WHAT! You cleaned a wool area rug with an Orbot?

#1
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I sure did. It was my only option.

I get to the job and the customer has a 150 sqft. area rug. She tells me it's silk and it needs to be cleaned. The rug was pretty dirty but I could tell it wasn't silk. I inspected the back for a tag and all I found was an ambiguous tag that was not very helpful. I did a burn test and the fiber ashed. I put a bit of water on the corner and after about 5 minutes it smelled like wet dog. Okay, so I was pretty sure it was wool.

I told the customer I would need to take the rug back to my "shop" to clean it properly. This rug had a lot of reds, blues, and greens. I explained to her that to be safe I would need to use dyloc and a wool safe cleaner. Areas of the rug would also need to be treated for urine (With U-Turn by Centrum Force). Then there was also all the fringe work.

When it was all said and done, my quote for this rug was about $450. I thought the lady was going to have a stroke. She replied, "The last guy cleaned it on the floor right there." Looking at her floor I told her that was a horrible idea. She had Pergo flooring and the joints were not the best. I then pulled back the rug and showed her that because the rug had been cleaned in place her Pergo had swollen. She said she didn't care because the landlord was going to rip out the floor anyway. "Yeah, sure he is" I thought to myself.

After going over all the reasons I couldn't clean her rug in place I finally agreed to encap it for her. Yes, I'm going to hell. While cleaning it I was thinking to myself, "I'm sure glad @T Monahan isn't around to see this."

Anyway, it came out pretty good. There was a noticeable difference in the brightness and odor of the rug. Once again the Orbot Vibe saved me.

Below are some pics, swollen floor included.

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I do clean wool area rugs for customers using HWE, but not on site, i bring them home. Clean, dry then return.
I'll only use a product that says "wool safe" right on the jug. I don't get them to wet, i'll clean it, let it dry, then if necessary do it a second time
which usually does the trick.
 
#8
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Looks improved. You could have probably HWE but it might have taken some time to dry.

We Zipper them when they won't allow us to clean them off site. :cool:
I thought about it, but there was no way I was doing HWE that thing with that Pergo floor. There was no driveway. The house was in the middle of a horse ranch with chickens, dogs, cats, and dirt.
 
#9
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Also, I am still not quite sure it was a wool rug or silk. Imitation silk, or corn silk, will lose color and fade or show wear. This carpet had none of that. To the touch it felt softer than wool normally does. The burn test confirmed a natural fiber and the smell of the ash was like burned hair. Both silk and wool smell similar when burned. Then I did the water test and it smelled like wet dog. So I leaned toward it being wool. Is there someone here that can advise on how to better identify between wool and silk?

The things that keep me up at night!
 
#14
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From the tag, I think it may be wool which has been luster washed. That is a chemical treatment that includes chlorine bleach. Makes the wool softer and shiner but also damages the fiber. Not good for the wool long-term.
 
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So, what did you end up charging her?
I’d rather not say. I just bundled it into my minimum charge. Even if I put visqueen under it and hwe she probably would not have wanted to pay the price. But I would have not done that anyway. I’m too paranoid about color bleed. I like to take that stuff home and dyloc it.
 
#20
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It was Art Silk you were wise to be cautious of it. :oldrolleyes:

As Nate said a Karastan. Big knots you can afford to buy it. :winky:

I think it would been an easy clean for you but as you said the floor is the biggest concern. Check your colors with your cleaning solution and make your decision based on your results. I'd always leave an airmover overnight and just build it and the trip back into your price.
 
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Be interesting to get opinions. And not specific to this rug which imho would have taken a real effort to make it bleed. Though I would not want to under estimate Damon's special talents.

Does using an encap product on a rug (or even just water) is really safer?

  • Yes, safer- On account of less moisture and less chance of delayed bleeding. Also no heat, though you can HWE with (warm-ish) not hot water.
  • Not safer- As most Encap products are alkaline or neutral ph (at dilution) So they do not act as dye stabilizers, as some acidic side rinses will. Also, I wonder what happens to the ph once the water evaporates. If it rises, that can cause an issue or a future issue.
  • Not safer- On account of potential dye transfer through crocking.
 
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#23
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Be interesting to get opinions. And not specific to this rug which imho would have taken a real effort to make it bleed. Though I would not want to under estimate Damon's special talents.

Does using an encap product (or even just water) is really safer?

  • Yes, safer- On account of less moisture and less chance of delayed bleeding.
  • Not safer- As most Encap products are alkaline or neutral ph (at dilution) So they do not act as dye stabilizers, as some acidic side rinses will. Also, I wonder what happens to the ph once the water evaporates. If it rises, that can cause an issue or a future issue.
  • Not safer- On account of potential dye transfer through crocking.
Hey, I'm here to learn, Underestimate away.
 
#26
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Is there someone here that can advise on how to better identify between wool and silk?

The things that keep me up at night!
Burning wool and silk will smell similar (burning hair), but wool will leave ash and silk will leave almost nothing behind. The flame flutters differently as well.

Like Mike said, silk has a certain luster/sheen to it but a burn (or chemical) test is the only way to be sure. There are wools (Pakistan Bohkara and certain Indian rugs are notorious for this) that will have a luster or sheen that can look similar to silk to the untrained eye. Always burn if you need to know for sure.
 
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#29
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Definitely a Karastan Heriz design, machine made wool fiber, that cleaning recomendation tag is on all of their wool product.

But honestly....to people who know what they're doing with rugs and rug washing you (all) look like someone who took a spray bottle, towels, and wet vac to a home to clean carpet and called themselves a "carpet cleaner"....
LOL I get that but some clients want convenience over thoroughly clean.

I think they would do next day but when we tell them a week you can see it in their face that it's not going to work.

Others don't care, they schedule other services around that time while we have their rugs.
 
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#30
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When looking on the back, Silk will have a higher knot count and tighter (smaller) knots.

Some people will never send the rug to be cleaned off site, either because of inconvenience and or price.
One can stick to their guns and risk potentially losing the client or provide the service. As long as they know what they are doing, are able to substantially reduce the chance of damage and are clear with the clients as to how clean it can really get. They are providing a valuable service.

Of course, later on and on their own time, they can always

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