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Oriental Rug Cleaning & Color Bleeding


Whether it is a few years old or several decades, an Oriental rug has intricate patterns and fine details that make it truly unique. Colors bleeding during a rug cleaning or stain removal procedure can threaten the look and value of your Oriental rugs, but with the right precautions and level of care, even antique rugs can be cleaned thoroughly and safely while preserving their unique character.

Why Oriental Rugs Bleed

Oriental rugs, especially older ones, are often made with natural fibers, dyes, and pigments. The colorfastness of the dyes and pigments will depend on the dye itself and the skill of the person applying it. Some may only coat the surface of the fiber, while others may bond permanently with the fiber. Whether the rug uses natural or synthetic fibers and dyes, color bleeding can occur, and here are some of the more common causes:

  • Non-colorfast dyes – Some natural dyes, such as red dyes, are more prone to bleeding than others, especially those that are water-soluble. Flooding or improper cleaning techniques can easily damage rugs with these dyes.
  • Excessive dye – Application techniques that use excess dying or over-dying can allow the colors to bleed with the first few washes, and damage may occur to surrounding areas without proper stabilizing or protection techniques.
  • High heat or corrosive substances – Even if a dye is stable and colorfast, excessive heat or alkalinity during cleaning or stain removal processes can cause colors to bleed or fade.
  • Pet stains – The corrosive nature of pet urine can easily cause color bleeding and damage, especially if it is not cleaned quickly. Read more on rug cleaning for pet stains here.
  • Improper cleaning – Dry cleaning, some on-premises cleaning techniques, or certain stain removal methods can cause color bleeding or damage to your rugs due to the residues that are left behind, and the effects can be cumulative.


Ways to Prevent Rug Bleeding

Here are a few ways to you can minimize color bleeding and fading in your Oriental rugs:

  • Avoid direct sunlight – Sunlight and UV radiation can break down the bonds between the dye and the fibers of the rug, leading to fading.
  • Clean spills quickly – When a spill or pet accident happens, use paper towels or absorbent rags to soak up the moisture quickly and use the least amount of cleaning solution possible, or water only, when possible.
  • Treat stains carefully – Many stain removal treatments can cause color bleeding or fading. Avoid harsh stain removal products and test them on hidden areas before cleaning large, exposed sections.
  • Avoid dry cleaning or on-premises cleaning – On-site cleaning techniques work well for carpets, but avoid harmful dry cleaning or in-home cleaning services for Oriental rugs, as they can cause damage over time.


Professional Rug Cleaning Services in Maryland

When you would like to thoroughly clean your Oriental rugs without worrying about color bleeding, fading, or damage, turn to our experts at CLEAN Choice Cleaning & Restoration. We offer professional Oriental rug cleaning services at our state-of-the-art facility, which uses the latest tools and techniques to protect the unique look and value of your heirloom rug. Our company serves customers throughout Baltimore, Annapolis, and the surrounding areas, and with over 30 years of experience, you can count on us for high-quality, professional results. We offer commercial cleaning services, carpet cleaning, area rug cleaning, disinfection services, and more.

Contact us online or call (410) 978-6050 to learn how we can make your Oriental rugs look their best. Schedule rug cleaning services with our team today!

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