I will explain to you the facts and any advantages or disadvantages with the cleaning of any area carpets either in your home or sent out to be cleaned in a plant. I believe with over 50 years of experience and having my carpet and upholstery cleaning business for over 45 years makes I am extremely qualified to answer this once and for all.
There are several factors to consider. First and most importantly is the type of rug to be cleaned. Many area rugs are nothing more than a typical broadloom carpet that you would find normally installed as a wall-to-wall carpet, only it may be cut and bound as an area rug. Then there are other rugs ranging from Oriental rugs which could be hand-knotted, woven, hooked, or even machine-made which all cover the most common types of rugs that could be cleaned in a home under the right circumstances. These circumstances are the overall condition they are in. If they aren’t extremely soiled and are vacuumed regularly and don’t have any severe pet odor issues, then yes these can be professionally cleaned in your home.
On the other hand, if these are heavily soiled or have severe pet odors, you may find it is better to send them out to be cleaned. Other types of rugs that should be sent out to be cleaned are either rugs that are reversible such as a Dhurrie rug, a Braided rug, or rugs that require to be blocked to prevent rippling or shrinkage such as a Needlepoint or a Wilton weave border rug.
In most cases, the actual cleaning process will be the same. The difference is if cleaned in a plant either special techniques may be applied to deal with pet odors that are not capable of being applied in a home due to either the amount of water and cleaning agents flushed through infected areas of the rug or the dwell time required in between certain applications make it unreasonable to be done in a home.
I see many companies say all area rugs need to be dusted before being cleaned. For those who aren’t familiar with this process, it is a process used that could be compared to vacuuming. It is either achieved through regular vacuuming, vacuuming a rug upside down to loosen embedded soil, vibrating the rug on a platform, or other similar methods, all designed to remove deeply embedded soil. Now, the reality. In servicing over 10,000 per year and being in business since 1970, I could say this is only needed in approximately 10 of these rugs cleaned. Let’s be realistic. Most people vacuum their rug regularly whether it needs it or not and as soon as you see debris or any soil on the surface of the rug you vacuum it up. The few exceptions I find are like a beach home, where sand is tracked in often and regularly, or the few homes that are neglected as far as cleanliness.
The other factor some companies will state, that cleaning your area rugs in your home is bad because it will ruin the wood floors underneath them. My god, this is funny. They think that you will actually get water or moisture through the rug and maybe even through the padding under it. I have never seen this even from the worse and most inexperienced carpet cleaners and someone would have a hard time trying to get a rug that wet. Oh, remember, the same process is used on all your wall-to-wall carpet being cleaned.
The carpet cleaning industry as well as every major manufacturer of carpets recommend all carpets be professionally steam cleaned. You will find most companies that clean area rugs in their plant will steam clean them if possible. If it is safe to wash a rug, such as an Oriental without color loss, bleeding, or shrinkage, they may do so but the true outcome is to remove any spots, stains, and soil from the carpet leaving you with a clean and softer rug.
The advantages of cleaning an area rug in a plant are, some stains, if heavy enough in volume may have penetrated the backing of the carpet, and quite often once cleaned, if there is any staining substance remaining deep down it will wick to the surface after the rug dries and a second spot cleaning will be required to remove this. Where if this rug was cleaned in your home, the cleaning technician could expect this, explain it to you but he will still have to return to your home for this second spot cleaning. Another advantage with sending out your area rugs in some cases is the control of the water used. In our cleaning plant, all our water is filtered and softened which helps in the removal of soil since minerals in the water will not alter the detergents used in the cleaning process as well as the soft water will leave your rug fibers much softer to the touch.
I hope this answers a lot of questions regarding whether you should send out your rugs to be cleaned or have them cleaned in your home. Just remember sending out your rugs will usually cost more due to the fact of a company having to pick them up then deliver them once cleaned. At Alec’s Carpet & Upholstery Cleaning LLC, we do all our cleaning, whether in your home or our plant and will always point out to you any advantages or disadvantages with either procedure. If you have any questions please feel free to call our office any time at 781-871-4428 or visit our website at http://www.Alecscarpetandupholsterycleaning.com where you can follow links to e-mail us with any questions.
We provide our carpet cleaning and upholstery cleaning services to the entire Boston area as well as all the surrounding suburbs and all of Cape Cod. Be sure to read our page on carpet cleaning at http://alecscarpetcleaning.com/carpet.