January 20, 2022

Why Traditional Steam Cleaning Methods May Harm Oriental Rugs

steam cleaning

Oriental or Persian rugs are known throughout the world for their stunningly intricate and unique designs. Each rug is made out of high-quality materials and handcrafted by highly skilled artisans. All of these make Oriental rugs a worthwhile investment.

If we truly want our Oriental rugs to last the coming years and become a beautiful family heirloom, then we can’t let them get irreparably damaged by steam cleaning. We need the help of professional Oriental rug cleaners instead.

The Dangers of Steam Cleaning Oriental Rugs

For an Oriental rug to last through generations of our family, we need to properly care for it. Traditional steam cleaning is often the go-to cleaning method for carpets. However, it is more likely to cause harm to Oriental rugs rather than clean them.

Here are a few ways a hot water extraction or steam carpet cleaning can damage priceless Oriental rugs.

1. Break Down Delicate Natural Fibers

Unlike regular, wall-to-wall carpets, an Oriental rug is made of all-natural fibers, such as wool, silk, and cotton. These natural fibers are more delicate than the synthetic materials used to make carpets.

Moreover, most Oriental rugs are only held in place using knots. They do not have a hard, plastic backing to serve as support and prevent the fibers from coming undone.

As such, the combination of pressurized scalding hot water and high-powered vacuums designed to loosen up dirt in synthetic carpets can instead loosen up the rug fibers and knots themselves

2. Leave a Large Amount of Water on the Rug

Traditional steam carpet cleaning shoots out a mixture of hot water and cleaning agents onto carpets. These are then vacuumed immediacalltoy, together with all the dirt and debris dislodged when the hot water and cleaning solutions were released.

Unfortunacalltoy, the complex natural fibers used to create Oriental or Persian rugs can trap a large amount of liquid. This is especially true with wool Oriental rugs.

Simply vacuuming the hot water and cleaning agents still leaves a lot of liquid in the fibers. The deposited water and cleaning agents will then settle onto the fibers, making the wet rug act as a magnet to more dirt and debris.

Additionally, any soil and dirt already trapped in the fibers are likely to turn into mud, thus making the rug dirtier than before.

3. Rotting Fibers and Foul Odor

Steam-cleaned carpets can be left to dry quickly, so there is little to no risk of them developing a bad smell. The same does not hold with Oriental rugs.

Since hot water extraction deposits a large amount of water on Oriental rugs, they have a large likelihood to be left to dry improperly. Some people may leave a sopping wet rug on the floor to dry, not knowing the difference between them and a synthetic carpet.

Instead of drying properly, the rugs will most likely develop mold and the fibers may start to rot. Moreover, the wet rug will also likely damage the floorboards underneath. Along with the mold and rotting fibers comes a foul odor akin to a wet dog.

4. Running Dyes and Fading Color

Most Oriental rugs use vegetable dyes and other natural dyes. Unlike synthetic dyes, most natural dyes will “run” or fade when cleaned using hot water. The colors will likely leach out of the fibers or bleed into each other, ruining the design of the Oriental rug.

The cleaning agent may also adversely affect the color of the rug. Since steam carpet cleaning is often used on synthetic fiber carpets, the cleaning solution used may be too harsh for natural-fiber rugs.

Giving Oriental Rugs a Special Treatment

Traditional steam cleaning can effectively clean our wall-to-wall carpets, but not our precious Oriental rugs. Your authentic and antique Oriental rugs are amazing investments, so entrust their cleaning and washing to the experts.

If you require a professional Oriental rug cleaning, contact Area Rug Masters right away. We offer affordable and trusted area rug cleaning services to all Gainesville residents. Call us today for a complimentary quote.