Rug Cleaning for a Healthy Home

Here at Aladdin, we understand exactly how important area and oriental rugs are to keeping the warm ambiance of a home. It’s our business and passion. Rug cleaning is an essential part of keeping your home clean and welcoming. Oriental rugs become the focal point of the rooms they are put in, with their every pattern, coloring, sizing, shaping, and texture melding well with all the room’s furniture. It’s important to consider how to maintain the room’s durability and beauty over long periods of time.

 

A dirty rug can easily become home for dirt, dust, allergens, pet dander, bacteria, pieces of decaying food, and insects – which pose health risks for children, seniors, and everyone else. Here’s why rug cleaning is an important part of keeping a healthy home.

 

Causes of Area Rug Damage

As time passes, stains, spills, pet dander, dust, pollen, dirt, hair, waste from shoes, and other debris can  get stuck in rugs, pressed deeper by walking feet. Direct sunlight can even cause rug damage, albeit not with the associated health hazards of particulates.

 

Correcting Rug Damage for Home Health

Vacuuming

Make sure to vacuum your carpets and area rugs almost every day in order to keep out dry soil and dirt that can quickly accumulate.

 

No Shoes Policies

By implementing a no shoe policy inside your house, you can keep your oriental rugs and area rugs clear of allergens. All sorts of allergens stick to the underside of your shoes, including dirt and allergens from outdoors, and germs from everywhere you walk.

 

Professional Rug Cleaning

The best way to keep rugs clean and your home allergen and germ free is by ensuring that your rugs get cleaned regularly and meticulously. By making sure your area rugs and oriental rugs professionally cleaned, you will ensure that they last longer, and are healthier and cleaner for your home. Contact Aladdin today for a professional rug cleaning!

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Rugs Vs. Carpets

Many people usually mix up carpets and rugs although they are very different types of home decoration. Carpets usually extend over the entire floor from wall to wall, and are set securely into place – while rugs usually cover only a particular area of the floor, and are usually either placed underneath a table or to designate an area of a living room meant for hanging out and conversation. While it’s your choice, of course, to decide which of these to place into your home, it can help to know the disadvantages and advantages of both – key facts that the experts at Aladdin will elucidate on in this brief blog posting.

 

Area Rugs

As a storied, tried, and true way to cover up a tile, cement, or wood floor, rugs can add stylish flair and an artistic edge due to their varied colors and designs as compared to carpeting. Rugs can define specific parts of the room, which gives you the advantage of being able to easily switch up and customize your decor, which can flip the room’s visual and spatial impressions with some simple adjustments. When utilized inside a large open space plan, a rug can unite aesthetically disparate furniture together to create a more solid decorative unity.

 

Wall to Wall Carpets

This form of carpeting is strongly secured to the floor with tacking strips and glue, and is unable to shift around, creating the possibility for tripping and falling that is present with rugs. When utilized within a solid decor scheme, wall to wall carpeting can join multiple rooms in a house, and make smaller homes seem bigger. Besides these obvious pros, wall to wall carpets add layers of sound insulation and warmth to homes, making them especially useful for homes with kids who crawl on the floor, or the elderly in winter.

 

Rug Pros and Cons

Rugs are easy to wash and dry, so they might make a better choice for homeowners who suffer allergies. Rugs allow people to have a tile or hardwood floor but still keep an aspect of warmth by covering it up with a rug. However, unsecured rugs can pose a falling risk, and have been seen to cause slips and trips at a exponentially higher level than wall to wall carpeting, making them perhaps not the best choice for homes housing the elderly.

 

Carpet Pros and Cons

Wall to wall carpets have slipping resistance, and add levels of soft cushioning and warmth when they are placed throughout the entire home- even more so when they have memory foam pads placed underneath. Although carpets of many different colors, designs, and pile types are available, neutral colored carpeting can help unite disparate aesthetics in a single space. The main drawback to wall to wall carpeting, is that after it is installed it can take a bit of time for the nasty chemical scents to wear off, up to several months in fact. This is a phenomenon called off gassing. Additionally, carpets can quickly accumulate set in impressions called wear patterns in heavily trafficked areas – and they take much more work to clean and maintain than rugs.

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Choosing the Perfect Rug Size

Buying a rug can be difficult and tricky – you want to make sure that you’re purchasing a rug that’s the correct size for the room it’s intended to be placed in. If it’s too big, or too small – it simply won’t work at all. Rugs can be expensive too, so you’re going to want to be spending your money productively and wisely. It’s common to purchase too small rugs since 5 by 7 and 6 by 9 inch rugs are much cheaper than 8 by 10 or 9 by 12 inchers, but if you get too small of a rug, your room can seem ill decorated, and just off. Here’s a quick guide prepared by the experts at Aladdin to help you figure out what size of rug is best for your room.

 

Measuring

Make sure to measure how big the room’s seating area is before you shop for the rug, and choose the closest rug size that corresponds for it. If you have a small room or small budget, try getting a smaller rug that floats in front of the furniture – which is a tactic that especially works for couches that are pushed up against the wall. If your room is too big or your furniture isn’t sitting against the wall, get a bigger rug or else the room will look strangely proportioned.

 

Orientation

If your rug is more long than wide, orient it in the room lengthwise. If your room is more wide than long, orient the rug in the room horizontally. You want to make sure that the rug covers a certain amount of space in the room that corresponds to their matching proportions between the rug and the room.

 

Furniture legs?

The best advice we can give for this contentious issue is to make sure to stay consistent with your practices. By this we mean, if you have a rug that doesn’t fit under all your furniture, but only some of it, make sure that either all the furniture legs are on the rug, or none of it is at all. If there’s a mixture, it will add a sense of scrambled discord to your living and seating area.

Well, okay, let’s backtrack. Sometimes all of the sofa legs are on the rug, and the chair legs are half on, or vice versa, and it looks alright – but this is mostly up to your opinion. Try it out and see how it looks, but just saying, it usually doesn’t look too good. If you’re deciding which legs you want to position on the rug, choose the most discreet and least obvious ones – for example, if you have a low to the ground sofa pressed up on or near the wall, it’s more likely that the floor under it won’t be visible so it’s less likely people will notice it’s not fully on the rug.

 

Additional Tips

  • Square rugs are only ideal for square rooms. Round rugs are for more playful / social / family oriented rooms.
  • If you have a too-small rug you’ve fallen in love with, purchase a big sisal, seagrass rug, or jute that fits the entire seating area, and put the rug on top of it.
  • Ensure that your rug has at least six to ten inches of space on either side of the sofa. You want to make sure that the width of the rug isn’t the same width as the sofa, as it will create an visually unappetizing illusion of smallness.
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Natural and Synthetic Rug Materials

The general feels, looks, durability and monetary values of a rug are mainly based on what materials are used in its creation. If you really want a rug that meets your specific needs and lasts as long as it should, you should be aware of the range of materials available to you. In this blog post, the experts at Aladdin Rug and Carpet will help delineate the differences between types of natural and synthetic rugs.

 

Natural Rugs

These rugs are made of plant or animal based fibers.

 

Wool

This widely used rug material is the most common material used in high quality area pile based rugs. Wool can come from sheep, goats, alpacas, or llamas. It’s resilient and durable, being much longer lasting than synthetics. It absorbs and holds dyes with lots of success, and is naturally stain, water, and fire resistant – as well as resisting dust mites.

 

Cotton

This naturally strong and durable fiber can easily absorb and retain many types of dyes. It’s often used in rug making with a wool blend, as many people find that the combination of materials is very comfortable on bare feet. Cotton wool blend rugs are also less expensive than all wool rugs, but are somewhat less durable than them.

 

Sisal

This plant fiber is made from the leaves of the Agave Sisalana plant, also known as American Aloe or the Century Plant. It’s from Central America, but is now grown in Mexico, Java, and East Africa. It is often used in all plant based rugs for it’s fine, long fibers that can be processed into smooth yarn like material. They are anti-static, absorb sound, flame retardant, and have long longevity.

 

Jute

This material made from mostly Indian and Chinese stem fiber plants is good for making durable fabrics due to its firmness and stability. Just like with other plant fibers like sisal, jute looks great in rugs, but it can also be course and not stain-proof – so it’s usually blended with softer or more stain resistant materials in order to make rugs.

 

Seagrass

This material is made from wetland plants with grassy stems. It’s known to be non-pourous with a naturally smooth texture, and has a hay color and smell to it, both of which disappear over time.

 

Bamboo

This wood like material is mostly found in Japanese and Chinese regions. It’s vastly durable, making it a great choice for any heavily trafficked rug, and offers fantastic bang for your buck – not to mention being available in a massive variety of style and size options.

 

Silk

This natural fiber is known for it’s luxurious shine, and is the most high valued rug fiber; even some added silk components can vastly raise the price of a rug. Silk rugs should only be cleaned and cared for by professional rug cleaners.  

 

Synthetics

Silk is a good place to segway into this article’s discussion of synthetic materials, as there’s lots of faux silk on the market, usually made of viscose or rayon polyesters. Mercerized cotton is also sometimes substituted for silk, usually in rug accents or in making shorter, more dense pile rugs.

 

Viscose

This wood pulp based material is shiny, but when used by itself can easily get matted – however, when combined with other materials or only used as an accent, it can effectively substitute the more expensive real silk.

 

Rayon

This material is also based in wood (in tree cellulose) and is very similar to silk in appearance and look, however it can melt if it gets exposed to fire.

 

Acrylic

This fiber material is synthetic, and is sometimes blended with other materials to provide the appearance of a wool rug.

 

Nylon

This synthetic material is known for strength and uniformity as well as its ability to resist staining and soiling. They are available in tons of colors and are easily cleaned. Their strong nature makes them a fantastic choice for placement underneath furniture or heavily trafficked areas, and they usually cost way less than rugs made from natural materials – however they simply don’t last as long as a good quality wool or silk rug.

 

Polypropylene / Olefin

These petroleum based fibers are a product of propylene and ethylene gases, and when used in rugs can add strength, colorfastness, quick-drying ability, abrasion resistance, mildew resistance, and stain/soiling resistance. Rugs that are made from these materials usually cost less than other similar rugs. Olefin rugs are almost wooly, and polypropylene can be heat treated to make them last longer, and gain a matte sheen that appears more like wool. These rugs are lightweight, however, making them not an ideal choice for high traffic areas.

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Common carpet cleaning mistakes

Cleaning carpets inside your home can take a lot of time, but it’s a necessary activity in terms of keeping them in tip top shape. Consider your carpets and floors an investment; and in doing so, it’s important to be aware of common mistakes that people make when they’re cleaning their carpets and rugs. Here’s the most common mistakes people make when cleaning their carpets, as prepared by the experts at Aladdin Oriental Rug Services.

 

All Purpose Cleaners

These cleaners might work fine on hard surfaces but they are absolutely not a good choice for rugs or carpets. They contain extremely abrasive chemicals that can damage carpets seriously, so we would advise making sure that all purpose cleaners are safe to use on carpets before you use them.

 

Scrubbing

You might feel a strong impulse to scrub stains with wet paper towels – but you should resist this impulse. Scrubbing can tear the tightly wrapped, heat-sealed fibers that make up carpets, and actually impact the stains much deeper inside these torn fibers. This can cause major dark spots in the carpets, and change its texture. If you’re hell-bent on scrubbing, try using a half white vinegar and half water mixture, and lightly brush it with an old toothbrush.

 

Testing Cleaning Products

Make sure to test all cleaning products on a small hidden patch of your carpet before using it. This helps you determine whether the cleaning products are safe to use, and won’t bleach or ruin your carpet or rug fibers. Don’t ever apply a cleaning product to the entire rug or carpet before testing it first because you’re not sure how it will relax.

 

Professional Cleaning Services

There’s people out there who consider professional cleaning a waste of time or running. However, these people are decidedly wrong. Professional carpet and rug cleaning is much more affordable than many people think – and if you’re always cleaning stains from children or pets, a professional rug and carpet cleaner can certainly take off some of the pressure that might be affecting you. Professional carpet and rug cleaners use special high pressure steam machine technology and carpet and rug safe cleaning solutions that deep clean all the way down to the padding, while avoiding the risk of mold or mildew that comes with excess moisture.

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How weather affects carpets

The humidity and temperature changes of the variance of seasons can affect the flooring of your home that provides a set foundation for your rugs and carpets. In basic language, heat and humidity affects porous laminate and hardwood flooring, causing it to expand. During cold weather, laminate and hardwood flooring can contract.

 

If the humidity inside your home goes over 60 percent, you might be allowing moisture to make it’s way inside the wood, causing it to swell and expand. This expansion creates additional pressure inside and between the boards of wood, causing them to warp, cup, or lift. This is true for both solid and machine engineered hardwood floors that are subject to any sort of head or humidity.

 

When temperatures start to fall, these hardwood and laminate floors start to contract due to a depletion of moisture in the air. This causes the swelling experienced during warm seasons to lessen, and a reduction in any sort of distortions like cupping or warping. But just as the weather begins to heat up again, these structural changes will reappear.

 

What can you do to prevent laminate and hardwood floors from warping, cracking, or cupping? Here’s a few quick tips:

 

  • Ensure that your floors are installed correctly, and kept pristinely clean. Don’t use too much moisture to clean materials – rather, just use damp cloth and minimal amounts of cleaning products.

  • Never mop hardwood with water, since not only does the water add too much moisture, but it can speed up the rapidity of the wood’s deterioration.

  • Don’t clean laminate or hardwood flooring too regularly with water based products.

  • Always be aware of the level of humidity inside your home. If the humidity inside your home exceeds 60 percent, and you’re wary of any warping or cupping in the wood – try getting an air conditioner or a dehumidifier to help lessen the level of moisture.

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Signs you need to replace your carpet

Making a decision on when you need to get a new carpet can be hard since there’s a lot of time, effort, and cash involved in tearing out already in place carpets, safely removing it, and installing the brand new carpeting. Here at Aladdin, we want to make things constantly easier for our customers. Here’s our guide to when it’s time to replace your carpets – highlighting a few crucial issues that, if present, will tell you that your carpet definitely needs to be replaced.

 

Wearing Down

The older a carpet is, the more tears and wear it will contain. Most regular carpet owners can remedy tiny tears and rips. However, even the most skilled professionals have issues fixing large rips and tears – so if your carpet has these, it might be time to get a new one. Polyester carpet fiber, especially, easily mats up and loses its form as it gets older – and nylon carpeting fiber is usually more resistant to this, and can retain its form even after being matted down.

 

Staining

If your carpet has a massive stain that can’t be fixed, you should replace it. Stains are probably the leading cause of carpet replacement. If you have owned the same carpet for many years, it’s likely that it’s been affected by a wide range of stain types – including dirt, food, or even animal waste. After a while, these stains can absorb down into the very padding of the carpet, causing it permanent damage. This will show you that it’s absolutely time for a replacement.

 

Odors

Carpets can absorb smells from stains that go deep into the fibers of the carpet. This can cause unpleasant odors to emanate from your carpet. If you don’t take proper care of your carpet, and have it regularly cleaned by a professional, it might transfer its odor to the broader room around that houses it. Nobody wants a smelly carpet, and nobody wants a smelly room – so if your carpet stinks, it may be time to get it replaced!

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How to clean your oriental rug

For the majority of people, oriental rugs can be considered one of the highest investments people make in home decoration. The payoff is good though – since they add light to a room’s ambience as well as a soft surface for hanging out on top of. However, if you want an oriental rug to last for a long time, you need to make sure that it’s maintained well through regular cleaning. The best way to treat a carpet or rug is to clean it yourself regularly – as this way you’re greatly reducing the chance of any damage occurring, as well as increasing the longevity of your rug.

 

Supplies

You will need a vacuum, gloves, a bucket, a mild dish soap or rug shampoo, a sponge, a brush, a squeegee, and water.

 

Cleaning Process

Step One: Vacuuming

First vacuum the rug’s top and bottom side to get rid of any dirt or dust.

Step Two: Color Testing

Mix the mild soap or cleaner with warm water (not hot) and try applying it to a tiny corner of the rug to ensure it doesn’t mess up the colors.

Step Three: Washing

Use a wet brush or sponge to lather the solution deep inside the rug and allow it to remain a few minutes before rinsing it off.

Step Four: Rinsing

Rinse off the entire rug with a hose so that no soap suds remain on it.

Step Five: Removing Excess Moisture

Use the squeegee to remove as much water as you can from the rug, in the direction of the nap.

Step Six: Drying

Lay out the rug on a flat surface to dry one side at a time.

Step Seven: Relaxing the Rug

Use a vacuum or a soft brush to help loosen up the rug’s fibers to restore their softness and suppleness – as they may have gotten stiff during the washing process.

 

Frequency

While it’s very important to wash rugs when they are dirty, and they do get dirty often – it’s probably not the best approach to simply wash it all the time even when it’s clean. You can test to see if a rug is dirty enough to merit washing by picking a corner of it up and letting it fall to the floor – if a cloud of dust appears, it needs washing. Additionally, rugs need washing when you can visibly see the dirt on them, or if they smell weird. By taking care of soiled rugs as soon as possible, you will greatly extend its softness over time.

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Guide to Carpet and Rug Care

Dirt vacuum cleaners often miss lots of dirt. This is why if you want to prevent a dirty house, the experts at Aladdin agree that you should lessen the amount of dirt that gets on carpets to begin with by making a no-shoes rule, or by putting doormats by every entrance to a room with a rug. Frequent vacuuming is the best way to prevent embedded dirt, however if a rug is already dirty, the best way to clean it is to roll it up and give it to a licensed carpet or rug cleaner. Their form of steam cleaning often works the best.

 

However, if you make a quick stain, you might want to address it as soon as possible. Here’s some fantastic spot-cleaning tips.

Blotting

Simply blot up any skill by covering up the spot with a clean towel or paper towel pile. Press with your handwheel, and repeat until most of the liquid stain has been absorbed.

 

Spot Cleaning Solution

Mix clear hand friendly dishwashing soap with water (very little soap, less than a quarter teaspoon) and use this as a blotting solution.

 

Rinsing

Mist the area with water and blot it with a wet towel, then a dry towel. Do these two steps over and over again until the stain comes out, but make sure not to rub the carpet.

 

Best Carpet Cleaning Methods

Synthetic Carpets

For regular cleaning upkeep, vacuum it. For liquid spills, clean using the blotting methods. For deep cleaning, have it professionally steam cleaned.

 

Wool Carpets

For regular cleaning upkeep, vacuuming, ideally with a floor tool as opposed to a rotating brush. For liquid spills, use water and blotting – never with any base substances. For deep cleaning, again, we highly recommend getting it professionally steam cleaned.

 

Plant Based Carpets

For regular cleaning upkeep, vacuum it in a similar fashion that you’d use for a synthetic carpet. For liquid spills, blot it – and usually blotting works fast – just make sure to dry wet areas fast, you can use a hair drier. For deep cleaning, yet again, we highly stress the necessity of bringing the carpet to a professional for professional cleaning.

 

Stain Removal Techniques

  • Blood, berries chocolate, soda, coffee, etc – Hydrogen Peroxide
  • Mud – Let stain dry and manually break off pieces and vacuum.
  • Beer, cat pee – White vinegar
  • Ketchup, alcoholic mixed drinks, soy sauce, watercolors – Ammonia (but never on wool)
  • Tar, wax, crayons, grease, lotion, makeup – Rubbing alcohol
  • Bleaches, dye, turmeric, dyed household cleaners – These stains are usually permanent, and you might have to simply remove and patch the stained area – but try your hand with a professional cleaner.
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Carpets vs Area Rugs

Carpet and area rugs have their own sets of advantages and disadvantages. Here’s the experts at Aladdin’s guide as to the differences between the two, so you can better decide what works for your household or business.

 

Advantages of Carpets

Carpets are one the most commonly used type of flooring inside homes. They go through phases of popularity, but have remained used for years and years. Homes with wall to wall carpets create a sense of comfort and total stylistic unity, offering the advantages of:

  • Softening both the appearance of a room, and sound
  • Being very comfortable for bare feet, which is great in cold months
  • Affordability
  • Cheap cleaning
  • A soft cushion to walk on, sit on, or fall on – important if you have toddlers
  • It insulates your home, which can help reduce your energy bill.

 

Disadvantages of carpets

However, carpets have these disadvantages:

  • It can be hard to clean the wall adjacent edges of carpets
  • Carpets can wear within a  few years, leading to the need to replace the entire carpet
  • Carpets require specialty  installation
  • Carpets can contribute towards allergies and asthma as if improperly cleaned they can hold dust or mites

 

Advantages of Area Rugs

Many other homeowners love their area rugs. Some of the reasoning behind this passion is:

  • Rugs often come in bolder designs and colors
  • Rugs offer versatility and the ability to be switched from different rooms
  • Rugs are easier to clean, either yourself or by a professional cleaner
  • They are perfect for anybody renting an apartment, as you can take it with you when you move, and they also muffle your footsteps, decreasing potential annoyance for downstairs neighbors
  • They are generally less expensive than wall to wall carpets
  • THey can be utilized easier in a broader design scheme as a pop of color
  • They can be conversation pieces
  • They don’t require specialty installation

 

Disadvantages of area rugs

Some of the potential drawbacks of area rugs are:

  • If not set down properly they can easily slide – but this can be remedied with the use of a rug pad.
  • They can be tripped over if a corner is sticking up – which can be remedied with double sided tape on top of a rug pad.
  • They only cover part of the floor – but that’s also part of their appeal! Can you tell we favor area rugs over carpets? Don’t blame us, this is our passion!
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