As stated in an earlier post, rug cleaning can be performed in a home but it does have its limitations. The greatest limitation to in-home rug cleaning is the inability to properly remove accumulated dry soil by ‘dusting’ the rug.
Briefly, rug dusting is the process of removing dry soil from a rug using various forms of mechanical agitation. The rug is placed face down and the backside of the rug is subjected to the agitation. The agitation causes the dry soil to fall from the face fibers and foundation. Dry soil removal is perhaps the key element in rug cleaning because the soil is abrasive and chafes the fibers used to construct a rug. The chafing results in a dull appearance that cannot be removed with cleaning.
The accompanying picture shows the results of an initial dusting of a rug being cleaned. This rug was thoroughly vacuumed prior to the dusting; much more thoroughly than what is done with regular in-home vacuuming. As can be easily seen, even regular vacuuming doesn’t remove all the dry soil. This particular rug required multiple dustings. The soil you see in the picture, along with all the soil removed through additional dustings, is what would remain if this rug had been cleaned in the home.
Oriental and area rugs require a deep cleaning every two years or so depending on usage. While in-home cleaning is acceptable as an interim step, quality oriental and area rugs require complete cleanings on a regular basis. When cared for properly, well-constructed rugs will last for many years.
How long has it been since your rugs were cleaned? As you think about that, click on the picture to enlarge it. All that soil is from just the first of multiple dustings. Do you really want that in your home?