Carpets can be divided into two categories: wall-to-wall and oriental. There are many differences between these two categories of carpets. Because of the differences in the carpets, the proper approach to cleaning them is different as well.
One major difference between the majority of wall to wall carpets and oriental rugs is the fiber they’re made of. The majority of wall-to-wall carpeting is made from synthetic fibers. Examples of synthetic fibers include nylon, polyester, olefin, and acrylic.
Wall-to-wall carpeting is largely made from synthetic fibers because synthetic fibers are cost-effective and resilient. Most synthetic fibers respond well to cleaning with water at very high temperatures. These fibers also keep their shape well over long periods of time and they are not easily distorted.
Oriental rugs are often hand woven using natural fibers. Natural fibers include cotton, silk, and wool. These are fibers that are found in nature. Some of the advantages to oriental rugs are their beauty, their longevity, and their soil hiding qualities.
One disadvantage of oriental rugs and natural fibers is their cost. These rugs are often very expensive. They are expensive because of the craftsmanship that went into their production. Another disadvantage is that they can easily be stained: many natural fibers are highly absorbent, which means that when spills occur, the stains will seep deep into the fibers, making full removal of the stains very difficult.
Should oriental rugs be cleaned exactly the same as wall-to-wall carpeting?
This is a good question.
For a couple of reasons, the approach to cleaning wall-to-wall carpeting and oriental rugs is, and should be, different. Wall-to-wall carpeting should be cleaned with the hot water extraction method. This method ensures a deep clean and thorough rinsing of the carpeting. The built-in nature of the wall-to-wall carpeting makes this a viable option.
Oriental rugs, many of which are composed of natural fibers and have, in some cases, extremely high value, should be cleaned by in a pool or a bath. A carpet cleaner that specializes in oriental rug and fine rug cleaning will have a large facility built just for the cleaning of oriental rugs.
Oriental rugs have extremely good soil-hiding qualities. Wool fibers are opaque and, therefore, do not reflect light like synthetic fibers. This helps to hide soiling and keep the carpet looking beautiful, even when soil is present.
Before bathing your oriental the rug, your technician will beat dry soils out of the rug with a special vibrating beating tool. This cannot be done in your home, it has to be done at your cleaner’s facility. The amount of dry soils that come out of the rug after this beating is really incredible. A simple vacuum cannot do what this process does. In large oriental rugs, it’s not uncommon for pounds of soil to come out during this process!
The best process for cleaning oriental rugs is by submersion cleaning. This type of cleaning involves a pool or bath that totally soaks the rug while cleaning solutions are applied, agitated, and rinsed. This procedure is completely thorough and the submerging of the rug really makes for the deepest cleaning possible for oriental rugs.
For a rug that is likely a large investment or a family heirloom, a thorough cleaning is suggested every one to three years. It is best to seek a professional rug cleaner that specializes in the cleaning and care of fine rugs. There are many variables that go into oriental rug cleaning and a highly experienced professional is a must!