Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

The following is a list of Frequently Asked Questions that we receive at Chem Max Corp.

If you don’t see the answer to your question below, please contact us at 231.798.7980.

Animal Skins



  1. Always inspect and pretest. Note all pre-existing damage. Document and photograph existing conditions.
  2.  Check if the animal hair is rotten. If the hair is rotten, it will come off the skin when                 agitated.
  3.  Is the skin stiff, dry, stained and or cracking?
  4.  Is the fur oxidized (yellowed)? Animal fur is never white, Photograph fur with a white sheet of paper to show the degree of yellowing in a “before” photo.
  5.  Is the fur matted?
  6.  Do not use solvent; doing so may damage plastic eyes, tongue, teeth etc. and/or dry-out the skin.
  7.  Avoid heat both when washing and drying.
  8.  Never use alkaline cleaners, stay on the acid side. We strongly recommend L.S.T.
  9.  Are skins sewn together? Be careful of the stitching.
  10.  Fabric backings must be removed. Quote price for replacement.


Cleaning procedures: 

  1. Do not run through duster or Badger.
  2.  Air dust only, or beat face (hair side) with a stick or rug whip on pole, or turn rug upside down and have four people hold one of each corner and shake.
  3. After dusting apply diluted (50/50 with water) leather conditioner to skin side.
  4. Thoroughly flush with water, both sides
  5.  Apply diluted L.S.T. solution and hand brush in over entire piece, both sides.
  6.  Rinse with clean water.
  7.  Use a weighted roller to push soil and shampoo off rug during rinse.
  8.  If using a flat bed washer: (piece can have no head or paws) Run through washer on padding to prevent pin marks, with no brushes, no soap; only fresh water.
  9.  Periodically during the drying process, roll skin side with roller to soften skin.                Do not skip this step.
  10.  Do not dry in a Dry Room – NO HEAT
  11.  Dry skin side up with air mover on tack out floor on top of upholstery quilt.
  12.  Reapply leather conditioner and roll to soften skin. Repeat if necessary.
  13.  Groom hair side with a Flokati comb or Grandi Groomer.
  14.  If pelt has yellowing: Spray with diluted “Urine, Odor and Stain Remover” (dilute to 3%, 3 parts water to 1 part “Urine, Odor and Stain Remover) and place in the sun to dry or use an ultraviolet light (UVA 315 to 400 nm). Check for color change every 15 minutes.  Reapply if needed.







Braided Rugs

Braided Rugs



  1. Pre-inspect entire rug for splits and dimensional stability.
  2. If damaged, repair before cleaning. Quote repair costs before cleaning.
  3. If the core of the braid is made of paper, the paper will buckle and may bleed into the face
    fibers when wet cleaned. Get a written release before cleaning.
  4. If cores are paper, low moisture clean with an upholstery tool. Do not get the paper wet.
  5. Check for color fastness. High potential for bleeding.
  6. Note on paperwork if rug does not lay flat.

Cleaning procedures:

  1. Dust rug. Do not use a tumble duster or other aggressive dusting tool. Air dust or
    vacuum only.
  2. Spray with diluted rug soure to stabilize dyes on both sides.
  3. Pre-spray with Fringe Pre Treatment (Sublime) if oily soil is present.
  4. Shampoo with LST on both sides. Rug is reversible.
  5. Fresh water rinse top and bottom ‘no squeegees’ rinse until water runs clear.
    A. Extract, wring out, roll or centrifuge to remove excess water.
    B. If rug is dimensionally stable, run through flatbed washer with brushes. But If not
    stable, no brushes.
  6. Speed dry, do not hang to dry. Flat dry with air movers on floor or rack.
Break-in a new shampoo brush

Before using a new shampoo brush on carpet or rugs, breaking-in the brush is required to prevent possible damage to the carpet itself.

Here is the correct way to do it; Mount the new shampoo brush onto your floor machine. Run the brush on rough, unfinished concrete. Run DRY for about 15 minutes, making sure that the brush fill takes on a slight set or lean.

Breaking-in the brush will remove burrs and reduce drag. Rinse off the shampoo brush to remove burrs and soil. If your shampoo brush has a center glide, remove it before breaking-in to prevent damage to the glide.

Your shampoo brush is now ready for use on carpet and rugs.

Cleaning and Disinfectant Applications

Follow the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for protocols on: how to clean and disinfect. And follow label directions on your EPA registered disinfectants.

Wear Appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE). Read and follow EPA label directions.

Clean Frequently touched surfaces. Wear disposable gloves to clean and disinfect. High touch surfaces include: Tables, doorknobs, light switches, hand railing, drawer pulls, countertops, handles, desks, phones, keyboards, toilets, faucets, sinks, faucet handles, soap pumps, buttons, etc. wash hands immediately after removing gloves.

Disinfect using EPA registered disinfectant. Follow label instructions.

  • Keep surface wet for the appropriate period of time as per label direction.
  • Provide ventilation during application of disinfectant.
  • Wear PPE as per label directions.
  • COVID-19: Make sure to use a disinfectant that meets EPA criteria for use against SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. These disinfectants will appear on the EPA list N ( For example we recommend a chlorine dioxide based EPA registered virucide, BioVex/Oxine, EPA reg no.9804-1. Or use other EPA list N disinfectant.
  • Fogging: Fog only disinfectants that label directions state that they may be applied by fogging, wear appropriate PPE for fogging. Evacuate everybody not wearing appropriate PPE. Fully ventilate before allowing access to the area again.
  • Never make a kill claim. Do not claim sterilization, disinfection or even sanitation. Claim only, application of (name of product) as per label directions.
  • For long term microbiostatic protection, apply MonoFoil D EPA registered disinfectant (EPA no. 90856-4-92366) for up to one week of 24/7 microbiostatic protection. Or apply MonoFoil M EPA registered bacteriostatic, fungistatic and algistatic finish (EPA no. 90856-2-92366) for up to 3 months of 24/7 microbiostatic protection.

Soft surfaces such as carpet, rugs and upholstery. Clean with solution appropriate for the textile. Use the warmest temperature appropriate for each item. Dry completely. Heat dry if possible. For long term microbiostatic protection apply MonoFoil D, EPA registered disinfectant (EPA no. 90856-4-92366) for up to one week of 24/7 microbiostatic protection. Or apply MonoFoil M, EPA registered bacteriostatic, fungistatic and algistatic finish (EPA no. 90856-2-92366) for up to 3 months of 24/7 microbiostatic protection.

Laundry items should be washed according to the manufactures instructions, use the warmest temperature appropriate for each item. Dry completely. Heat dry if possible. Do not shake laundry. Do not make contamination air-borne. Clean and disinfect clothes hampers. Wash hands as soon as you remove your disposable gloves. For long term microbiostatic protection apply MonoFoil D, EPA registered disinfectant (EPA no. 90856-4-92366) for up to one week of 24/7 microbiostatic protection. Or apply MonoFoil M, EPA registered bacteriostatic, fungistatic and algistatic finish (EPA no. 90856-2-92366) for up to 3 months of 24/7 microbiostatic protection.

Electronics such as tablets, touch screens, keyboards, remote controls and ATMs. Consider putting a wipeable cover on electronics. Follow manufacturers instructions for cleaning and disinfecting. If no guidance, use alcohol-based wipes or sprays containing at least 70% alcohol. If applying long term microbiostatic protection with MonoFoil D or M, lightly spray solution on surface, allow to dry, then repeat 2 or 3 more times. Or apply solution to a microfiber towel and apply to surfaces, allow to dry then repeat 2 or 3 more times. The goal is to achieve the 10 minutes of dwell time.

Workers must be trained to recognize the symptoms of COVID-19 and be provided instructions on what to do if they develop symptoms. (www.cdc,gov)

Cleaning must be performed using the proper Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), including fit testing, proper donning (putting on) and doffing (taking off), and how to properly dispose of used PPE.

Workers must be trained on the hazards of cleaning chemicals used in accordance with OSHA’s hazard communication standard (29 CFR 1910.1200).

Workers must comply with OSHA’s standards on blood borne pathogens (29 CFR 1910.1030), including proper disposal of regulated waste and PPE.

Make sure to check with your insurance provider to ensure that you have the proper coverage.

Cleaning Oriental Rugs On-location
On-location cleaning of oriental and other fine rugs is not normally recommended. In-plant cleaning gives the rug owner a better value by improving results and protecting their investment. In-plant cleaning allows you the opportunity to correct any problems which arise during cleaning (before anyone else sees it). Often two days are required to properly clean and dry a rug. Controlled drying conditions are next to im-possible on-location and are best at an in-plant site. Specialized tools and equipment are not easily used on-location. Your in-plant facility may be a 10,000 sq. ft., fully automated washing plant or it may be your freshly cleaned driveway or garage floor. (se page 29) Whichever the case, it is still better than cleaning on-location.

In rare cases it may be necessary to clean rugs on-location (i.e. customer will not allow you to remove the rug from their site or sight). Keep in mind these additional concerns. Proper dry soil removal is go¬ing to make a mess. You may have to do it outside or cleanup afterwards. The floors must be protected from water and cleaning agents, dyes may bleed during cleaning or drying. You may need to take ex¬tra measures to ensure fast drying. You may have to return the following day to inspect results, make corrections (while explaining why this is nothing to be concerned about) and pick up drying equipment. Floor cleaning or restoration may now be required. We do not recommend on-location cleaning of rugs, as your primary mode of operation.


If you have to, first complete a thorough inspection of the rug(s). Test for colorfastness. We do not recom¬mend cleaning bleeders or other “problem” rugs on-location. Next, set up a work area. It needs to be a clean area and it also needs to be protected from any damage from your cleaning activities. Remove dry soils as best as you can on-location.
On-location rug cleaning is best accomplished with dry cleaning. For decades, rug cleaners have found the Ultra Dry System effective and satisfying for their customers. This is also a great system for cleaning rugs which cannot be immersion cleaned (i.e. cloth backed rugs & composite rugs with shrink¬age issues or rugs too large for plant and pit clean¬ing). Pre-spray the face pile and fringe with Ultra Dry Natural & Fine Fibers. Work in with hand groomer or nap brush. Allow a five to ten minute dwell time, but do not allow the rug to dry out. Reapply Ultra Dry if necessary.
Low moisture rinse the rug with Ultra Catalyst Natural & Fine Fibers solution. Mix Ultra Catalyst at 16:1 (8 oz./gal.) with warm (100° to 130°F) water. Submerse Ultra Clean Pads into the Ultra Catalyst solution and wring out excess solution with a pad squeezer. Place wrung out Ultra Clean Pad on the heaviest soiled area of the rug.

Immediately spin Ultra Clean Pad over the entire rug surface and fringe with side-to-side overlapping passes with a low speed (approximately 175 rpm) floor machine. Clean up to about 50 square feet, then flip the pad over and reclean area just covered, put aside spent Ultra Clean Pads and wring out a new pad for further cleaning. Do not reuse soiled pads until laundered. Never place soiled pads back into Ultra Catalyst solution, always use “new” clean pads. Never run pads on dry rugs.

Comb out fringes with a fringe brush, groom the face and speed dry the rug with air movers. If fringes need more attention, use Fringe Cleaner and /or Fringe Whitener.

© 2017 Chem Max Corporation. All rights reserved.

Composite rugs


  1. Always inspect and pretest. Complete pre-inspection form and photograph rug. Note all pre-Existing conditions, including:
  2. Susceptible to dimensional distortion.
  3. Susceptible to shrinkage.
  4. Seams may become more noticeable or even peak due to shrinkage.
  5. Inspect for seam failure.
  6. Advise customer that the backing will likely shrink and have them sign a release of liability
  7. Get customers approval for seam repairs.
  8. If the rug has natural fibers in the backing, consider stay-tacking and include in cost of

Cleaning procedures:

  1. Air dust or vacuum, do not run through tumble or strap duster.
  2. Wet out rug with cold, clear water or other appropriate solution I.E. Anti Dye, Rug Soure
    Fringe Pre Treatment, etc.
  3. Apply LST solution or other fiber specific shampoo over entire rug, top pile only. Avoid
    wetting out back.
  4. Work in with hand brush, shampooer or Cimex.
  5. Flush top of rug with water and squeegee or use weighted roller to remove contaminants.
  6. If using a flatbed washer, run through with top rinse jets only
  7. Squeegee, roll, ring out, extract, centrifuge or use other method to remove excess water.
  8. Groom rug.
  9. Do NOT hang to dry.
  10. Lay face-up. Speed dry with air overs, in dry room.
Dry Soil Removal
Vacuum cleaning is valuable as maintenance cleaning system. However, we recommend a more effective system for fine rug care. But if you are to use it, here’s how: Use a clean floor or place rug on tyvex or visqueen plastic. Vacuum the face first. Move slowly in all four cardinal directions. This means that the rug gets eight passes if you are doing it correctly. Roll back the rug and sweep or vacuum up the dust on the floor. Place the rug face down and vacuum as above; eight passes slow and deliberate. Roll back and sweep up the mess. Place rug face up and vacuum the face pile again as above. Repeat this process again if you can see dry soil at the base of the yarns or dirt and dust is still coming out. You may want to test by hanging or lifting the rug and whipping it a few times to see if more dust comes out. Remember that a vacuum is only about 2% efficient, so you may be vacuuming and flipping the rug a dozen times if you want to get all of the dust and dirt out. Make sure that you use a good performing commercial vacuum cleaner. A beater bar or stiff beater bar type brush is a big plus. Some cleaners modify their vacuum by replacing the brushes, replacing them with beater bars improve performance. Keep the vacuum at top operating performance by keeping filters clean, replacing belts as needed (often) and emptying or replacing bags very often. Remember that air must be able to get through the filter bag to remain effective so replace or empty when it becomes 1/2 full. Some cleaners use a pile lifter in place of or in combination with a vacuum cleaner. A pile lifter does not employ a beater bar but it has a superior power and pile grooming ability. Again use slow and deliberate passes in all four cardinal directions. Old fashioned rug beating (i.e. Rug Whip) valuable as a deep imbedded dry soil remover. Old fashioned rug beating with the rug hung up and hand beat with a rug whip works, yes, it is hard work and it is very slow, but it works. Should you beat the face or the back of the rug? Beating the face of a hanging rug is more effective at removing soil as it drives the rug away from the soil. So always start with the face pile side and finish with the back side. It is recommended that technicians finish by vacuuming (slow and deliberate in all four cardinal directions) to remove soils driven to the surface. Modern portable rug beater (i.e. Badger) Tools and equipment are labor saving devices. Using the right tool helps you to get the job done faster and better. Lay the rug on a grid rack face down and beat the back of the rug first. This will drive the soils into the grid rack. Flip it face up and vacuum the face pile as beating forces the soils to the surface where vacuum cleaning (slow and deliberate in all four cardinal directions) can remove them. For weak or damaged rugs and small or light weight rugs, overlay tyvex on rugs and beat through the tyvex protective cover. Use a vacuum attachment for dust control on your rug beater so that you and your employees do not have to breath in that harmful nasty dust. Air dusting (i.e. dust storm tool) high pressure air can blow away even the finest of dry paticles in a dense piled oriental rug. A commercial air compressor supplies the power to force air through the yarns, carrying away the particles and dust. Start by placing the rug face down on a grid rack and dust the back first, you will know you are done as the clouds of dust subside. Then flip the rug over and do the face. Again the clouds of dust departing will let you know when you are done, vacuuming is not required. For those who do not have the dust storm tools and air compressor, small rugs can be air dusted by clamping one end to one or more air movers. By adjusting the speed settings, you can get the rug to flap back and forth, thereby air dusting the rug. Star wheel dusters (rug cage) This is a rug tumbler employed to shake out dust. It works great if you can find one. In plant dusting (i.e Moore Duster) the ultimate in ease and speed is the in-plant soilseparator or the Moore Duster. Simply feed rugs in on one side, and they come out the otherside clean. What about extremely heavily soiled rugs? Run them through again, it only takes a few minutes. Most technicians run the rug face down to beat the back to knock the soils down and out of the rug, vacuuming is not required. You may notice that the speed of cleaning increases wth each method as listed above. Likewise the cost of each method increases, showing perhaps again that time is money. The results from each method is another story. Likely the owner of anyone of these tools will believe and tell you that their tool works best. Most will find, given the opportunity to work with each tool, that they all work well when used properly. Properly used means not only following the manufactures directions but also giving each rug enough time for complete processing and removal of dry soils. This is in complete contrast to using a vacuum cleaner, which is not adequate for removing imbedded harmful dry soils. So choose your weapon, but whichever you choose, use it correctly and take the time to do it throughly. It will be time well spent to protect your customers investment and you will find that you will have fewer problems and complaints so you can complete the washing process.
Flokati Rugs



  1. Always inspect and pretest. Document and photograph. Note all pre-existing conditions. 
  1. Flokati rugs usually yellow or oxidize over a period of time. 
  1. Flokatis are never white. Photograph with a white sheet of paper to show the degree of yellowing in a “before” photo. 
  1. Check squareness of rug. Does it lay flat? 
  1. These rugs lack dimensional stability and have a tendency to get longer and narrower each time they are cleaned. 
  1. Rug face can become flat and matted, document this damage. 


Cleaning procedures:


  1. Do not put through duster. 
  1. Air dust or beat face of rug with stick in dry room attached to a pole, or turn rug upside down and two or four people hold each corner and shake. 
  1. Spray rug with Sublime if oily soil is present. 
  1. Wet out rug with clear, cool water. 
  1. Shampoo entire rug with diluted LST using Cimex, shampooer, hand brush or other


  1. Rinse entire rug with fresh water and squeegee off soil while rinsing. 
  1. A. If using a flat bed washer, run with brushes up, no soap. Only fresh water
    B. Squeegee, roll, ring out, extract, or centrifuge to remove excess water,


  1. Comb thoroughly with a flokati comb. 
  1. Dry flat, face down. Do not hang dry, Heat drying is okay. 
  1. If rug yellows, DO NOT use bleach (bleach with change color), spray rug with 3%

hydrogen peroxide, groom in, dry face down. 

  1. Comb thoroughly again after completely dry using a flokati comb. 


Alternative method: for small rugs:


  1. Can be washed in Milnor or other commercial washing machine using a short cycle, cold

water, and 5oz LST. 

  1. Dry and groom as stated above.
Fragile, Problem or Weak Rugs
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.

Fringes - Cotton
Cotton fringes are often the most difficult part of the rug to clean. Many cleaners end up damaging the cotton by using oxidizers (i.e. hydrogen peroxide, chlorine bleach, sodium perborate, or other oxygen bleaches) to clean the fringes.

Always pre-inspect for this damage by pulling on the fringe in several areas. Also look for signs of bleeding, browning, physical damage, old tea dye, mold and dry rot. Some cleaners charge an additional (i.e. $2.00 to $7.00 per foot) fee for fringe cleaning. Remember that many believe, the finer the fringe, the finer the rug. So, the finer the fringe cleaning, the finer the cleaner. Clean the rug first. Often, good cleaning on the entire rug will result in nice clean fringes. To improve your odds of getting clean fringes with your first cleaning, pretreat the fringes with Fringe Cleaner. To prevent browning, immediately after cleaning spray with diluted Rug Soure, comb out fringes with a fringe brush and speed dry.

Sometimes fringes will need more attention after normal rug cleaning. Use a product designed specifically for cotton fringe cleaning. Avoid products using oxidation, the majority of products out there have oxygen producing chemicals in them – do not use these products – they permanently damage rugs. Proper chemistry for cotton will use reduction, the exact opposite of oxidation. Mix up a small amount of Fringe Cleaner with warm water (100�f to 120� f ) as per label directions. Mix up only what you will use as unused solution should be discarded after four hours. Label directions are as follows:


  1. After inspecting fringes, dust, brush vacuum or blow-out with compressed air.
  2. Pretest in small inconspicuous area.
  3. Pretreat oily, greasy, or heavily soiled fringes with Sublime or other anhydrous solvent prespray to break oily bonds.
  4. Dilute Fringe Cleaner at 4 to 1 (32oz./gal) with warm water.
  5. Carefully apply to fringe, knots, and kilim strip only – avoid face fibers. Use paint brush, sponge, upholstery brush, or other application device. Agitate by tamping or brushing as construction allows.
  6. Hot water extract with clear, clean, hot water using a fringe cleaning tool or other extraction device. Use extra vacuum only, passes.
  7. Treat clean fringe with diluted Rug Soure to prevent browning and to accelerate the cleaning action of Fringe Cleaner.
  8. Comb out fringe and dry as fast as possible.
Fringes - Heavily Soiled
Heavily soiled fringes, especially those with oily, greasy, parking lot or kitchen oils should be pre-treated with Sublime to liquefy oils and break oily bonds, spray apply or brush on Sublime to fringe, knots and kilim strip. Since Sublime is an anhydrous solvent, it should not be damaging to rug pile yarns, but avoid pile yarns so you do not end up with a cleaner end on your rug. Allow one or two minutes of dwell time, then use one of the techniques listed above to complete cleaning. If fringes still look bad after cleaning and drying, Fringe Whitener can make them look better and whiter.

Fringe Whitener covers over discolorations without damaging the cotton fibers. Some rugs have fringes that are henna, antique or tea dyed.

Sometimes this color is removed during cleaning. You can replace this color loss with Tea Dye, or use it when white fringes are not wanted by your customer

Fringes - Other
Some rugs have wool or silk fringes. Some hand made rugs made in more recent times are using synthetic yarns. As mentioned above, often good rug cleaning will take care of the fringes too. But when very soiled, pre – treating the fringes with a solution appropriate for the fiber type is a good practice.

For wool and silk use Ultra Dry Neutral pH, simply spray on fringe and groom in. Allow five minutes of dwell time. Then clean as normal. For synthetic fringes, use a pre-spray solutions appropriate for the fiber. Often cleaners find Ultra Dry Original to be a great fringe cleaner for synthetic fibers.

Hand Tufted Rugs


  1. Check for latex odor and advise customer that it will not come out.
  2. Stenciling. Grin the face pile and look for stencil ink on the primary backing at color
    change areas. Look on the back of the rug. Many times the red or blue stencil will have
    already bled into the secondary backing. Turn down rug or surface clean only.
  3. Color run. Some rugs will be susceptible to color bleeding. Test for colorfastness, both
    crocking and bleeding.
  4. Check squareness of rug. Is it misshaped?
  5. Never fold or crease a hand tufted rug, especially when wet, as it will leave permanent
    marks or even delamination.
  6. Avoid aggressive agitation or heavy rollers as they may delaminate the rug.
  7. The latex used decays over time and leaves a powdery residue on the customer’s floor.
    this decay will make the rug limber and weak. Look for delamination.
  8. If cloth backing is delaminated from the foundation or the latex is powdery, quote cost and
    get approval to replace cloth backing and re-latex.
  9. Look for pulled tufts and voids.
  10. The fringe may be unglued: hems can come un-sewn or un-glued. Quote repairs before
  11. Talk about the staining and soil on the backing, since the backing is not seen, we will
    clean but, we have low expectations on stains and watermark removal.
  12. Make customer sign a release.

Cleaning procedures: 

  1. Air dust or use a vacuum only. Vacuum thoroughly. Do not put through a duster or tumble dust.
  2. Spray with Sublime including fringes, if oily soil is present.
  3. Wet out rug with clear, cool water. If the rug fails the crocking test, wet out with diluted
    Anti Dye. If it fails the bleeding test, wet out with Dye Release Solution.
  4. Apply diluted LST over entire face pile of rug. Do not apply to backing.
  5. Work in with hand brush if the rug is weak, or use shampooer, cimex, or other method on
    fringe and face pile only, not on backing.
  6. Rinse rug with clean water front and back.
  7. Squeegee, extract or centrifuge to remove excess water.
  8. If using a flat bed washer, run through as normal.
  9. Groom pile and fringes.
  10. Flat dry, face down, with air movers blowing across the back to speed up the drying


Optional method:

Surface clean with L.S.T. (See “How do I clean moisture sensitive rugs”).

In Plant Rug Cleaning
After inspection and dusting the rug, it should be wetted out with a pre-conditioning solution. This is especially important with wool fibers as they naturally resist moisture and do not wet out evenly without dwell time. Solvents also are needed to break down oily bonds and reliquefy dried out oil base soils. Make a solution of 4 & 3/4 gallons of warm water (75 degrees to 100 degrees) to 32 ounces (1/4 gallon) of Sublime ( or use 6 ounces per gallon for smaller batches). spray entire rug including fringes, using a #06 spray jet. Apply evenly to wet out rug. Flip rug over and lightly spray back. Now the rug is ready for your main cleaning solution. LST is your best choice for most rugs. Mix LST at 8 ounces per gallon of warm water (75 degrees to 100 degrees) and add to the tank of your shampoo machine. If available, you will find that a Cimex machine will be superior to a single disk machine for cleaning most rugs. Start on the back and include the fringes, shampooing the rug evenly. Flip over and shampoo the front evenly including the fringes. We need to consider a few side points here. New shampoo brushes must be broken in before use on rugs. See box entitled “Breaking In New Brushes”. One must know how operate a single disk “swing” machine, if you do not, you will need some hands-on training before cleaning a customer’s rug. You cannot learn from reading or watching, it is much like learning how to ride a bike, you just have to have hands-on experience. Choice of cleaning solution: While we already note that LST is most often your best choice, sometimes you may want to use a speciality solution. Make sure to use a product designed for the fiber type that you are cleaning. Most carpet cleaning products are designed for synthetic fibers and are not appropriate for most Oriental and fine quality rugs. Wool Rug Shampoo is slightly alkaline and is designed for cleaning heavily soiled wool rugs. Wool Rug Shampoo is a more aggressive cleaner to LST. Silk Rug Shampoo is designed for cleaning silk, it is milder than LST. The pH is lower to be just right for silk. Triple Deodorizing Shampoo is designed to clean and deodorize rugs, including those with urine contamination. It is safe on all natural fibers. Keep in mind that urine does damage some fibers and dyes. This is pre-existing damage from urine, not cleaning. After, shampooing, a through cold water rinse is required. Flood rinse the entire rug with a water hose. If the rug is extremely soiled, a power washer maybe employed, use cold water and adjust pressure to 300psi-400psi. Pressure wash rug face pile and do not forget the fringes, as power washing is a great tool for cleaning them. Use a Rug Squeegee or a Rug Roller to move soils, contaminates and rinse water from rug. Once you notice that no more suds are coming out, place water hose under rug to flush the back, using your rug squeegee or rug roller to move rinse water and soils away from rug.Now the rug is ready for the flat bed washers. (if you do not have a flat bed washing machine i.e. Moore of Mirza, use a hot water extraction unit, truckmount or portable, just leave out the hot water part and use the vacuum only. (See section on Pit Cleaning). Place rug, face side up on the washer. Make sure to set rug well beyond the pin roller to reduce yarns snags from pins, This is a two man job on all but small rugs or runners.. Adjust wash and rinse jet pressure to 300psi – 400psi. Adjust wringer pressure for maximum water extraction as practical. Use both Rug Wash Liquid and Rug Wash Powder in your machines carburetor. Fill your tank until it covers over the agitator blades. Turn agitator on. Slowly pour in the entire pail of Rug Wash Powder and continue to fill with water until tank is almost full, then add one full gallon Rug Wash Liquid and fill tank to full. Set dilution meter at 30 to 1.
Karastan Rugs


  1. Always inspect and pretest. Document and photograph. Note all pre-existing damage.
  2. The sewn-on fringe of some Karastans will shrink, causing the corners to curl. Quote repair cost.
  3. Check the fringe and corners to make sure that they are secure.

Cleaning procedures:

  1. Dust rug.
  2. Spray rug with Fringe Pre Treatment (Sublime) if oily soil is present, or pre-wet with cold clear water.
  3. Apply diluted Wool Rug Shampoo to entire rug, including fringes, front and back.
  4. Work in with shampooer, Cimex or other method, front and back.
  5. Flush rinse rug with cold, clear water, front and back, until rinse water is clear.
  6. (a) Squeegee, role, ring out, extract, or centrifuge to remove excess water.
    (b) If using a flatbed washer or other system run through as normal.
  7. Straighten and comb fringes.
  8. Groom entire rug.
  9. Speed dry.

NOTE: If colors are migrating, add a rinse cycle of Dye Release solution to rinse away color contamination.

Leather Rugs


1. Always inspect and pretest. Note all pre-existing damage. Document and photograph
existing conditions.

2. No alkaline solutions should be used. Stay on the acid side.

3. No heat.

4. Check foundation and structure for damage and loose leather.

5. Test for color-fastness (Ink, paint, die, or marker)

6. Work quickly. Wash leather rugs fast and efficiently.


Cleaning procedures:

1. Do not run through strap duster or tumble duster, air dust only. Alternately, beat
with a stick, rug whip on pole, or turn rug upside down and have four people hold one
of each corner and shake.

2. After dusting, apply leather conditioner diluted (50/50) with water and work in if possible.

3. Thoroughly flush with cold, clear water.

4. Apply diluted LST solution over entire rug, if possible and shampoo in with
shampooer, hand brush, Cimex or other method.

5. Flush rinse with cold, clear water.

6. Use a weighted roller to push soil and suds off rug during rinse.

7. (a) Squeegee, role, ring out, extract, or centrifuge to remove excess water.
(b) If using a flatbed washer, place rug on padding before running through flatbed washer or other equipment. Keep pins from damaging the leather.
NO brushes. NO soap. ONLY cold, clean water.

8. Spray diluted leather conditioner (50/50 with water) over entire rug if possible. Place rug on a flexible surface, such as towels or quilt.

9. Roll in conditioner with weighted roller to soften rug.

10. Dry flat with air movers, using no heat.

11. During drying, run a weighted roller over rug to help soften the leather. Reapply diluted leather conditioner if necessary.

Moisture Sensitive Rugs

 Some rugs can be damaged with over wetting. Lower moisture methods can avoid problems with cellulosic rugs that are likely to brown, composite rugs that may have differential shrinkage, latex backed rugs or hand tufted which may suffer from latex migration, rugs with ink stencils which can bleed, secondary backings which can shrink or water mark and rugs which are not very soiled, so therefore not requiring deep, aggressive cleaning methods.

Bonnet cleaning with LST has proven to be a very good method for dealing with the above mentioned cleaning challenges. You can save yourself and your customer untold troubles, plus, you can make tremendous profits using LST. First complete a through inspection of the rug(s), (see “Rug Inspection”) document any preexisting damage, and consider having a release of liability form signed. Remove dry soils with your best method of dusting (see “How to Perform Dry Soil Removal”). Prepare LST solution by mixing 8 oz. of LST into each gallon of warm (100� to 115�) water, and place into a pump-up or electric sprayer with an 06 size jet. Spray apply LST solution to the entire face pile of the rug, do not over wet. Include fringes too. Using a standard rotary floor machine (175 RPM) with pad driver and bonnets or pads, or a Cimex machine, you can obtain safe and effective results. Spray your bonnet or pad with LST solution to ensure that both the carpet pile and the bonnet are lubricated with LST. Spin bonnet over the rug surface. After cleaning approximately 30 to 60 sq ft. flip bonnet over, spray with LST solution, and continue cleaning. Once both sides are soiled, use a fresh clean bonnet, spray with LST and continue cleaning. Usually only 2 or 3 bonnets will be required to clean a 9″ x 12″ rug.

Remember to get the fringes too. If you find that the rug is too wet, you may want to spin a dry bonnet over the pile surface. Be careful to not over agitate and watch for shedding, do not over dry or over agitate rug. Speed dry with air movers or place in dry room to speed drying. Fringes may require more cleaning (see “How To Clean Fringes”) after the rug has dried. Because LST will physically trap soils, post drying vacuuming is required. Simply dry vacuum the rug pile after drying is complete, use a high quality, high performance vacuum for best results.

Rayon Viscose Rugs


1. Test and inspect rug. Complete pre-inspection form and photograph rug. Note all
pre-Existing conditions, including:

2. Look for yarn slippage.

3. Document texture issues.

4. Look for yellowing and other discolorations.

5. Test for bleeding and crocking.

6. These rugs often become stiff and change texture if not washed with proper chemistry
and procedures.

7. Avoid any aggressive dusting. Do NOT air dust.

8. Must have customer sign a release of liability waiver before washing.

Cleaning procedures:

  1. Gently dust or vacuum with care.
  2. Wet out rug with cool water and Rayon Rug Shampoo mixed at two ounces per gallon.
    Apply to both sides of rug. Allow two or three minutes of dwell time.
  3. If colors/dyes crock off, apply Anti Dye heavily.
  4. Apply Rayon Rug Shampoo mixed at eight ounces per gallon. Apply to both sides,
    including fringes.
  5. Work in with rotary, Cimex, hand brush or other method, to shampoo into rug.
  6. Rinse with cold, clear water until rinse water is clear.
  7. Squeegee, roll, ring out, extract, centrifuge or use other method to remove as much
    excess water as reasonably possible.
  8. Groom pile with the primary lay of the pile.
  9. Speed dry the rug. Rayon is very slow drying and some will brown or discolor during
    drying.Speed dry as soon as possible. Dry upside down to prevent browning to the face.
    If hanging to dry, ensure proper spacing to avoid rugs flapping against one another.
  10. After drying, groom again, going with the primary and secondary lay of the pile.
  11. If the rug pile is stiff or distorted, lightly apply Silky Soft Solution and groom again. If
    yarn slippage is an issue, use the hand wash brush for silk to groom.
  12. Tactfully advise the customer to never buy rayon rugs again.
Silk Rugs


1. Always inspect and pretest. Note all pre-existing damage including:

A. Texture change issues

B. Color migration issues

C. Yarn slippage issues (avoid aggressive over grooming or brushing)

2. Air dusting at high-pressure can carve or streak the pile. Lower the air
pressure of dusting tools.

3. Avoid alkalinity. Do not use high pH. Use only acid pH solutions. The isoionic point for silk
is 4.5 therefore the pH of 4.5 is your goal when cleaning silk.

4. Do not use acid rinses or cleaners that contain phosphoric acid as this
specifically damages silk.

5. Work quickly. Wash silk rugs fast and efficiently.

Wet cleaning procedures:

1. Dust rug, avoiding high pressure when air dusting.

2. Spray the entire rug, including fringes, with Fringe Pretreatment or pre-wet with cold clear
water. If colors are crocking, pre-wet with AntiDye Solution. If colors/dyes are
bleeding, consider dry cleaning instead of wet cleaning.

3. Apply Silk Rug Shampoo solution to the entire rug, including fringes, front and back.

4. Hand shampoo or use rotary, Cimex or other method to work solution into the rug, front
and back.

5. Rinse with cold, clear water or run through flatbed washer or other system.

6. Squeegee, roll, ring out, extract or centrifuge to remove all possible excess water.

7. Groom pile with the primary lay of pile yarns.

8. If needed, lightly apply Silky Soft solution and groom in, going with the primary lay of the

9. If colors/dyes can possibly migrate during drying, flat dry in dry room on cotton towels or
quilts. place upside down, with airflow over the rugs backing. Use heat,
dehumidification or other method to speed dry.

10. After drying, groom again with a silk carding brush. Apply Silky Soft if needed. Groom in
with the primary and secondary lay of the pile. If yarn slippage is an issue, use a hand
wash brush for silk, or other appropriate grooming brush.

Dry cleaning procedures:

1. Dust rug. Avoid high pressure when air dusting.

2. Spray entire rug, including fringes, with Fringe Pretreatment. Allow a 3 to 5 minute dwell

3. Spin Ultra Clean pads over entire rug.

4. Spray entire rug with Dry Side cleaner heavily. Allow a 3 to 5 minute dwell time.

5. Spin Ultra Clean pads over entire rug. Or extract with solvent proof dry cleaning machine. Exhaust the vapors to the outdoors.

6. Flat dry. Absolutely NO heat or open flame, for fire safety reasons.

7. Groom pile with the primary and secondary lay of the pile.
Microscopic photo of natural silk fibers.


Sisal Rugs


  1. Test and inspect rug. Complete pre-inspection form and photograph rug. Note all pre-Existing conditions, including:
  2.  Check for signs of shrinkage, dimensional distortion and rippling. 
  3. Look for water marks and rings. Look for “ghost” stains that may appear after cleaning.
  4.  Test for color fastness on fabric borders, if any.
  5.  Check for structural integrity and rot.
  6.  If latexed on back, test for damage or failure.
  7.  These rugs do not respond well to cleaning, have a release signed, note on pre-inspection form and inform customer that, browning, watermarking, rings or stains will not come out. 

Cleaning procedure: 

  1. Air dust or vacuum only.
  2. If fabric borders fail color fastness test, set dye with Dye Fix or saturate with diluted Rug Soure solution.
  3.  Apply Sublime to rug.
  4.  Apply Problem Reducing Shampoo solution to entire rug.
  5.  Work shampoo solution in with shampooer, hand brush, Cimex or other method, evenly, front and back if two sided.
  6.  Flood rinse rug with cold, clear water, front and back until rinse water is clear. Use squeegee or weighted roller to wring out soils and water.
  7.  A. Squeegee, roll, ring out, extract, centrifuge or use other method to remove excess water.
    B. If using a flat bed washer, or other system, run with no brushes, no soap, rinse only. 
  8. Flay dry, face down. Use air mover across back to speed dry.
  9.  For wicked-up stains or water marks, use 3% hydrogen peroxide, apply heavily to stain area and feather into surrounding areas.
  10.  Tea dye may be used to even out colors after drying.
Wilton Rugs


  1. Always inspect and pretest. Document and photograph. Note all pre-existing damage.
  2. Check for yellowing and browning.
  3. Look for jute in backing as it will likely brown when cleaned.
  4. Hems tend to come unglued at each end. Quote repair cost before cleaning.


Cleaning procedures:

  1. Dust rug.
  2. Pre-wet rug with diluted Rug Soure, front and back.
  3. Apply diluted LST, or if if pre-existing browning is is present, use diluted Problem Reducing Shampoo.
  4. Work in with shampooer, Cimex, hand brush, or other method, front and back.
  5. Flush rinse rug with cold, clear water, front and back, until rinse water is clear.
  6. (A) Squeegee, roll, ring out, extract or centrifuge to remove excess water. 
    (B) If using centrifuge, make sure to layer with thick pad to prevent dye stamping and dimpling.
    (C) If using flatbed washer or other system, run through as normal.
  7. Groom entire rug.
  8. (A) Speed dry, If rug has jute backing, dry flat with face side down. Add air flow to jute backing.
    (B) If drying on poles, anchor on pole at the border to prevent pole marks.

Note: If colors are migrating add a rinse cycle of Dye Release solution to rinse away color contamination.

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