Updated: Nov 20
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?”
Let's talk soil first. For our purpose, there are two types of soluble soils: drinks, oils, starches, soot, proteins, and insoluble soils such as sand, gravel, and clay.
Soils enter your home in various ways on clothing, feet, and paws, airborne from an open window or door, or are generated in the home, such as dander, smoke from a fire, or cooking oils. No matter how meticulous a cleaner you are or how often you clean soil happens in your home.
Wool, the miracle fiber
Oriental rugs and wool carpets often get a bad rap. If you go to our cleaning page, you'll see large amounts of soil be removed in our cleaning process. It's natural to think that you don't want a rug like that in your home.
However, the rug didn't don't create soil or bring it into your home wool rugs grab onto soil, dirt, and atmospheric pollutants in your home and hold them.
When you walk across a rug in your shoes, bare feet, or socks, a wool rug, with its velvet-like pile, works much like the bristles of a broom and removes soil from the bottom of these surfaces. Carpets hold these soils, and often they work their way to the foundation where it's trapped.
The pic below is a rug with soil from floor use in a high-traffic entry. As you can see, a substantial amount of soil is built up at the base of this carpet. A handwoven wool rug is a thick structure capable of holding more than its own weight in soil; think of it as a very decorative sponge that holds dirt, soil, and pollutants.
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 absorption, wool absorbs airborne soil and pollutants, holding these soils until the rug is cleaned.
When the relative humidity drops, so does the moisture content of wool. Wool becomes more conductive and gives off both positive and negatively charged electrons, static charge. Causing wool to hold the soil, it's absorbed and attracts even more soil; many atmospheric soils such as smoke, dust, and lint become attracted to wool rugs.
The most visible aspect of wool's static charge is how pet hair and lint are attracted to wool.
Not only is an oriental carpet highly decorative, it's also a natural filter for your home, keeping it cleaner and healthier, all with style! For over thirty years, I've seen the miracle and benefit of wool, and nothing, I mean nothing, comes close to its performance of wool.
Don't take our word for it; check out the wools of New Zealand site and the benefits of wool.
That old dirty rug needs help; it's done so much for your home Wool absorbed as much of these soils as possible, but oriental wool rugs need to be cleaned and renewed to start this process all over again. Vacuuming and proper cleaning every 1-3 years improve the ability of wool to help keep your home clean and allergy free.
Allergies and wool Rugs
Most people don't have allergies to wool people often react to the allergens in the rug and not the rug itself or cleaning products used on a rug. Cleaning, not shampooed, steam, or dry cleaned but properly washed and soils removed built-up soils. Make sure cleaning products are free of perfumes and post-wash treatments such as deodorizers.
At Renaissace, one of the owners is very sensitive to perfumes and deodorizer chemicals; even at low levels, they can cause irritation and allergic reactions. A proper wash states with cleaning agents and most of the washing is rinsing social and cleaners out of clients' area carpets.
Hypoallergenic aspects of wool.
Wool rugs guards against dust mites Dust mites can cause respiratory problems in susceptible people, particularly asthma sufferers. Wool can help; wool absorbs and desorbs moisture creating a dry environment that is hostile to the growth of bacteria, fungus, and dust mites, among other things. It’s how sheep stay healthy outdoors year-round. But it’s also why we claim that wool is perfect for producing hypoallergenic pillows and bedding that reduce respiratory allergies in the bedroom.
Fewer dust particles are created by wool than by other fibers. Because of the static charge in wool, it holds dust particles releasing much less dust into the air.
Wool absorbs harmful VOCs VOCs, or volatile organic compounds, floating all around us. Just like dust particles, wool absorbs pollutants, and It absorbs and keeps them trapped in its fibers.
Our answer to the question, ‘is wool hypoallergenic?’ is a resounding ‘yes’. And it’s these allergy-reducing properties that make wool one of the best hypoallergenic comforter materials.
Renaissance Rug Cleaning Inc. is a specialty rug cleaning and restoration company based in Portland, Oregon. Renaissance has been serving clients in the Portland metro area for over 22 years as a specific focus on hand-woven rugs and area carpets.