5 Things You Must Know Before Having Your Area Rugs Cleaned

Mark Lucas
Lukashik Rug Cleaning


#1. There’s A Significant Difference Between Carpet Cleaning and Rug Cleaning

First you must decide where to have your rugs cleaned. If you Google “area rug cleaning your town”, mostly what will appear are carpet cleaning companies. All carpet cleaners say they can clean area rugs, but how many really know what they’re doing? Not very many in my experience. I see carpet cleaners post all the time on internet bulletin boards and Facebook groups for professional cleaners something along the lines of, “Help! I picked up this rug from my client and I have no idea how to clean it!” Or even worse, “I cleaned this rug and look how I damaged it! Can anyone tell me how to fix this?” Most of the time the answer is, “Get your checkbook out. You just bought that rug, it’s not fixable!”

Not very reassuring is it! If you think of a professional carpet cleaner as having a high school degree, think of a professional rug cleaner as having a PhD. The knowledge required to navigate the tricky world of rug cleaning is far greater than just regular carpet cleaning. It’s very hard to damage a typical wall to wall carpet. It’s incredibly easy to damage an area rug!


#2 Cleaning Area Rugs In The Home Is Not Recommended

The first problem with trying to clean an area rug in the home is that you can’t properly “dust” the rug. Vacuuming only removes a fraction of the dirt from a rug, so rugs must be dusted. “Dusting” is a process by which most of the dry soil is removed by placing the rug face down over a raised grid and then vibrating the rug with a specialized tool, shaking loose the embedded soil deep in the rug fibers that vacuuming can’t reach. Then the rug is thoroughly vacuumed front and back, then a high volume of compressed air is blown through the face of the rug to remove all the fine dust that vacuuming didn’t remove. Removing as much dry soil first makes wet cleaning the rug easier and more effective.

The fact that you can’t saturate the rug with water in the home is the second problem. Copious amounts of water flowing through the rug is the best way to flush out all the soil and contaminates.

The third problem is that most area rugs absorb much more moisture than wall to wall carpet and consequently will take much longer to dry in your home. A professional rug cleaner has the proper equipment in his cleaning plant to dry rugs quickly. Slow drying can cause rugs to look blotchy and white fringe to turn beige or brown.

A dirty little secret that the average carpet cleaner doesn’t want you to know is that even if he takes your rug away to be cleaned, most of them will just take your rug back to their own home and steam clean it in their garage or driveway! You’re expecting a thorough deep cleaning and you’re receiving a surface cleaning. Ask questions and make sure your rug is getting the proper cleaning!

However, there are a few times when cleaning a rug in the home is performed. Sometimes there’s a huge piece of furniture resting on the rug that would be impossible to move without extreme effort. Or the client just doesn’t have the money to spend on a thorough cleaning. The cleaning can occur in the home if certain precautions are taken, such as using a gentle, wool appropriate cleaning prespray, lower water pressure to make sure the wood floor underneath or around the rug isn’t damaged, etc. Typically, the charge to clean in the home will be much less than an in-plant cleaning.


#3 What Is My Rug Is Made Of?

Is your rug a natural fiber like wool, cotton, silk, jute, viscose or sisal? Or is it a synthetic fiber such as nylon, polyester, polypropylene, olefin or acrylic? The type of fiber used in your rug will determine what kind of cleaning solution and what method of cleaning should be used. Using the wrong solution or too aggressive a cleaning method on some fibers can damage them, degrade their appearance and shorten the life expectancy of your rug!

There often will be a label on the back of the rug listing the fibers used. If the label is missing the fibers can still be identified by a veteran rug cleaner.


#4 How Is My Rug Constructed?

Rugs can either be woven, tufted, action backed or custom. Woven rugs are the strongest type of construction and can withstand the most aggressive cleaning. You can tell if your rug is woven by looking at the back of the rug. If you can see the face pattern on the back, it’s typically woven. If the rug has a plain material backing which hides the face pattern, then it’s typically tufted. If the backing is very stiff with a waffle type grid pattern, then it’s action backed. Each type of backing and its condition will determine the method of cleaning used.


#5 Does My Rug Have Any Preexisting Conditions?

It’s important to know what kind of physical shape your rug is in. There can be a myriad of problems with a rug that can affect the way it’s cleaned. Backing materials can deteriorate and an improper cleaning can exacerbate the problem. Dyes in the fibers can deteriorate from time, sun exposure, chemical exposure, or pet accidents. Are there pet stains and/or odors that you would like removed? This needs to be brought to the attention of whomever is cleaning your rug. Pet odors typically are not removed by a regular cleaning. Special flushing techniques, deodorizing agents and spotting agents need to be employed to rid the rug of the urine and it’s accompanying stains and odors.

To sum up, it’s important to do your due diligence when selecting a rug cleaner. You want to use a company that has the knowledge, experience, training, and equipment to clean your rug thoroughly and safely.

Mark Lucas
Lukashik Rug Cleaning
815-464-7892 0r 708-505-2570


P.S. Mention that you received this report and we will pick up and deliver your rugs for free! A $40 value!

(some restrictions apply. Must reside within our service area. Free pickup & delivery restricted to select days.)


Area Rug Pricing


Pricing Notes:

Natural Fibers – Hand knotted rugs are priced at the higher end of the range, machine made or tufted rugs at the lower end. Mothproofing is recommended for rugs that are going to be stored for any length of time.

Synthetic Fibers – Woven rugs are priced at the higher end of the range, action backed rugs at the lower end.