Area Rug Color Bleeding Explained
THURSDAY, DECEMBER 8, 2022
Whether your oriental area rug is a recent addition to your home or it’s been in the family for decades, its detailed patterns and beautiful colors make it unique. The process of oriental area rug cleaning should always respect what makes these rugs truly unique and preserve their beauty and integrity.
If done incorrectly, cleaning or stain removal can make the colors of your rug bleed together, ruining its beautiful appearance and value. However, when precautions are taken and your area rug receives the attentive care it deserves, it can be thoroughly cleaned while maintaining the beautiful design and rich colors that lend to its character.
Why Color Bleeding Occurs: Insights From Rug Cleaners
There are several reasons why color bleeding may occur during the process of oriental area rug cleaning. Some of these stem from the methods and materials used when the area rug was first produced. Others are related to exposure to certain substances or environments.
Here are some of the most well-known causes of color bleeding for oriental area rugs:
- Natural dyes that are not colorfast.
Oriental rugs, particularly those made using traditional methods, are typically composed of fibers and pigments that are from natural origins. The dyes used aren’t always colorfast, which can result in bleeding during cleaning, especially if the dyes are water-soluble. As a result, certain cleaning methods, such as flooding, can cause major problems for rugs made with non-colorfast dyes.
- Damaging cleaning methods.
Not all cleaning methods are acceptable for rugs. While more conventional fabrics respond well to dry cleaning, and carpet cleaners often rely on steam cleaning, these methods should not be used as oriental rug cleaning methods. This is because these methods can leave behind a residue that eventually causes the dyes to bleed and results in irreparable damage.
- Application of excessive dye.
When too much dye is used to color a rug, the excess dye may wash out during the first few cleaning cycles. This excess dye can then taint the surrounding areas if it is not first stabilized or if preventative measures are not taken to protect the areas at risk.
- Exposure to alkaline substances or high heat during cleaning.
Even if the dyes in the rug are colorfast or have been stabilized, they can still react in a manner that causes bleeding when they are exposed to sources of high heat or alkaline substances, which are often used during conventional cleaning or stain removal processes. Fading is also a risk with such exposure.
- Pet accidents.
It’s also important to consider exposure to corrosive substances outside of the cleaning process. For example, pet urine is known to be corrosive and can thus cause dyes to bleed either before or during cleaning if it is not quickly removed in the appropriate manner.
How to Keep Your Oriental Area Rug From Bleeding
The good news is that bleeding isn’t inevitable, and you can keep your oriental rug in excellent condition for decades when you are proactive about protection. Here are our oriental area rug cleaners’ tips for minimizing the risk of color bleeding and fading:
Tip #1: Keep Your Area Rug Out of Direct Sunlight
Over time, the UV rays in sunlight work to disintegrate the bonds that hold dyes to the fibers within the rug. It’s best to keep your rug out of direct sunlight and to avoid using sunlight to dry it if it becomes wet.
Tip #2: Clean Up Accidents Right Away
Whether you’ve accidentally spilled a drink on your oriental rug or your pet has had an accident, it’s important to work quickly to prevent staining and bleeding. Reach for white paper towels or a white cloth to absorb as much of the liquid as possible. Then call our professional oriental rug cleaning specialists to carefully remove the rest of the stain. Always avoid using store bought stain removers, as these could potentially bleach your rug, instigate bleeding, or harm the delicate fibers in other ways.
Tip #3: Schedule Regular Oriental Area Rug Cleaning Appointments
Scheduling oriental rug cleaning with our professional team on a yearly basis is an important part of extending the longevity of your rug and maintaining its rich color palette. You can rely on us to do an analysis of your rug to understand the materials it is made of and determine the best approach to cleaning it while preserving its integrity and avoiding color bleeding.
Also visit the Cleburne Chamber of Commerce and the Joshua Area Chamber.
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