You want to have your fine Oriental area rug looking great for many years to come, to enjoy its beauty and intricate design. The key to your area rug looking its best is to properly care for it, insuring your enjoyment and pleasure for generations. Oriental area rug experts uniformly agree that the best and most appropriate method of cleaning an Oriental area rug is to hand wash it in water and without harsh chemicals. This simple, yet effective method of cleaning has been used for centuries. Although time consuming, it certainly is well worth the effort.
Professionally washing your treasured Oriental area rug is your best assurance for its protection and longevity. Over time, soil, dirt, dust and sand accumulate in your rug, hasten wear and damage the fibers. Eventually, such a rug environment becomes very attractive to mold and moth larvae.
Although regular vacuuming is important to the health of your Oriental rug, it does not take the place of professional cleaning. A true professional Oriental area rug cleaner will not take chances with your valuable and valued rug. He will not expose your lovely rug to harsh chemicals or machine washing. Such delicate work must be done by hand by an experienced, well trained and professional rug cleaner that knows the differences in rug fibers, dyes and methods of production.
To choose the proper professional Oriental rug cleaners, there are certain questions you should ask. Listen carefully to the answers given, to make sure your rug will get the best and most appropriate care.
Questions to Ask an Area Rug Cleaner:
How long have you been in business, cleaning oriental, Persian and other fine rugs?
It is best to choose companies that have been in business for over 10 years and are focused on cleaning oriental, Persian and other fine rugs. Cleaning and repairing Oriental rugs is a combination of art and science and it takes time to acquire such fine expertise. There are quite a few carpet cleaning companies, dry cleaners, and other non professional businesses who claim to clean oriental rugs, but in any metropolitan area, there is only a limited number of companies that are truly specialized and qualified to do this type of work.
How much experience do the area rug cleaning professionals on your staff have?
Professional area rug cleaning businesses must have people experienced in cleaning as well as repair for over 3 to 5 years.
What specific training and certifications do your area rug cleaning professionals have? Do you have Certified Rug Cleaning Specialists certified by the IICRC (Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification)?
Certified Rug Cleaning Specialists must complete rigorous training and practice. They are trained in specific techniques that are applicable for each specific type of rug based on material (Wool, Silk, Sisal), design (Oriental, Modern, Transitional) or country of origin (such as Persia, India, China), and whether it is a machine made or handmade rug. Acquiring this certification is costly and shows that the company is serious about their business.
Are you a member, in good standing, of the BBB (Better Business Bureau)?
Any reputable service company would register with the Better Business Bureau.
Is your company insured and bonded?
Area rugs may have high sentimental and monetary value. You want to make sure that while your rug is in the possession of the rug cleaning company, you are protected against the rug being stolen or damaged.
What steps are included in the cost of your service?
Typical steps should include inspection, dusting, cleaning, grooming and drying. Some companies have additional services they offer, such as moth repellent, fabric protector, custom rug pad installation, area rug repair and restoration.
What type of equipment do you use to clean area rugs?
While methods of cleaning depend on your particular rug, professional companies invest heavily in professional equipment. They typically have specialized dusting equipment, specialized drying facilities, as well as specialized washing equipment. Stay away from regular carpet cleaning companies who will just hose down your rug on the concrete floor and apply harsh chemicals. Even if it will not damage your rug, it certainly will not clean it.
Do you move furniture as part of the service cost? If so, are any pieces of furniture not typically moved?
Rugs can be damaged if heavy furniture is moved incorrectly.
Do you offer pick up and delivery? If so, does that service cover my zip code? How much does it cost?
Oriental rugs may be pretty heavy and not easy to transport. Typically, rug cleaning companies arrange the pickup and delivery. Some companies pick up and deliver free of charge.
Do you provide a guarantee for your service?
You want to make sure you rug will not be damaged. Make sure that company stands behind its promises.
Do you provide an in home quote prior to cleaning area rugs? Will that estimate be in writing? What issues might cause that estimate to increase or decrease?
Professional rug cleaners must provide an approximate quote before they pick up your rug. While the price may increase or decrease based on a further careful evaluation at the rug cleaning plant, you must be notified about it as soon as possible.
What method of area rug cleaning do you recommend for my rug?
Give the professional rug cleaner as much information as you can about our area rug: the fiber it is made of (Wool, Silk, Sisal, Nylon.. ), country of origin, whether it is handmade or machine made. The more information you provide the rug cleaning company, the more specific and comprehensive the cleaning plan for your rug will be.
Can your process and equipment remove urine, dust, stains from my area rugs?
Specify what kind of contamination you have on your rug. Don’t worry about saying words like dog urine, spills, dirt, dust or anything else that may be on your rug. Professional rug cleaners are trained experts and they would be able to tell you what they can and cannot clean. Professional area rug cleaning might be able to remove dust, dirt, odors, urine and stains. A professional rug cleaner must be up front with you about what he can and cannot do.
Do you offer rug repairs?
Professional rug cleaners are very likely to offer rug repairs as part of their services. Stay away from companies that don’t provide this service. This may signal that they are not specialized Oriental rug cleaning experts. Professional rug repairs might include fringe repair, edge serging, edge binding, rug patching and rug reweaving.
When you have complete and satisfactory answers to the above questions, chances are you have found a quality Oriental area rug cleaning professional. Once you schedule an area rug cleaning and find it satisfactory, schedule a regular cleaning session once every year or so, depending on foot traffic and general abuse your Oriental area rug is subjected to.
Oriental area rugs are sturdier than you may think. They do need periodic washing, vacuuming and rotating to prevent uneven wear and sunlight damage. However, as you care for and maintain your Oriental rug, you will enjoy the results for a lifetime.
Shane Hobbs is a Certified Oriental Rug Cleaning Specialist in the Dallas / Fort Worth area. http://www.dalworthrugcleaning.com/
You can read more about how to care for your rugs at home at http://www.dalworthrugcleaning.com/oriental-rug-care-tips.html