Area Rug Cleaning Company Blog

Oily Upholstery Soiling Problem Growing! by Jim Pemberton

Posted by on Sep 21, 2017 in Blog | Comments Off on Oily Upholstery Soiling Problem Growing! by Jim Pemberton

Hair and Body Oils!
From customers, guests, & children (2 & 4 Legged)!

Recently I helped three different cleaners who were asked to clean upholstery that was around 100 years old. What was interesting was, that in every case, these fabrics were mostly just dusty, and responded beautifully to thorough vacuuming and light dry solvent cleaning.

However, when you are asked to clean upholstered furniture, you rarely encounter fabrics that would respond to such a cleaning process.

 “Why?”

Because 100 years ago, people who sat on upholstered furniture were completely dressed, and never ate or slept on it, let alone letting their pet eat or sleep on it!
 

Oily Upholstery Soiling 

This exposure to human and animal skin and hair oils creates soiling conditions that look like this, and worse!

soiling conditions

Body & Hair Oil Soiling

Furniture that looks like the above, requires one of the following three cleaning materials, or blends of two or all three of them to clean the fabric to an acceptable condition:

#1. – Alkaline Builders: 
Alkaline upholstery preconditioners attack hair and body oil, which is resistant to water, and emulsifies it so that it more easily rinses away. However, these same alkaline preconditioners also can cause color bleeding and fading, as well as cellulose browning on natural fiber fabrics and blends. Avoid highly alkaline traffic lane prespray products, as they may damage synthetic fibers as well.

 “Using high pH traffic lane presprays can cause permanent color loss”

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#2. – Solvent Boosters:
Solvent additives can be built into upholstery preconditioning products, or added separately. In either case, these products will assist in cutting through oily soils that have bonded to upholstery fabrics. While safer than alkaline builders when it comes to dye fastness, they do cause the preconditioning solution to rapidly penetrate the fabric, which can slow down the drying process, and also deliver the cleaning solution underneath of fabrics where dyes may be less stable, or other materials (such as ink markings) may bleed through.

#3. – Oxidizing Agents: 
Oxidizing (“bleaching”) agents may be built into the cleaning formula or added separately. These products can decolorize yellow staining caused by oxidized oils, and are also effective in breaking down protein films on fabrics. While most of the ingredients used in these formulas are mild bleaching agents, sometimes erroneously called “color safe bleaches”, no bleaching formula is completely “color safe”. The use of these products may contribute to fading, or to over whitening “off white” fabrics.

SUMMARY:
Upholstery cleaning specialists should have products that contain these three ingredients, either in a formulated product or as additives. These formulations are essential when cleaning heavily soiled or smoke damaged fabrics, and often safe on synthetic fiber fabrics.

However, it is in your customers’ best interests to have their upholstery, especially upholstery made from delicate, potentially non colorfast natural fiber fabrics, cleaned BEFORE such aggressive chemistry is needed.

Source: http://www.ecleanadvisor.com/public/Major_Upholstery_Soiling_Agent_Revealed.cfm

Home Maintenance Checklist for the Fall [Infographic]

Posted by on Sep 7, 2017 in Blog | Comments Off on Home Maintenance Checklist for the Fall [Infographic]

A home maintenance list to keep your home—and property—in good condition this winter.

Fall is almost here. It’s that time to prepare your home for the cooler and more dormant months ahead. Autumn can be one of the busiest seasons for homeowners to prepare for the coming months. However, it is time to take advantage of the cooler weather to repair whatever is necessary.

In the infographic below, included is a checklist of tips and tricks.  This could give your family the advantage they need this season for your house to remain in tip, top shape:

home

Also, you will want to get cleaned those areas of your home that get less attention throughout the year, among the other maintenance tasks above in and around your house.

Video Blog: Area Rug Cleaning Company Ann Arbor & Wayne MI | Welcome Video

Posted by on Aug 24, 2017 in Blog | Comments Off on Video Blog: Area Rug Cleaning Company Ann Arbor & Wayne MI | Welcome Video

videoThe finest to the most basic rugs from around the world can be cared for at Area Rug Cleaning Company. Your rugs are brought back to our special cleaning facility, once they are picked up. They will go through our thorough cleaning process for maximum soil and spot removal. At Area Rug Cleaning Company, we believe that your rug is an investment that deserves superb cleaning.

We are proudly serving Canton, Chelsea, Dexter, Milan, Northville, South Lyon and the entire Ann Arbor, MI area since 1977.  Please watch out Welcome video:

 

 

There is a difference in quality between top cleaning area rugs in your home versus sending them to our in-plant facility to be cared for properly. Quality work done in-plant here in Ann Arbor & new location in Wayne, MI that is worth spending money on. You are invited to watch the video to help you make an informed decision on options you may be considering. We are a Certified Master Rug Cleaner, the Gold Standard in Training and Certification for Rug Cleaning Professionals.

Rug Cleaning Is An Essential Part Of A Clean Home

Posted by on Aug 3, 2017 in Blog | Comments Off on Rug Cleaning Is An Essential Part Of A Clean Home

rug cleaning

We know just how important your area & oriental rugs are to you, because they’re just as important to us. Rug cleaning is an essential part of keeping a clean home.

Oriental rugs are most often the focal point of any room; their texture, pattern, size, shape, and color perfectly complimenting every piece of furniture. But how do you retain your rug’s beauty and durability over time?

Dirty rugs can be a hotbed for germs, dirt, dust, allergens, bacteria, pet dander, rotting food particles, and even a variety of tiny bugs. These all post great health risks, especially to children and seniors.

Let’s take a look at the importance of area rug cleaning.

What Can Cause Area Rug Damage?

Over time, stains, liquid spills, pet dander, pollen, dust, loose dirt, hair, tracked in waste, and other debris gets embedded in your rugs. Even direct sunlight can cause visible rug damage.

What You Can Do About It

Vacuum

You probably know that you should vacuum your carpets every day, but make sure that you vacuum your area rugs too. It is the easiest way to keep out dirt and dry soil that can accumulate daily.

Get Strict

Implementing a “shoes off” policy is another way to keep your area & oriental rugs clean. All sorts of things stick to the bottoms of shoes every day; dirt and allergens from outside, waste from bathrooms, and other germs are just a few.

Let the Professionals Do It

Regular and meticulous cleaning is the key! Having your area & oriental rugs professionally cleaned will make your rugs cleaner, healthier, and long-lasting. Contact Area Rug Cleaning Company in Ann Arbor & Wayne, MI today to learn more!

Source: http://www.woodard247.com/about-us/blog/the-importance-of-area-rug-cleaning.html

A Weaver’s Story: Vision Beyond Fair Trade (Blog by Anou)

Posted by on Jul 20, 2017 in Blog | Comments Off on A Weaver’s Story: Vision Beyond Fair Trade (Blog by Anou)

This past winter, a cooperative within the Anou community received a large order and they struggled to meet timelines that they had set themselves.

Each time a weaver began on the order, they’d get sick, and another artisan weaver would begin working. The weavers said that they just all happened to get subsequent colds but it was clear something was a little off. Whatever was happening, it seemed to go deeper than an excuse. Curious, we decided to bring the weavers to work on the order at our HQ so we could better monitor the progress of the order and see what the real issue was.  Within 24 hours of having the weavers at our office, the artisans eyes started to swell and if we had not stopped them from weaving their eyes would have swollen shut. The artisans were sick alright, but it wasn’t from a cold. They were having severe allergic reactions from the materials they were weaving with.

We have always felt that artisans were sick more often than the average population but we never had any data to prove it. Perhaps it was the result of a wide range of challenges often faced by those in rural, poor areas.  But after bringing the weavers out to our office it was clear that materials artisans use, whether they realize it or not, seems to play a significant role in the quality of their health. And what it certainly proves is that there is something severely wrong with the craft material market that is literally and figuratively killing the artisan community of Morocco. To ensure that we can build the future of Moroccan craft in Morocco, we can no longer overlook the lack of safe, natural, quality materials in Morocco.

Continue reading blog…

Five Star Reviews From Satisfied Customers

Posted by on Jul 13, 2017 in Blog | Comments Off on Five Star Reviews From Satisfied Customers

First of all, our reputation is an essential part of who we are and what we do. At Area Rug Cleaning Company in Ann Arbor & Wayne MI, we take pride in serving our customers to the best of our ability. Our business would not be where it is without our customers. We know that the many loyal patrons, in the local community help us be a great company. They return year after year which means we must be doing something right. The five star reviews our valued customers leave really give you a feeling of the connection our crews give the home and business owners in the area.

Click here to see the reviews of our company. These five-star reviews are from satisfied customers like the one below. Leave one of your own if you have not done so already!

Five Star Reviews

Our specialized equipment safely & gently removes soil without damaging fine rugs. The result is the most thorough cleaning possible guaranteed!

Moths And The Damage They Cause To Rugs & Home Furnishings

Posted by on Jun 22, 2017 in Blog | Comments Off on Moths And The Damage They Cause To Rugs & Home Furnishings

The Clothes Moth Has NOT Been Eliminated!

In past years, textile-eating moths were common. This is due to the large amount of wool fibers in clothing and home furnishings. The popularity and widespread use of synthetic fibers have led to the incorrect assumption that damage from these insects is a thing of the past.

Clothes moths can digest protein fibers such as wool, silk, and specialty hair fibers. However, these insects will also find and eat protein substances on synthetic fibers. This means carpets, rugs, draperies, and upholstery made from nylon, acrylic, polyester, acetate, and other synthetics can harbor these insects. Especially, if they contain food or beverage stains, blood, urine, perspiration or other sources of nutritional protein.

moths and rugs

How to Prevent Moths?

The most effective way to prevent an infestation and inhibit growth is to keep textile furnishings clean. Spills should be removed immediately. Carpet, rugs, draperies, upholstery, etc., should be brushed or vacuumed regularly. Insects do not generally attack clean materials.

Regular dry cleaning of articles appropriate for dry cleaning will also decrease the chances of infestation. Dry cleaning solvent is toxic to most textile pests. Regular carpet and rug cleaning will remove the nutritional contaminants that can attract and support insects.

What are They?

There are 2 different types of these pests that we need to be concerned about. Both are types of clothes moths, the insect that eats our textiles.

The Webbing Moth (Tineola bisselliella). The adult moths of this species are about a half inch long and yellowish beige in color.

The Casemaking Moth (Tinea pellionella). Casemaking moths are similar in size but are brownish and have three dark spots on their forward wings.

The Larvae Causes the Damage

The adults themselves cause no damage, but the larvae they produce are very damaging. It is the larvae that actually feed on wool.

Each larva spins a silken tube that acts as a barrier of protection. The webbing moth larvae attach their tubes to dark crevices or seams, rendering themselves stationary to feed in one location. The casemaking moth larvae do not attach their tubes or “cases” which allows them to remain mobile and cause a wider spectrum of damage.

moths and rugs

Life Cycle

The life cycle of moths can last from two months to two and ½ years. The adults lay eggs on products that the larvae will consume.

Each female can lay from 100 to 150 eggs, which hatch in about five days. The small white caterpillars vary in size from 1/16 inch newly hatched to 1/3 inch fully grown.

The larval stage itself can last from 2-30 months. The great variance in the life cycle is due to the availability of food (wool). That is why these creatures can be so devastating to rugs. Rugs provide a huge source of food. If gone unnoticed, the larvae can feed for almost two and ½ years. An infestation of only several weeks can result in pile loss the size of a fist.

Where to Find Them

Clothes moths thrive in dark, undisturbed areas. Furthermore, where a rug gets little traffic and is not often vacuumed. They are particularly attracted to the keratin in animal hair. The wool alone in an oriental rug is susceptible. But just imagine a dirty rug covered in dog and cat hair. That would be like a smorgasbord to this creature!

They can feed on mixtures of natural and synthetic fabrics. However, they cannot feed on materials made solely of synthetic fibers. As mentioned above, they can be found in synthetic fibers which have pollen, hair, dead insects and dried animal remains on them.

How Do You Know If You are Harboring Them?

1. The actual flying adults. When a lot of flying adults are present the infestation can be considerable.

2. Loose carpet fibers resting on top of the pile. This results from the larvae actually eating the knots off the foundation of the rug.

3. Cocoons—1/8 inch diameter x ½ inch long. They will be slightly fuzzy cylinders, usually the same color as the rug’s pile. Larvae camouflage their cocoons to blend in with the color of the wool that surrounds them.

4. The actual larvae squirming along the pile surface and underneath the rug. An interesting fact about clothes moths is that unlike other varieties, they are not attracted to bright lights. As a result, they tend to seek darker areas or dim light. This makes it very difficult to detect them in dark closets and drawers. It is most likely that you will notice fabric damage or larvae before you see the moths themselves.

moths and rugs

How Do We Get Rid of Them?

First of all, when it comes to getting rid of these creatures, controversy ensues. Different books have cited everything from placing an infested rug in the sun for a few hours to rolling them up and placing them in a cavernous freezer. The infestation must be dealt with quickly and have a solution to the problem that is as effective as possible.

A thorough professional rug cleaning is the best way to prevent damage. The washing process removes the larvae and the hot drying destroys the eggs.

This is good to know but it doesn’t address the possibility that larvae may move from one rug to another. What this means is that it is necessary to find and kill not only the adults but their larvae and their eggs. Possibly, even before the infected rug is cleaned. If the infestation is severe, a call to a licensed pest control operator may be required.

Pyrethrum–Most Effective Insecticide

Pyrethrum is the most effective and safe insecticide that can be used. It is the oleoresin extract of dried chrysanthemum flowers. The extract contains about 50% active insecticidal ingredients known as pyrethrins. These strongly lipophilic esters rapidly penetrate many insects and paralyze their nervous systems.

In various commercial products, both crude pyrethrum extract and purified pyrethrins are contained. They are commonly dissolved in petroleum distillates. Some are packaged in pressurized containers (bug-bombs), usually in combination with synergists.

The synergists retard enzymatic degradation of pyrethrins. Some commercial products also contain organophosphate or carbamate insecticides. These are included because the rapid paralytic effect of pyrethrins on insects is not always lethal.

Are Pyrethrins Safe?

Pyrethrins are commonly found in pet shampoos. That should tell us that it is relatively safe.

Will pyrethrins cause dyes to become unstable? The research does not support this. Pyrethrins break down quickly after application. They are considered safe for use in the home.

It is important to read the label and test it in an inconspicuous area, as with any product used in the home.

Moth Balls, Flakes, and Crystals?

Be aware that these compounds (paradicholorobenzene or naphthalene) are ineffective in control of these insects for rugs. Cedar scent is also useless.

These materials act only as a minor repellent. They do not kill the larvae or eggs. The naphthalene odor can be unpleasant and extremely difficult to remove.

Of most importance, paradichlorobenzene may be a carcinogen. It may also damage the liver and kidneys at high doses. Naphthalene can damage the liver and cause eye injury.

Mothballs can be especially dangerous if accidentally eaten, especially by young children. It is recommended that they should not be used by homeowners. If they continue to be used, they should only be used in small amounts and items around them should be thoroughly cleaned.

Their ingredients can produce harmful effects when they enter your system through inhalation. Irritation to nose, throat, and lungs, headache, confusion, excitement or depression and liver and kidney damage can result from exposure to the vapors over a long period of time.

Naphthalene can promote a breakdown of red blood cells resulting in hemolytic anemia.  The little white balls that contain naphthalene are of special concern. Hemolytic anemia in mild form may cause only fatigue. In more severe cases, it can cause acute kidney failure.

Of course, only high concentrations of these ingredients can cause any of these effects. Such concentrations are found when vapors are absorbed by clothes or rugs that are stored or kept in closed areas with poor ventilation.

Poisonings have been reported following dressing of infants in clothing that were stored with naphthalene mothballs, suggesting that absorption of naphthalene may occur through the skin.

A licensed hazardous waste handler should be brought the moth balls to be disposed of or saved for a professional household hazardous waste collection program.

Prevention of Infestations

Consumer education is one of the major hurdles in preventing damage. People are home less often than ever before. They have less time to care for their rugs and carpets (for example, vacuuming) and even less to inspect dark places such as under furniture, etc. Rugs, carpets, wool clothing, and wall hangings get dirty and they are just lying and hanging targets.

When preparing rugs for long term storage (6 months to several years), they should be kept safe from infestation. Never attempt to store a dirty rug.

Our cleaning of wool rugs includes a final rinse which renders the wool unappetizing to these creatures. This ‘retardant’ feature combined with a thoroughly cleaned rug will almost completely guarantee prevention of damage during storage.

The Best Way to Protect Against Them

The best way to prevent an infestation is periodic inspection of rugs, whether stored or not, as well as the carpets and wool, silk and cotton textiles in your home.

Be sure to check underneath furniture and behind wall hangings as well. At the first sign of a problem, please call Area Rug Cleaning Company‘s office at (734) 973-2300 (Ann Arbor, MI) and (734) 331-9173 (Wayne, MI) if you have any questions. We are prepared to help you in any way we can.

Source: http://www.abc-oriental-rug.com/moths.html

Oriental Rug Origins & Art History

Posted by on Jun 8, 2017 in Blog | Comments Off on Oriental Rug Origins & Art History

Bringing an Oriental rug into your home can add culture.  Furthermore, it can also add an aesthetic appeal.  While bringing a magical feel to any room in the sacred spaces that we live in and raise our families. With styles hailing from India, Persia, Tibet and the Caucasus Region, one can usually find something completely mysterious therefore complementing your décor and bring far east culture right into your living room.

An Oriental rug’s story begins with its rich history from the exotic country the rug was expertly handmade in.  Take a flying carpet ride into the past and journey through a world that cannot be re-created.  Learn what the symbols on each of your rugs stand for:

oriental rug

When it is time to have your Oriental rug professionally cared for and properly cleaned, give Area Rug Cleaning Company a call and schedule an appointment. (734) 973-2300

Made by/Source: East Bay Oriental Rug Cleaning in Concord, CA on Visually – https://visual.ly/community/infographic/home/steeped-tradition-story-behind-your-oriental-rug

Video Post Highlight from Facebook | Rug Cleaning Ann Arbor MI

Posted by on May 25, 2017 in Blog | Comments Off on Video Post Highlight from Facebook | Rug Cleaning Ann Arbor MI

In addition to Our advanced Rug Cleaning Process and the other great services we offer, we also have the ability to create a Custom Rug Pad.

Look into getting a Rug Pad from Area Rug Cleaning Company today!

The tough, consistent construction provides a maximum cushion effect for minimum wear and longer rug life.

Beginner’s Tips on Identifying Authentic Handmade Oriental Rugs

Posted by on May 11, 2017 in Blog | Comments Off on Beginner’s Tips on Identifying Authentic Handmade Oriental Rugs

It is not a simple task for normal folks not trained in identifying rugs to know the distinction between an authentic handmade Oriental rug and a machine-made rug. Handwoven and hand knotted rugs are also known as Oriental rugs and are mostly collectibles due to their quality. The quality of Oriental rugs hugely depends on the yarns’ quality, dyes used and knot count among other factors.

Screen Shot 2017-05-11 at 10.28.16 AM

You will find rugs knotted by hand are made through a loom specially designed and knotted through the use of the hand. Hand knotted oriental rugs have been made for centuries through an ancient art that can only be admired. The loom’s size depends on the rug’s size with the weaving carried out moving from the bottom going up to the top. The weaver of the rug usually interweaves the “knots” into the rug’s groundwork, which are hand tied, something that makes the rug’s pile. It is a very time consuming and a tedious operation.

Changes in rug color

abrash It is also easy to note some slight changes in color that make thin or thick stripes when it comes to a handmade rug. Such is the result of dyes used to change the wool during weaving or just the way the wool’s colors age due to the atmosphere, light, and washing. Most of the color changes can be seen in the rug’s background color known as abrash. It is hard to find such circumstances in rugs made by machines.

Wool pile and warp

It is worth noting handmade rugs in most cases have wool pile used to weave them. A rug made by a machine is mostly made through the use of a polyester or nylon pile while weaving is very uniform and close. Also for any authentic Oriental rug, on the rug’s back, you will find white thread weaves from one end of the fringe to the other called the warp.

wool pile and warp

Visual rug differences

There is always a very strong difference between a handmade and machine-made rug visually. This is apparent especially on the back of a machine-made rug which is very distinct in terms of appearance to a handmade rug’s back. You will find the design of the machine-made rug’s back not as colorful as the back of the hand-woven Oriental rug.

While the machine-made rug has its edges machine overstitched and a fringe applied, the handmade Oriental rug’s fringe runs throughout the length of the rug which is called the warp. The machine-made rug has overstitch patterns running across its back and distinguishing individual knots appearing on the back are not easy to find. In fact, for the machine-made rug, the overstitch construction is generally what keeps the pile material held together. This means that the fringe is applied on a machine-made rug once it has been completed while the hand-woven Oriental rug has its fringe as a part of warp strings as they leave the handmade rug’s end.

You can turn towards the front part of the rug and peruse the designs intently. Essentially, the design should never be of the same shape and size from one opposite end to the other end of the potentially handmade Oriental rug. Also, the design patterns will not always be perfect either. This unevenness is something that is clear in most Oriental rugs that are much older and is a sign of authenticity and should not be mistaken for a poorly done rug. Machine-made rugs usually contain same pattern sizes all around and variations are not really visible. However, machine-made imitations do have uneven patterns but this is less common.

Rug cost

The price of the Oriental rug and machine-made rugs differ a lot. While an Oriental rug is very expensive but more durable, a machine-made rug costs much less and is an alternative to expensive hand knotted or hand-woven rugs. There are rug salesmen all over the world however that will try to sell rugs made from a cheaper material like Rayon or a blend of chemically altered and/or manufactured fibers. They will have the rugs priced as if they were made of silk. Beware! A real silk rug should have real silk fringe that is clearly an extension of the rug’s structure, not sewn on or sewn into the ends of the rug.

Countries of origin like Persia, India, China, Egypt, and Afghanistan, do offer handmade Oriental rugs at a fraction of the price at which they are offered in Canada and other parts of North America. So, it may be worth it to travel to those countries if you are interested in purchasing a quality handmade Oriental rug.

identifying rugs

If you are having any trouble identifying an Oriental rug from a man-made one, you can always turn to a trustworthy expert for help. A professional rug cleaner like Area Rug Cleaning Company, will have extensive knowledge in this subject. We hope this article answered some of the questions you had about identifying authentic handmade Oriental rugs and helped you make better decisions with rug purchases.

Source: http://www.loveyourrug.ca/area-rug-blog/how-to-identify-authentic-handmade-oriental-rugs/

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