How to clean a wool carpet?

Fri 25 Sep, 2009 03:17 pm
I have a 5 x 8 wool area rug that needs a good cleaning. What's the best way to do this?
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Fri 25 Sep, 2009 04:03 pm
A month ago, I had Stanley Steemer come in and clean all the carpets and upholstered furniture in BBB's home. This included wall-to-wall in the bedrooms and wool area rugs in the living room and dining room and foyer. They used their regular steaming process and temperatures for the wall-to-wall but said they had to use something different for the wool rugs. It appeared to be all the same to me as I watched the work in process. I think the biggest difference was in the technique. On the wall-to-wall they used the steamer head to scrub back and forth on the rugs as it sucked out all the dirt. On the wool rugs, they did something more of a blotting technique, placing and lifting the steamer head rather than scrubbing.

Here's instructions from another cleaner for doing it at home:


And another general how-to:

Fri 25 Sep, 2009 04:44 pm
Thanks, useful observations..

back in what I used to call north north, I used a dog comber on the rugs, then vacuumed, then took them out to the clothesline and whapped them with something heavy like a good rake., prongs facing out. I might have even hosed them, depending on their original value (not much, use the hose). But that was in an area with the usual temp somewhere around sixty.
Whew.. bunch of effort but it generally worked.

Here in New Mexico, I am watching the rugs get less bright and thinking about working up some kind of outside beam or cable where I can place them for.... whacking after vacuuming, or whacking between vacuums.

I have a steamer, or had (did I put that in the Goodwill or the Vets yellow bag?) I suppose I should try it.
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Fri 25 Sep, 2009 05:13 pm
I'm wary of using any steam or water. I would prefer that the rug be taken out to be cleaned. the floor underneath is finished hardwood and I'm as afraid of hurting that as I am of ruining the rug. I remember that my mom had a wool area rug professionally steam cleaned and it ended up all ripply in the end. Don't want that.

I'm wondering if a dry cleaner would be able to do it?
Fri 25 Sep, 2009 06:46 pm
I've seen a local oriental rug dealer who advertises cleaning services as well... maybe look that up? (Oriental rug cleaning in your area... they're usually wool.)
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Fri 25 Sep, 2009 07:00 pm
Dunno, I'm too cheap to answer.

I do think my northern california answer was problematic. I would only do the rug cleaning thing in times of - for the area - less dampness. For whatever it's worth, I've never had moldy rugs.

I've no links to show you, swimpy, but seem to remember that cool water was ok on wool rugs, given that they 'drain'. In the cities I've lived in there are rug cleaners. Go talk to them.

Meantime, I have a bunch of great rugs. Need to acclimate myself to ebay.

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Fri 25 Sep, 2009 07:29 pm
Swimpy wrote:

I'm wondering if a dry cleaner would be able to do it?

I worked for 20 years as The manager of various drycleaning outlets.
A lot depends on the style and makeup of the rug. I've cleaned many wool rugs but some i could not as the backing was not suitable. Your best bet is to take it to you local cleaner and ask for advice.
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Tue 29 Sep, 2009 07:18 pm
Sorry that I haven't responded. Thanks for all of the advice. I'm going to make some calls and see what i can come up with. there are a couple of companies that clean oriental rugs, so I'll see what they say.

Thanks again, all.
Tue 29 Sep, 2009 07:27 pm
Specialty rug cleaning company really is best, especially as there will usually be good insurance coverage if it doesn't work out to your satisfaction. If you mess it up yourself, or by taking it to a dry cleaner, usually not such good coverage options.
Wed 30 Sep, 2009 05:34 am
I knew a lady who was in the car detailing business. She got a dirty rug from her sister who was about to dump it. She t0ok it, sprayed degreaser and detergent on it and used the pressure washer to wash off the dirt. She then hung it and dried it by a fence. Later, it looked like new. Her sister was p_ssed off.
Wed 30 Sep, 2009 07:07 am
Good story, talk! I don't think my rug is that kind of dirty, though.
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Wed 30 Sep, 2009 07:13 am
Good point, Beth. You're such a wise insurance woman Wink
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Wed 7 Sep, 2011 01:19 am
hi swimpy i knw u got a wool carpet i ll sugget you to do these steps to clean the wool carpet.Cleaning Solutions
You must be very cautious in choosing a cleaning solution for a wool carpet. It should be neither too acidic nor too alkaline, as the former may cause breakdown of the fibers or damage the texture, while the latter can cause browning of the fibers. A perfect cleaning solution for wool carpets should have a pH value close to neutral. It should not leave any sticky residue in the carpet, which can attract more dirt. The cleaning solution should not contain any bleach or dye. Select those which are specifically made for wool carpets.

Spilling and Staining
In case of any spill, act quickly and blot it up with a clean cloth or paper towels. Then use a towel dampened with lukewarm water to remove the substance completely. You can replace water with a solution of three parts of water and one part vinegar. This solution will not cause any damage to your carpet, but helps to dilute the stain. Blot the area continuously with dry cloth and never leave any wet spot. Avoid rubbing or scrapping the carpet for stain removal. This can cause breaking down of the fibers. Over wetting is also detrimental to your wool carpet.

Heavy Cleaning
Wool carpets can be maintained by removing dry soil through regular vacuum cleaning, but it may not remove the oily soil formed by cooking vapors and air pollution. It is very important to thoroughly clean the wool carpets, once every two years. It can be done at your home itself, but the help of professionals may be required for wool-safe dry cleaning. You can also go for dry compound cleaning, which can be done by yourself. In this method, the dry compound is sprinkled over the carpet, agitated well and then vacuumed to remove the compound with the soil and other dirt attached to it. Aerosol foam shampoos are available for cleaning wool carpets. It should be sprayed on the carpet and spread with a brush, before removing it with vacuum. One more method of cleaning wool carpets is called spray extraction cleaning, which is better done by professionals. In this method, a solution of warm water and detergent is injected into the carpet under high pressure, which enables the soil and other dirt to get suspended in the water. Then, immediately a high-suction wet-vacuum system is employed to extract the water.

Cleaning of wool carpets is not such a difficult task. It can be done with a little bit of extra care regarding cleaning solutions, heat, over wetting, etc. Regular vacuuming is the most important point in maintaining your expensive wool carpet for years.

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Wed 2 Nov, 2011 02:11 am
According to my view i have some information about it.
1. Vacuum the rug thoroughly. Do both sides of the rug.
2. Spot clean stains with a stain remover appropriate for wool carpets. Be sure to test on a less visible area for color-fastness.
3. Take the rug outside and put it on a clean, paved area.
4. Wet the rug down with a garden hose.
5. Use a clean sponge or sponge mop to apply the suds to rug, gently wiping as you go.
6. Roll up the rug in dry towels to remove remaining water. The wet rug will be heavy.
7. Lay the rug flat to dry. Avoid prolonged periods in direct sunlight which can cause fading or shrinkage.

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