Rug & Specialty Fabric Cleaning - Cleaning Process

Here we invite you to read about how we clean all kinds of rugs. From low end synthetic rugs to the very top of the market, including Oriental, Persian, Indian and Afghan to name a few. Also you'll see how we clean fine fabrics such as silk with solvents. Again we must reiterate the following steps along with their definitions, are the steps that the Professional carpet cleaning industry teach as being the only methods for achieving the best possible results.

As with upholstery, some rugs and fabrics need to be pretested. This determines pile or knot content and whether there are loose dyes, shrinkage risks and so on.

Primary Method 1

Pretesting is carried out first to check the type of cleaning that will be the most safe and effective.

  1. Dry Vacuuming
  2. Spotting, Edging, Pre-Spray & Scrub
  3. Hot Water Rinse Extraction
  4. Neutraliser & Deodoriser Finish
  5. Drying

In Greater Depth...

1Dry Vacuuming
The first stage of the carpet cleaning system is a thorough Dry Pre-Vacuum. Pre-Vacuuming gets rid of up to 80% of the loose dust and grit held in the carpet. It removes dust that is hard to eliminate once damp. Failure to begin with this first basic step can mean that this dirt is never properly removed. Sometimes people say that after they had either had their carpets cleaned or did it themselves the carpet seamed to get dirtier quicker. It could be that this loose dust and grit was not removed with a dry vacuum prior to wetting the carpets. If so, it will eventually work it's way to the top of the carpet giving the appearance of getting dirtier, quicker.

Click Play to see Dry Vacuuming in action

2Spotting, Edging, Pre-Spray & Scrub
The second step involves treating any obvious spots and stains existing on the carpet or rug. This ensures that each spot or stain is treated properly, maximizing the possibility of removal. After this we will extraction clean with a hand sized tool the extremities of the carpet, ensuring a nice tight clean into the edges. Once all the spotting is done, the main surface area of the carpet being cleaned will be Pre-sprayed and hand brushed. The Pre-Spray is gentle misting of a soil breaker and degreaser onto the carpet, it is then brushed into the pile. This part of the process helps break down and loosen up the general soiling within the pile of the carpet. It is a preparatory technique for stage 3. It is similar to the pre-wash cycle on a washing machine, before the main rinse.

Click Play to see Pre-Spotting in action

Click Play to see how carpet edging is cleaned

Click Play to see an example of Pre-Spray and Scrubbing on a carpet

3Hot Water Extraction
The Hot Water Extraction is the main stage of the cleaning process. Our world class fast dry extraction system is setting new standards for carpet cleaning in domestic and commercial settings. High pressure water solution is delivered to the carpet. This rinses the carpet of the pre-spray and all the broken down dirt. It is instantly pulled away by powerful vacuum units. This system ensures that your carpets are cleaned as deeply as is physically possible, whilst recovering almost all the water used. We can also boost the cleaning solution with steam when cutting through heavy soiling and grease. Incidentally all that's doing the rinsing is a tuned combination of high pump pressure, hot water, powerful vacuums and the right technique. Very little detergent is used in the machine, just under 0.1875% in fact, the rest is tap water. This is all part of good cleaning practice; allowing the pre-spray to loosen the dirt, then just rinsing with water. The opposite would be to thrash someone's carpets with high risk chemicals to try and get a quick result. Please note that sometimes because of the nature of the rug, cold water will be used instead of hot. Please see below in method 2 part 4 as to why.

Click Play to see Hot Water Extraction with Steam Boost

4Neutraliser & Deodoriser Finish
Part of good carpet care is leaving the carpet in natural pH balance. This is achieved by applying a rinse finish to the carpet. Not only does it leave the carpet in a natural acidic pH and act as a colour brightener for wool based carpets, it also stops bacteria and spores from operating. Acting also as a deodorizer it has a pleasant temporary fragrance.

5Drying
Finally Stage 5 of the process ensures that carpets are dry in no time. Fast drying is achieved with a combination of the following:
 
» Powerful vacuum strength and good wand technique ensure that almost all the water used is recovered at the cleaning stage. With drying times of around 1-3 hours.
 
» With powerful air movers the carpets will be totally dry in around 15 minutes.

Click Play to see what turbo drying looks like

Optional Protection
As an optional add-on why not consider having your restored carpets or rugs protected. Prolong the life of your soft furnishing investment. Our StainShield with ACTIGARD protector is a coating applied after the cleaning. Not only is it an industry leader in its protective capabilities - it also kills and prevents infestations at the same time. Everything from flees and moths to dust mites and allergies. To learn to more see our protection page.

With rug cleaning it is not always possible to use water, or deep hot water extraction. In such a case see the other methods found below. However many rugs can be cleaned in this way - the most thorough. Most oriental Chinese rugs for example, respond beautifully to water extraction.

Method 2

Method 2 involves a similar process to the primary method. Method 2 is designed to suit cleaning rugs, tapestry's and wall hangings that have loose colour dyes. The pre-spray is often omitted from the process because it could cause dye bleed.

  1. Pretesting
  2. Dry Vacuuming
  3. Spotting & Edging (Sometimes a Pre-Spray depending on rug)
  4. Cold Water Rinse Extraction
  5. Drying

In Greater Depth..

1Pretesting
Before anything is cleaned, it may be necessary to perform a number of tests. The tests will help determine the fabric type and construction and will also show if the rug or fabric is wet cleanable. If it is not one of method 3 or 4 may be suggested for proceeding.

2Dry Vacuuming
The next stage of the cleaning is a thorough Dry Pre-Vacuum. Pre-Vacuuming gets rid of the loose dust and grit held in the fabric. It removes dust that is hard to eliminate once damp. Failure to begin with this first basic step can mean that this dirt is never properly removed.

3Light Spotting & Edging
The third step involves treating any obvious spots and stains. This ensures that each spot or stain is treated properly, maximizing the possibility of removal. It is described as 'light spotting' in this process due to the fact a delicate rug or fabric is being cleaned. Edging refers to special attention given to edge of the rug for a complete clean.

4Cold Water Rinse Extraction
If you've ever been privileged to see how people in the middle east clean their rugs, you'll know they seem to use a lot of water and soap. And yet after this the rugs respond incredibly to the cleaning. You would think the vegetable dyes used in some of these rugs would run - but generally they don't! The key is cold water. So what we are in affect doing in this process is combining the very key behind the local knowledge, cold water, with the very latest water extraction technology. The cold water extraction is the main stage of this cleaning process. Added to the cold water is a light rinsing acidic detergent. So as well as helping to break down the dirt within the rug it helps ensure that the rug is left in a natural pH balance. This natural acidic additive helps bring out colour and shine within the fabric. Of course as with all extraction methods the water is instantly pulled away by powerful vacuum units, thereby ensuring that your soft furnishings are cleaned as deeply as is physically possible, whilst recovering almost all the water used.

5Drying
The final 5th stage of the process ensures that the rug or cleaned item is dry in no time. Fast drying is achieved with a combination of the following:

  • Powerful vacuum strength and good hand tool technique ensure that
    almost all the water used is recovered at the cleaning stage.
  • With towelling down. As each section of rug or fabric is cleaned, it is towelled off with terry towels. This helps remove any remaining surface moisture.
  • With powerful air movers the rug will be totally dry in around 15 minutes. This is important because it ensures dye bleed and shrinkage risk are kept well out of the equation.

Method 3

  1. Pretesting
  2. Dry Vacuuming
  3. Spotting
  4. Hot Solvent Extraction
  5. Dressing & Drying

In Greater Depth..

1Pretesting
In method 3 we now assume water to be a problem. It may now be necessary to see how the fabric responds to solvents. The tests will help determine the fabric type and construction and will also show if the rug is solvent cleanable - although if water cannot be used, solvent almost certainly will be ok. If it is not method 4 may be suggested for proceeding.

2Dry Vacuuming
As before the next stage of the cleaning is a thorough Dry Pre-Vacuum. Pre-Vacuuming gets rid of the loose dust and grit held in the fabric. It removes dust that is hard to eliminate once damp. Failure to begin with this first basic step can mean that this dirt is never properly removed.

3Spotting
At this stage any obvious spots and stains will be treated with solvent based pre-spotters and gel. This ensures that each spot or stain is treated properly, maximizing the possibility of removal.

4Hot Solvent Extraction
Cleaning often involves water. However when it comes to some dry clean only rugs, wall hangings and fabrics – water is no helper.

Fortunately solvents have been used for a while in achieving good dry cleaning results. But not until now has the cleaning power of mineral solvents really been harnessed. Hot Solvent Extraction is a new technology which heats the solvent, doubling its cleaning power – great results for the items being cleaned.

This new technology allows us to deep clean all delicate fabrics, with no risk of any dye bleed, shrinkage or distortion.

Sensei Hot Solvent Extraction Machine

5Drying
The final 5th stage of this process ensures fast drying is achieved with a combination of the following:

  • Powerful vacuum strength and good hand tool technique ensure that
    almost all the solvent used is recovered at the cleaning stage. And also solvent evaporates extremely quickly on its own.
  • With towelling down. As each section of upholstery fabric is cleaned, it is towelled off with terry towels. This helps remove any remaining surface moisture.
  • With powerful air movers the upholstery will be totally dry in around 15 minutes.

Method 4

  1. Pretesting
  2. Dry Vacuuming
  3. Professional Crystallizing Application
  4. Dry Vacuuming
  5. Professional Crystallizing Re-Application

In Greater Depth..

1Pretesting
As the previous 3 methods. If it has been decided to use the following method, it would either be to minimise use of water or to keep cost to a minimum.

2Dry Vacuuming
As before the next stage of the cleaning is a thorough Dry Pre-Vacuum. Pre-Vacuuming gets rid of the loose dust and grit held in the rug fabric. It removes dust that is hard to eliminate once damp. Failure to begin with this first basic step can mean that this dirt is never properly removed.

3Professional Crystallizing Application
This is a Hand Professional Shampoo. This process is a safe or maintenance clean option. It uses a special formula of crystallizing shampoo and optical brightener’s. Firstly after the shampoo is applied, its crystals encapsulate the dirt and soil in the fabric, allowing them to be vacuumed away. Secondly it enhances colour and shine in natural fibres. This process is not a deep cleaning method as method 1 and 2 is, so should not be viewed as thorough.

4Dry Vacuuming
Dry Vacuuming by hand now removes the encapsulated dust and dirt from the previous step.

5Professional Crystallizing Re-Application
A re-application is made of the Crystallizing shampoo. In this step it is left. Then it will be vacuumed the next day.

More Cleaning Systems & Processes

Carpet Cleaning Upholstery Cleaning Stain Protection