ITHACA/ELMIRA carpet cleaners


May 2015

Welcome to our Monthly Newsletter!

We hope you will enjoy this month's articles. The topic is 
Caring for Your Rugs - Extend Their Life, Care Between Cleanings, and Problematic Rug Fringes.

If there is a topic you would like us to cover in one of our upcoming newsletters, please call us at 607-272-1566 or contact us by clicking here. 

Don't forget to scroll down to the bottom for your special coupon savings!

In This Issue

Extend the Life of Your Area & Oriental Rugs

Rug Care Between Cleanings - 8 Essential Tips

Cleaning Rug Fringes - Types of Problems


#1 - Vacuum Frequently

·    To extend the life of your oriental and area rugs, vacuuming frequently is a must.  Why?  Because everyday dust and dirt can settle into your rug. If the rug is in a well-trafficked area, particles of dirt can be pushed down into the rug to the backing and even to the floor, exposing the rug and the floor to damage from abrasion.  

·    Please note: Vacuuming, while essential to the overall care of your rug, can only remove approximately 80% of the soil. The rest of the soil will be trapped in the rug and includes air-borne pollutants such as cooking oils and greases as well as ordinary dust and dirt. This soil gets into the fiber and will act like sandpaper and can cut it. If the rug is a natural fiber, vacuuming can pull up some of this fiber, causing wear areas. On synthetic rugs, the sandpaper effect will not cut the fibers but will abrade them, leaving areas that are distorted and may look dirty even after cleaning.

·    Because of the above, make sure you have your rugs professionally cleaned on a regular basis. In our plant, rugs are placed in our dusting equipment before they are cleaned to remove as much of the trapped soil as possible.

·    It is also a very good idea to roll the rug up every few months and dust under it. If possible, vacuum the back of the rug at that time as well.  This would be the time to check the back of the rug for any moth or other insect infestation.  Moth larvae, especially, often eat from the back of a wool rug to the front before they are even noticed. 

·    Please Note:  When vacuuming oriental rugs and other area rugs with fringes, vacuum from side to side (opposite the fringes).  This will save the fringes from being pulled up into the vacuum which can damage the fringes and even damage the vacuum.  We have Fringe Rakes for sale in our plant which can be used to remove soil from the fringes and also straighten them. An added plus--you don't have to bend over or get down on your hands and knees to use this tool! If you do use a vacuum tool to clean the fringes, make sure to cover the opening with an old nylon stocking to prevent damage to the fringes as well as the vacuum.

#2-Take Care of Spills ASAP!

1.  Another important tip to extend the life of your oriental and area rugs is to take care of spills as soon as possible.  A carpet or rug fiber acts as a wick and will pull spills up to the top of the pile.  Once the soiling material is exposed to the air and allowed to dry, a spill can become a permanent stain.

2. The first best choice for quickly removing spills that could become permanent stains would be to blot the area from the outside to the center of the spill with a white absorbent material such as a Turkish towel or paper towels. 

3. Keep on hand an arsenal of non-toxic cleaning agents to combat specific spills. (See our ABC Spot Cleaning Guide for cleaning solutions as well as Green Cleaning Solutions on our website.)

4.  ABC also carries a 'green' spotting solution in our plant for sale.

5.  Never pour liquid spotters directly onto the area because the spill will be diluted and will spread out, making it more difficult to remove.  Use absorbent material saturated with a spotter or spotting solution to blot the area instead.         

6. Remember to ALWAYS BLOT, never scrub the soiled area.  Scrubbing can sometimes result in irreversible distortion of the fiber.

7. After you have blotted and can no longer get any transfer of soiling to the absorbent material, blot with water on a new absorbent material and then put a layer of absorbent material on the area with something heavy on top. Allow to dry for 24 hours, replacing the absorbent material frequently. This will allow any remaining soiling to 'wick up' to the surface and the absorbent material will prevent it from exposure to the air. (See #1 above).

8. Download ABC's SPOT CLEANING GUIDE Guide. Learn how to remove spots with ordinary household solutions.

For the rest of the tips, please continue reading here.


Proper rug care between cleanings will extend the life of your area rugs.  Outlined below are 8 essential tips to help you care for your area rugs between cleanings:

(Underlayment or Cushion)

Make sure to always place a high quality pad under all rugs. This is a very important part of area rug care between cleanings.  Also be careful to choose the type of pad that is suitable for the type of surface on which the rug will be displayed. The pad will aid in the prevention of premature wear or damage caused by regular traffic. At ABC, we sell rug pads specifically for rugs on hardwood, carpeting, and tile floors.  We can recommend and sell you a proper pad for your rug.

Rug pads:

·  Add cushioning and comfort for you by providing structural support, protecting rugs from premature wear while cushioning the impact of foot traffic.

·  Can add years to the life of a rug.

·  Protect the flooring beneath the rug as well.

·  Prevent the rug from slipping and you from falling.

·  Limit the space between the rug and the floor which may deter insect infestations, such as moths.


Proper rug care between cleanings includes addressing any spills as soon as possible with a white cotton towel or other absorbent material. Absorb or tamp as much of the liquid up as possible moving from the outside of the spill to the center.

Once you are sure no more of the spill can be soaked up, use a gentle, preferably neutral, detergent solution to attempt a spot removal. Please be sure to download our ABC Spotting Guide to learn now to remove most spots with ordinary household solutions. You can find information here as well. 

Do not use any over-the-counter or super market cleaners or spotting agents on your rugs as they can loosen dyes, remove dyes, or, in some cases, severely damage the fiber.  

If you have any questions, Please CALL OUR OFFICE at 272-1566 FOR FREE GUIDANCE or you can contact us here.


Vacuuming on a consistent basis will aid in the longevity of all your area rugs, both natural and synthetic fibers. Wool rugs especially, due to the composition of the outer layer of the wool fiber, trap large amounts of dry particulate matter. 

This abrasive and damaging matter can be removed by vacuuming. In fact, up to 80% of dry particulate matter can be removed from a rug through regular vacuuming. During ABC area and oriental rug cleaning in our cleaning plant, the rugs are thoroughly vacuumed and dusted both before and after cleaning.

Be sure to keep vacuums away from fringes, as, over time, the brush rolls can 'chew' up the fringe. Please note: When vacuuming oriental rugs and other area rugs with fringe, vacuum from side to side (opposite the fringes). This will save the fringes from being pulled up into the vacuum which can damage the fringes and even the vacuum.

We have fringe rakes for sale in our plant, which can be used to remove soil from the fringes and also straighten them (without having to bend over!)

#4-Rotation of Rugs

An often forgotten rug care between cleanings task is that area rugs should be rotated periodically to balance out sun fading and to keep the traffic pattern distributed to all areas of the rug. Rugs under furniture can be an attraction for moths as well.

#5-Check for Moths

 To continue reading, please click here.

Types of Problems

Cleaning rug fringes on Oriental and area rugs is a complicated and intricate process. Even after a thorough cleaning, rug fringes may need additional treatments. 

Types of problems we see in our plant include natural deterioration from wear and tear or from improper vacuuming, changes in the color of fringes from browning and dye runs or loss of color from tea or gold washing. These problems may appear before, during or after a professional rug cleaning. 

Some, but not all stained areas on fringes can be removed without compromising the integrity of the fringe itself. Examples of stains that cannot be removed include gray areas which may actually be wear, not soiling, and most urine stains.

Our technicians and office staff are trained to take note of problematic fringes and alert the customer they exist before cleaning or may still be present after cleaning even after special treatments have been applied.  

Listed below are some of the fringe problems we encounter in our rug cleaning plant: 

Fringe Deterioration 
Before and After Cleaning

Rug fringes are prone to some deterioration with normal use due to the fiber content of the fringes (usually cotton), their loose or low twist, and their open ends. These characteristics make rug fringes susceptible to untwisting, texture loss, and fraying during normal use such as vacuuming, walking, etc. and may deteriorate further during cleaning. 

Changes in Color 
When Cleaning Rug Fringes

Changes in color that require special treatments during or after cleaning are usually caused by 1 of 2 reasons:

The first reason is cellulosic browning. Rug fringes are mostly made of cotton, a cellulosic fiber, which undergoes natural changes with time. These changes may lead to the development of brown stains or discoloration called cellulosic browning.

The second type of color change can occur as 'fugitive' dyes from the wet rug are being absorbed by the fringes during cleaning or a flood. 

Because some rugs may be 'overdyed' during manufacture, the extra dyes will run and can sometimes be flushed completely out of the rug during the cleaning process. 

Unstable dyes that have 'run' and remain in the rug fringes  can possibly be removed but the process is tedious and expensive and could cause deterioration to the fringes.

The technician is prepared to choose the appropriate treatment for each rug that goes on the wash floor and we will inform the customer about the pros and cons of each method.

2 Treatment Methods Used 
After Cleaning for 
Problematic Rug Fringes 

After a thorough cleaning in our plant, if the fringes of a rug need extra treatment, either or both of the following methods may be used:

1.  The first method involves re-cleaning the fringes by hand, with or without mild acid, rinsing, and rapid drying with a blower.  This treatment does not weaken the fringes but may leave them off-white or slightly discolored.  If browning or color bleeding is severe, it may not be eliminated by this approach.

2. The second, a stronger treatment, involves bleaching with or without rinsing, and rapid drying. This approach will result in white fringes but may also cause some physical deterioration of the fringes.  This deterioration is generally manifested in strength loss, fiber loss and/or 'stringy' texture and the fringes may break off during subsequent vacuuming and wear.

The choice of procedures best suited for a particular rug comes from the knowledge and experience of the technician.

Graying Fringes Before Cleaning

Please here to read more.

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(607) 272-1566

ABC Oriental Rug & Carpet Cleaning Co.

Since 1971


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ABC Oriental Rug & Carpet Cleaning Co.
130 Cecil Malone Drive Ithaca, NY 14850


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ABC Oriental Rug & Carpet Cleaning Co. has been family-owned and operated in Ithaca and surrounding areas for more than 44 years.
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