Dirty Rug Story, Vol. I
American consumers are gradually becoming more and more aware of indoor air quality and related health risks. There are numerous government and private health institutions that discuss the direct correlation of indoor air pollutants to many allergies, skin irritations and respiratory illnesses.
Recently, Good Morning America published an article” The Indoor Pollution Threat You May Not Have Known Existed and covered a few basic points consumers should follow. However, most published articles fail to provide a comprehensive to do list.
The EPA supplies information about “Residential Asthma Triggers and Indoor Air Quality” . It provides a list of basic things to do, yet it does not address AREA RUGS in particular. In fact, vacuuming wall to wall carpet and keeping it clean is the extent of their solution.
A recent study by Phillip Tierno, Director of Clinical Microbiology and Immunology, NYU, states that “your carpet probably contains about 200,000 bacteria per square inch, making it 4,000 times dirtier than your toilet seat” (www.menshealth.com) .
The attention and awareness to indoor air quality raises numerous questions for an overdue and in-depth discussion regarding an unregulated self-promoting area rug cleaning industry. Many organizations such as the Carpet and Rug Institute try to educate the public by providing guidelines on how to choose the right carpets, rugs or cleaning products.
Others try to give a seal of approval just by a mere membership and invite the companies to collaborate in efforts to improve the industry.
Area rug cleaning companies tend to be in the dark ages with very little attention placed on public health issues. Almost every one of them advertises the new EPA guide line of the health hazards due to dust, dust mites, and indoor allergens. They encourage the consumer to wash their rugs and solicit for business. However, they fail to explicitly describe what steps have been taken to improve their own methods. The organic cleaning, green cleaning, we cleaned for the movie stars, been doing this forever price gimmicks are all over their advertisement. One wonders how an average mother looking for a reliable source to clean her rug or to protect an elderly parent with asthma will go about choosing the right company.
The market is saturated with thousands of wall to wall carpet cleaners who seem to think a topical steam cleaning, spot cleaning or chemical dry cleaning is adequate for the area rug. Some have chosen to outsource the area rug to an outside professional rug cleaning company. However, it will take a consumer some level of interrogation to realize they are not the actual company that cleans your rug. The sources that these companies use to farm out their area rug cleaning vary from mom and pop shops in back alleys to semi large facilities. A simple Google search for an area rug cleaner and Google image search for the same topic is where we suggest you start!
There are some outfits throughout the US that do a decent job and have relatively happy customers. However, the world around us is rapidly changing, yet the capital investment required to keep-up with the technology is not. The hidden health hazards of smoking a cigarette were not exposed till it was too late for too many. Today’s highly polluted environment, chemicals we use for cleaning, asbestos insulation, old damp buildings with mildew, fumes/gases that are released from renovating our spaces, simply tracking pesticides and lead from outdoors to our homes are all seriously overlooked health risks. We wait too long to react to the warnings!
RevitaRUGS is now setting a standard by shedding light on an industry trapped in antiquity and lacking in a scientific, health-oriented approach. Our company hopes that customer awareness will help the cause to revolutionize the entire rug cleaning industry. The first step towards this movement is to educate the public about the field of rug cleaning.
Rugs are filters
An area rug absorbs all types of pollutants acting like an indoor air filter. Unlike wall to wall carpet, it can be removed and sent out for proper dusting and cleansing by a professional company. Choosing the right company in amidst hundreds of claims in a highly unregulated field with no unified government standard can be an arduous task. Anyone with access to soap, water, and a floor scrubber-polisher multitask machine (view below) can claim to clean area rugs properly!
These machines are not equipped to adjust for the pile height, thickness and material of each and every type of rug. Wool, silk, handmade, and machine made rugs all require different methods of cleaning and care. The other key factor is the excessive use of soap and unfiltered water which eventually causes buildup of organic and inorganic matter in the rug’s foundation. This buildup leads to irreversible damage and becomes an attractant for further dust and dirt, defeating the purpose of cleaning.
“Current scientific knowledge along with a full and in-depth understanding of how rugs are made, hand or power loomed, has taken this antiquated industry to a new horizon.”revitaRUGS.com
Submerging a rug into a cesspool of previously contaminated water and soaking it for hours with soap, while a few men wearing rubber boots scrub it with the floor scrubber is not a hygienic approach to health. The poor rug does not come out healthy either! In case of a handmade heirloom, an expensive Oriental or a Persian rug, you just lost long term value by damaging the fibers and possibly destroying it.
Re-contamination can also occur in the drying process where mold, bacteria, and allergens can grow. The old fashion way was to hang these rugs in the sun to dry. This method is plausible if the air is fresh and hot, humidity is very low, and the factory is not situated within urban pollution. In absence of these conditions, especially in the eastern seaboard of United States, the rugs are dried indoors. However, the indoor heaters, blowers, and so called drying rooms are uncontrolled climates, and are not sufficient to guarantee a sterile drying process. A proper and quick drying process is not only important for the prevention of mold and bacteria, it is vital for the protection of the rug. Natural dyes tend to bleed (color run) when exposed to water for excessive periods of time. Prolonged wetness while hanging to dry for hours can also cause deformation of the rug and the moisture becomes a petri dish for mold and bacteria growth.
At RevitaRUGS water is purified to remove all excess minerals such as calcium, magnesium, lime, chlorine and other solutes. The purified soft water then allows for a better cleaning and less use of any detergent (echo friendly or not). It also aides in the removal of previously embedded crystalized salts (soap scum), makes colors more vibrant and the rugs feel naturally softens the rug.
Through a patent pending primary stage drying system, 90% of water is removed within minutes. The rug after a thorough inspection enters a computerized brushing machine, automatically adjusted for the pile height to gently comb each rug in the direction of its pile. This process uniformly restores the luster and natural direction of the rug pile to its original state. The rug is then transferred to a fully enclosed environmentally regulated chamber; engineered with de-humidification and temperature control, dust free walls, and filter-circulated air. In these controlled enclosures, low humidity and air circulation wicks out remaining moisture quickly and efficiently.
The dust removal process itself has become an art and science as well. Most companies who sell vacuum cleaners for wall to wall carpet are vigorously competing and reinventing themselves for the best hypo filtered vacuum. This is all due to consumers’ awareness of all airborne allergies, dust and other indoor air pollutants. Dust removal for an area rug, just like a wall to wall carpet, should also take into account proper filtration that is required to prevent fine dust from resettling during this elimination process. The old fashion way of dust tumbler or any other beater device, without such filtration is not effective and fine dust resettles back into the rug.
“Dust in the airstream poses a serious health threat to children, older people, and those with respiratory illnesses. This is a health threat in the work environment as well and is commonly overlooked by employers.” -revitaRUGS.com
RevitaRUGS an environmentally conscious, organic rug cleaning business in South Hackensack, NJ, has brought its 100% safe rug cleaning process from its sister company in Italy the Shirzad Corporation to the US market. This process not only deep cleans and disinfects rugs of all kinds, but does it in a way that systematically removes dust particles and reduces allergens. revitaRUGS uses the mildest soaps and the purest water possible, and is 100% safe for antique or silk rugs. With decades of experience using a pure clean laboratory grade water softening system, perfume-free organic soaps, and patent pending processes, RevitaRUGS is a perfect solution to cleaning any type of area rug. Now, you can keep your home healthy for your children, as well as protect your valuable heirlooms. Please visit the website for a comprehensive video of our processes and contact our in-house biologist for any questions.
T. 1.855.5.REVITA | RevitaRUGS.com | georgeb @ revitarugs.com | 10 Horizon Boulevard, South Hackensack, NJ 07606