One would wonder why a sanitizer treatment for area rugs would be recommended by ABC even though these rugs will go through a minimum of 8 cleaning steps in our rug plant.
The reason is that a sanitizer treatment may be recommended for certain rugs that have a sizeable germ load from contamination, such as urine, feces, pet hair, and dander, etc. Without sanitization, the contamination could spread to other rugs in our plant as well as possibly be a health concern for our staff.
Sanitizing is the method of reducing the number of harmful pathogens that are present on a surface. According to the CDC, applying a sanitizer to a surface lowers the number of germs to a safe level based on public health standards and requirements.
Soft surfaces such as rugs are porous, and this makes it difficult to remove all germs. Antimicrobial sanitizers that are EPA registered are specifically formulated for penetrating into porous rug materials and will avoid binding with soil or with the carpet fibers themselves.
A sanitizer treatment can provide protection from unwanted germs that can hide in rug fibers, and this protection will continue for up to 6 months.
The process of sanitizing can kill a majority of germs, but it cannot make antiviral claims. Disinfecting is much more potent than sanitizing and can kill nearly 100% of bacteria, viruses, and fungi, and can target specific microorganisms such as the flu virus and the coronavirus. Unfortunately, as mentioned above, because of the porous quality of soft surfaces such as rugs, it is difficult even for disinfection to remove all germs.
Additionally, using disinfectants containing bleach, alcohol, and chlorine can damage or destroy rug fibers and foundations.
Sanitizing is a much gentler process and brings the germ level down to a safe level for humans and the indoor environment.
A sanitizer treatment is reserved for those circumstances when a rug has an overabundance of microorganisms caused by contamination from water damage, mold, mildew, vomit, blood, pet dander, pet hair, pet accidents, etc.
An exception is when there is excessive urine on area rugs. When urine dries, it hardens to crystals which attach to the fibers and cannot be removed by cleaning alone or sanitizing. They can only be removed by a special urine decontamination process.
Sanitizer treatment is especially recommended for rugs that don’t warrant total the above urine decontamination because the urine is not excessive.
Odors caused by bacteria, fungi, urine, vomit, smoke, rancid food, or other odor-causing substances can be eliminated by the addition of a sanitizer treatment.
For sewage, bodily fluids, infectious materials or bio-waste, the usual procedure would be to discard the rug.
But if the contamination is small, such as less than one square foot in size, and is not extensive or is located primarily on the surface of the rug, sanitation and cleaning may be acceptable.
Under extreme soiling conditions, rugs would normally be discarded. However, if a rug has intrinsic or emotional value to the customer, the sanitizer treatment may allow the rug to still be of use. The treatment will help prevent germs from growing on the rug long after the sanitizer has been applied.
If oriental or area rugs have been in water (not sewage or black water) less than 24 to 48 hours, ABC may be able to help, depending on the type of rug.
The customer will be forewarned that there are certain natural fiber-specific molds that can attack and deteriorate the foundation of certain rugs, which may cause tears and rips during transport and cleaning.
Area rugs must be sanitized and dried in our cleaning plant as soon as possible, and then, sanitized, cleaned, and thoroughly dried again. It is important to understand that wet textiles cannot be cleaned until they are completely dry. Additionally, flooding water, (especially from the outside environment) contains microbes and bacteria. Therefore, the sanitizer treatment is required.
If the value of the rug warrants repairs as well as cleaning, we have a full-service repair department to help as well.
Our ABC staff is trained to thoroughly examine each rug that comes in for cleaning. If a sanitizer treatment is recommended because a rug has substantial soiling or urine, this will be documented and explained, and the customer will be asked to decide how to proceed. At all times, the health and safety of our staff and our customers is of utmost importance.
If you have any questions about our Sanitizer Treatment, please text or phone us at 607-272-1566.
Oriental and Area Rug Washing at ABC Oriental Rug
Rugs on the wash floor are gently scrubbed before thorough rinsing.
Gentle scrubbing continues. Note the wringer in the background-the next step in the washing process after rinsing.
After thorough rinsing, the rug is sent slowly and carefully through the wringer to take out as much of the water as possible before being hung on racks in the drying room.
Rugs are hung on a rack in the temperature controlled drying room until completely dry.