Rug Cleaning

IMG_3475A Step Above’s rug care staff is thoroughly trained to care for your quality rugs. We will thoroughly wash your rugs in our custom built cleaning area where they will receive a thorough cleaning process custom designed for your specific rug fiber and needs.

We offer both offsite and on-site cleaning. Taking rugs offsite to our facility allows for thorough rinsing insuring the best clean possible. Sometimes you just want them freshened up. We can do that cost effectively at your home on some fiber types provided the rug has no major staining or pet issues. You can rest assured since we offer complimentary rug care evaluations and will quote you a firm price either way.

Off-site rug cleaning is highly recommended for the maintenance of oriental and other fine quality rugs. They should not be cleaned on location like synthetic, wall-to-wall carpet for many reasons:

  • The fibers in Oriental and similar rugs differ from those found in residential and commercial carpet. They typically consist of more natural fiber such as wool, silk, cotton, and jute.
  • The backings are very different, as natural foundation yarns are found more in rugs as opposed to separate synthetic backing fabrics for carpet.
  • Woven constructions are most prevalent in area rugs, and as such are more sensitive to on-going care.
  • Cleaning technology varies due to the potential for dye migration and fiber distortion.

Initial Inspection
During our initial inspection we will determine as much as we possibly can about the type of rug and inherent characteristics and conditions that may affect cleaning.  A company representative will come to your home to transport your rugs and we can deliver them back to you.   You can also drop off and pick up your rugs at our facility.  We carefully tag the rug at this time to avoid any mix-up while the rug is in our possession.  Every rug is thoroughly pre-inspected and photo documented to determine and identify if there are pre-existing conditions, which could potentially affect the cleaning process. We will document these conditions to help determine the best method of safely yet effectively cleaning your rug. You will be contacted by our rug cleaning expert prior to and/or during cleaning to discuss your rug’s condition if any stains become problematic. Once we get your authorization to proceed, we guarantee to give you expertise and workmanship consistent with industry standards of care.

Woven rugs tend to hide substantially more dry soil than wall-to-wall carpet. Studies performed by the Eureka Company found that a 9 x 12 rug could hold as much as 87 pounds of particulate soil. We use a variety of techniques to “dust” the rug. Gently beating (like Grandma used to do), the rug from the backside with a specialized machine allows soils to sift downward and out of the pile. This is the most important step in cleaning any rug, as dry particle soil can cut the rug’s delicate fibers and cause premature wear. Following dusting, the rug’s face is vacuumed to remove fine particles left on the surface.

Dry soil removal from rug

Color fastness test and Dye locking
One of the worst situations that can occur during rug cleaning is dye migration or bleeding. Since most fine rugs are made of wool or silk which is dyed with acid dyes, dye migration is always a concern. We will perform a prolonged colorfastness test to determine which cleaning method to employ to avoid potential color migration problems while achieving the most effective cleaning results.  Problem rugs will be treated with a dye locking agent to help inhibit any bleeding problems.

Any potentially troublesome spots will be pre-treated with special products to help increase chances of removal.

Fringe Cleaning and Grooming
Often times, the fringe requires special treatment aside from the rug.  It is treated with a special fringe cleaner to maximize soil removal, and hand brushed.

The Most Important Part — Cleaning!
Our rug specialists will evaluate your rug to choose the best cleaning procedure possible for maximum soil removal based on fiber content, delicacy and colorfastness. These methods may range from very low moisture to complete submersion cleaning with heavy scrubbing to remove soiling.  Depending on the type of rug, soils will be thoroughly rinsed from your rug with extraction equipment or flushed with a specialized wand in a rug bath designed especially for rugs.

rug                Rug before Cleaning


After soil removal, the rug may be dried flat on our rug drying platform or hung to dry on our special rug tower. Inadequate or incomplete drying or wet cleaning on-location could cause prolonged drying, texture change, browning, dye migration, mold growth, dimensional change, and/or dry rot.

Grooming and Final Vacuuming
When the rug is completely dry, it is groomed with a soft bristle brush made especially for rugs. A final vacuuming will remove loose fibers and dry soil that may have surfaced during the drying process.

Application of Fabric Protection
Fluorochemical protectors resist particle soiling as well as water and oil-based stains. Application of fabric protectors can enhance the performance of your rug and help keep it cleaner longer.  Since these coatings may be worn off over time by traffic and maintenance (e.g., vacuuming), they should be reapplied after a period of use and following professional cleaning.

Post Inspection
Our rug cleaning specialist will give the rug a final inspection and release it for pick-up or delivery.  We will notify you at this time that your rug is completed and schedule a delivery time that is convenient with you.   We will wrap the rug for ease in handling and to protect it from dirt, rain, etc. during the delivery process.  It is not meant to be stored in these temporary bags.

Rug Pad
Not only will rug pads bring comfort and cushion to your rugs, but they’ll also add durability to make them last longer.  Rug pads create a safer environment by reducing trip hazards of your area rug, which also makes it easier to vacuum. Whether you need a rug pad for a hard surface or carpet, we have the selection for you.
Most rugs are not the exact size stated, for example an 8×10 may be 7’9″x9’9″. We offer a premium, non-slip rug pad that we will custom fit to your rug while it’s in our facility to ensure the rug will fit perfectly on top of the pad.