug the velvet-like pile removes soils from the bottom of shoes or paws and traps this soil in the pile that slowly works its way into the base of the rug. This is no joke, look at the pic on the right. The image isn’t doctored it’s a real rug with real soil from real use. A handwoven wool rug is a thick structure capable of hold more than its weight in soils, more like a sponge.
Wool and wool rugs have several unique properties that improve air quality. Wool absorbs moisture from the air up to 20% when dry; this is relative to indoor humidity or RH. During the absorption phase, wool absorbs airborne soil and pollutants holding these soils until the rug is cleaned. When the relative humidity drops, so do the moisture content of wool. Wool becomes very conductive and gives off both positive and negatively charged electrons. Many atmospheric soils such as smoke, dust, and lint become attracted to wool rugs or, as I like to call it, wool’s loving embrace when moisture levels drop.
“Gross, why would I want a rug in my home?”
Because the rug didn’t bring the soil into your home or create them, you did. Wool absorbed as much of these soils as possible but they need to be cleaned and renewed to start this process all over again. Some people have allergies to wool rugs; in a few cases, we have had people that were really reacting to the allergens in the rug and not the rug itself. Timely cleaning of a rug not only reduces allergens and allergic reactions it helps improve indoor air quality it extends the life of your rug.
Not shampooed, steam, or dry cleaned but properly washed and soils removed built-up soils.
Renaissance Rug Cleaing Inc. is a specialty rug cleaning and restoration company located in Portland, Oregon. Renaissance has been serving clients in the Portland metro areas for over 22 years a specific focus on hand-woven rugs and area carpets.