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Rug Care

What Is Stain Protector?

What Is Stain Protector? And How Does It Work?

Stain protector is a coating that is applied to clean rugs and textiles, this coating doesn’t interact with the rug instead it interacts with the fibres that make up the rug at a molecular level, and helps prevent permanent staining. It also makes it far easier to clean up spot spills and general dirt.

Protector is completely invisible and doesn’t change the look or the feel of your rug at all. Experienced weavers that handle wool all day long can’t tell the difference between fibres that have been protected and those that haven’t. If someone spills something on your rug and then steps on it, your rug will certainly get dirty nothing can prevent that; but a protected rug will clean up easier and will be far less likely to have a permanent stain than an unprotected one.

When rugs get dirty or if there’s a spill it works its way in between the fibres of the rug, that’s not a problem because that can be cleaned out. The problem occurs when the fibres of the rug become stained with something in the spill. When everything is cleaned out from between the fibres there are sometimes stains left behind that have re-dyed the fibres, those stains are now a permanent part of the rug and only expensive reweaving or re-dyeing the rug can sometimes fix the damage.

Many rugs are given up or sold because of issues with appearance, not because the rug is worn out. Good rugs can last hundreds of years but if they look terrible people often don’t want them anymore. Spills should always be cleaned up immediately or as soon as possible and from a practical standpoint what protector does is buy you time. If you have a spill you have a little more time to clean it up before it penetrates the fibres, and possibly becomes a permanent stain. This is especially true for situations involving pet urine, urine is extremely aggressive to fibres and can stain fibres even if protector has been applied. That’s why it’s important to clean up urine stains within 30 minutes using a diluted vinegar solution. If you have any questions about how to do this, give us a call and we’ll be happy to talk you through it.

Protector also makes it harder for dirt to stain your rug. Spots clean up easier and studies show that regular vacuuming is more effective when protector has been applied. If your rug isn’t regularly vacuumed you might not notice this. If your rug is regularly maintained, you’ll likely notice a decreased need for cleaning. Protector really isn’t meant to keep your rug from getting dirty, what protector does is make it far easier to clean up. Protector does cost extra but compared to the cost of a rug, or even just the cost of cleaning it’s inexpensive. As rug cleaners, we hate to see beautiful pieces of textile art that took months to make by hand ruined because of permanent stains. This is why we not only recommend protectors for all of our clients, but we use it on our own personal rugs as well, because we believe it works.

If you have any questions about protector or any other questions about your rugs, give us a call or complete our contact form and we’ll be happy to help.

We collect, clean and deliver rugs throughout South Wales, including Carmarthen, Cardiff, Swansea and Newport.

 

Rug Care

How Often Should I Clean My Rug?

How Often Should I Clean My Rug?

How often should I clean my rug? It’s a question we get a lot here at The Rug Laundry! To answer that, let’s look at what abrasive dirt really is and how it affects your rugs.

When you look at a magnified image of sandpaper, you can easily see the sharp edges that act as cutting tools. Similarly with common sand, you can see the sharp edges of each grain.

Sand is largely made of silica, and silica is what they make glass out of; you could think of sand as tiny little pieces of broken glass. When you walk across your rugs you put your full body weight on these sharp edges, and that results in damage and wear to your rugs. The sharp edges literally dig into and cut the fibres. Remember wool is just hair so it’s soft and easy to cut.

Rugs can last hundreds of years, but not if they’re exposed to this kind of wear, but there’s something that actually makes this problem even worse. One of the great things about wool is that it hides dirt so well, this is because of the way the fibres are made.

The surface of the fibre has little ridges, almost like scales on a fish. Each one of these scales provides a place for dirt to hide. Now in one way, that’s good, because even if your rug has some dirt in it, it won’t easily show it. It is excellent at hiding dirt and that’s one of the reasons it’s such a perfect material for rugs.

The problem occurs when people that own rugs wait until the rugs look dirty to the eye before they bring them in for a good cleaning. By the time a wool rug looks dirty it can have almost unbelievable amounts of abrasive dirt in it which leads to damage to the fibres of the rug.

Once this damage occurs, it can’t be undone. As more and more dirt penetrates the fibres it leads to a loss of colour and vibrancy, making the rug look dull and lifeless. This process happens gradually so many times people don’t notice.

Wool rugs can look flat and dull with very little colour prior to being washed. Once cleaned, the colours are more vibrant as a proper wash removes the abrasive dirt and restores the shine the natural wool has. That’s why most rugs should be washed every six months to three years, depending on how good the wool is, how much traffic the rug gets, and whether or not the rug is properly vacuumed.

If it’s been too long since your rugs last bath, give us a call on 01269 842497 and let us restore the beauty your rug was meant to have.

Rug Care

Where to Place Your Rugs at Home

A beautiful, fresh and clean rug is a stylish addition to any home.

When placed on a tiled floor, rugs provide comfort and warmth. They also add contrast and colour to neutral colour schemes.

In addition to this, they can offer practicality and act as a barrier to soiling from outside foot traffic.

But where are your rugs best placed inside your home?

While it makes sense to position your rugs where they look best, here are some practical points to consider with regards to the differs types of rug.

Woollen Rugs

Natural woollen rugs are usually more expensive than polypropylene rugs. They offer warmth and luxury to a room and can last a lifetime if regularly maintained and cared for.

Wool rugs work well in living rooms, particularly when placed on tiled floors that would benefit from a change of texture and colour. If your rug is a Persian style with lovely depth of colour then they can also work well as a hallway runner.

If, however, your rug is more of a beige or natural colour, then they are better situated in rooms that won’t be subjected to muddy shoes and regular heavy foot traffic!

Sisal Style Rugs

Sisal is a natural fibre that can make some of the strongest and most durable types of rugs.

Sisal rugs add a real sense of natural charm to a room and compliment cool, natural tomes and decor.

Because of their durability, they also work brilliantly in high traffic areas and as hallway / entrance area runners.

Cotton Rugs

High quality cotton rugs are comfortable, warm and soft. Usually flat, they benefit from regular cleaning to keeping them looking their best and to show off their colours.

These types of rug work well in most rooms, including living rooms, bedrooms and to break up long hallways and corridors.

Polypropylene / Synthetic Rugs

Synthetic rugs are usually a very affordable and family-friendly option when choosing a new rug.

Less susceptible than wool rugs are to sun fading, they can be placed anywhere in your home that would benefit from the addition of a beautiful, clean rug.

As with any rug, they benefit from regular professional cleaning to maintain their condition and appearance.

The importance of regular cleaning

While certain styles of rug are better suited to different areas of your home, ultimately it is down to your personal preference where you position your rugs.

While certain areas or rooms may be more forgiving to your rugs with regards to soiling and wear and tear, as long as they are maintained then they will continue to be a pleasing addition to any room.

For this reason, we recommend scheduling a regular professional clean at a specialist rug spa. Depending on the level of foot traffic (and messy children!) this may be anything from every 6-18 months.

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At The Rug Laundry we specialise in tailoring the best rug cleaning process to the specific fibre, texture, and area of the world your rug comes from.

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