Some rugs are uncleanable. However we can often clean the worst of the problem rugs with dry cleaning solvents. We use the same methods used to clean “dry clean only” furniture, drapery and garments. First complete a through inspection of the rug(s). Document all pre-existing damage, and consider having a Release Of Liability form signed. Dry soil removal is required but, a weak fragile rug may not survive your normal dusting or vacuuming procedures if you consider the rug too fragile for normal dusting, you might want to utilize one of the following methods: Use a vacuum only suction tool with no agitator to gently vacuum both sides by hand. Or use an air compressor nozzle to gently blow dust and dirt from rug, or use a combination of the two. After appropriate dusting, pre-spray the entire rug with undiluted Sublime. Pretest colors of course, but because Sublime contains no water, most colors should be safe. However some crocking may occur, but cleaning is still possible when rubbing, brushing and other agitation is avoided. If crocking is not a problem gentle brushing in Sublime is advisble. Make sure to pretreat fringes as well. Sublime will improve results over simple dry cleaning alone. Set up dry cleaning machine (i.e. Kleen-Rite, the Ultimate by U.S. Products, etc.) Fill solution tank with Dry Side Cleaner and extract rug with spray and vacuum passes. Make sure to use 50% over lap to avoid uneven cleaning. Use slow and easy tooling passes for gentle yet through cleaning. If the rug is reversible, dry clean both sides. Avoid using “Mineral Spirits or Odorless Mineral Spirits” as these products can lead to rapid resoiling complaints. Dry Cleaning Considerations: Although no water is in the rug, use air movers or fans to speed the evaporation of solvents. Do Not Use Heat to dry. Dry Clean only in a well ventilated areas. Follow manufacture’s directions (both equipment and solutions). Ventilate the dry cleaning machine exhaust to the outside or use outside. Wear required personal protective equipment. Do not dry clean near open flame, electrical arking, or near smokers, keep fire extinguishers near by. Ensure that equipment is properly grounded. Avoid use on rugs with adhesive (i.e hand tufted, tufted, fusion bonded, back coated, etc.)

Dry Cleaning can be a great tool in your arsenal of cleaning methods, allowing you to clean rugs that others turn down or worse, damage. Some complain that dry cleaning does not remove water based spots and soils, but tricks of the trade come into play here. Pre-treating with Sublime helps to remove water based soils, and improves cleaning results. Experienced dry cleaners know that water based soils often wick up during dry cleaning just like they do in wet cleaning. Upon post cleaning inspection, spots and soils will often wipe off easily with a damp cotton towel. For best results use diluted LST (8oz per gallon) solution on a wrung out towel to wipe off wicked spots and soils, some cleaners, damp wipe the entire rug pile with LST Solution. DO NOT OVER WET! Towel dry to finish, avoid over aggresive agitation. Fringes may require more cleaning attention. See ” How Do I Clean Fringes.”

Even the most fragile textiles can respond well to dry cleaning. Silks do not lose their hand and bleeders behave and hold onto their colors, fragile rugs survive cleaning and old rugs live on. Dry cleaning is more expensive, and customers are accustomed to paying more for it. Many cleaners charge in the $10.00 to $20.00 per square foot rate for custom dry cleaning. Note also that applying a moisture barrier like Flurosolve is a good idea on those moisture sensitive rugs. Flurosolve will help protect the rug from water based soils and spills. Make sure to offer Flurosolve on every “Dry Clean Only” rugs as clients will appreciate the added protection.

Alternative Dry Cleaning method: Absorbent compound As noted above, some rugs will crock or bleed with solvent only cleaning. Absorbent compound may be an option. Animal skin rugs and rugs made with leather may also be good candidtes for absorbent compound, and some people like this method from some unknown reason. Complete a through inspection of the rug(s). Document all pre-existing damage, and consider having a Release Of Liability form signed. Dust or remove dry soil as noted above in paragraphs 3 and 4. After dusting, we would normally pre-treat the rug with a cleaning solution, but this may not be an option on difficult crocking and bleeding dyes. If however water based solutions will not cause problems, as with most animal skins and most leather, pre-treat with your LST solution of 5 ounces per gallon of warm water (100 degrees f to 115 degrees f). Spray apply lightly, Do Not Overwet. Work in solution with gentle agitation. Allow dwell time 3 to 5 minutes, then apply your dry compound (host, drymatic, capture, etc.) follow manufactures directions. After drying, throughly and meticulously vacuum up all dry compound and soil.