Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Rug cleaning

We finally finished finished the living room! The new ceiling looks pretty good for a far-from-expert installer (I will never get the hang of mudding.) Dave painted the ceiling which made the walls look grungier so he painted the walls too. That meant it was time to bring in the rug we have been storing in the garage for a few months since we bought it for a song at a consignment store. It might have been the filthiest rug in Narragansett so cleaning was a must. I learned a cleaning trick from an old Iranian rug dealer years ago when we lived in Houston. It also works with those heavy waffle pattern water hog style door mats or any area rug.

We decided that the easiest way to transfer the rug to the house was by wheel barrow and the handicapped lift.

Once the rug was inside we assembled the tools: the upright vacuum with beater brush, the rented rug cleaner, and a hepa filter. Before anyone faints, I would not use a rental shampoo machine on a fine antique rug. This rug is hand knotted but wouldn't qualify as an heirloom quality piece. The hepa filter and a closed door will help keep the dust out of the rest of the house but you could open a window if you don't have a filter. If you are smarter than I am you will also wear a hepa dust mask and put on some tunes, reggae is perfect for this job.

Next we turned the rug upside down. The first and longest step was to use the vacuum with a beater brush on the backside. This shakes the deep down dirt out of the rug. In the Victorian era my servant ancestors would have been beating the rug by hand out in the yard. The vacuum is much easier. After ten minutes the rug is pulled back to reveal the dirt.
Sweep up the dirt with the vacuum and repeat. Believe it or not I repeated this process for nearly 3 hours and was still getting dirt and sand out. When you become exhausted, get very little dirt out, or just get to bored to continue flip the rug over and vacuum the correct side a few times. Then go take a bubble bath and save the actual shampooing until tomorrow. Yes, that's what really works for me on Wednesday, a good hot bath.