How you can wash your carpet?

Washing Carpet is not just a hygienic practice. It plays an important role in preserving the natural fibres of the carpet, reviving their original softness, vivid colours and luminousness.

In ancient times carpets were washed on rare occasions and they were usually kept clean by rubbing their surface with an ammonia- or vinegar-and-water mixture.

Unfortunately, smog and other chemical elements in the atmosphere deposit on the pile and get mixed with dust to form a thin fat layer. Over time this sort of patina hardens and it stiffen fibres, ultimately leading them to fall apart. Thus, the use of effective and gentle detergents is recommended.

Normally every four or five years you should have your carpet washed by a specialized carpet-cleaning establishment, especially in case of a valuable pieces. This is a very delicate process that, if not properly performed, could damage the handicraft irreversibly.

Carpet washing some advice:

Electric washing machine. Absolutely avoid it! Even in no-spin mode, the washing machine’s vibrations transform wool making it very hard. The volume of the carpet shrinks, while its specific weight increases. As a consequence, colour fastness and the carpet structure will be irremediably compromised. The pressure of weft strands on knots gets looser, and the carpet might become stretched out of shape. Often the carpet completely looses its elasticity as well. And once such damages have been done, even the most skilled and professional restorer could not fix them.

Dry cleaning. Absolutely avoid it! Drycleaning laundries and shops use spray-can solutions or chemical products which ruin wool depriving it from fats and consequently damaging weft and warp. These chemicals are left on the pile wool and inside knots, and they go on penetrating into the structure of the carpet, worsening the damage. It often occurs that we only notice these damages after a few months and complaining is useless by that time. Keep in mind that a carpet is not a fur coat. Often one hears people saying: “I’ve just taken my carpet to a specialized laundry washing very expensive fur coats and they’ve ruined it.” Carpets and fur coats are two completely different things. Anyway, if a trusted laundry claims it has the carpet washed by a specialized cleaner, just relies on it if you get a no time limit warranty. Keep the receipt and the cash slip. Laundries are covered by warranty and if they ruin your carpet they are obliged to compensate for any damages.

You don’t have to wash a carpet just when it looks actually dirty. Washing is not a mere hygienic practice. In fact, cleanliness ensures longevity and perfect form to your carpet. Before washing you are recommended to test and see if each colour is fast through some easy steps. Just wipe each colour area with a damp white cloth. If the colour does not stain the cloth, then the carpet can be washed, paying careful attention to avoid any detergent. However, if just one single colour stains the cloth, your carpet cannot be washed at home and you have to turn to a specialized cleaner. The same test can be carried out by slightly dampening a small area of the carpet with water and rub it with a clean sheet of blotting paper to make sure that no trace of colour is left on it. Small-sized carpets can be washed inside a bath tub with lukewarm water; if the fabric is delicate, it is recommended to place the carpet on a nylon net, to prevent dangerous tension when removing it from water. A large-sized carpet on the contrary can be washed outdoors, preferably on a windy day, and laid flat down on a surface covered with a polyethylene sheet. Spray very little water on it, gently brush it with a soft bristle brush, then rinse it accurately and finally let it dry.

See some advice on carpet claeaninig tips and cleaning carpets.