>The Beginnings of moth damage to a Wool rug

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Eagle eyes can stop Moth damage
I have written a lot of blogs about moth damage, but it was after the larva had eaten away a lot of the wool fibers. On Saturday we picked up a large Chinese rug from the Oak Bay area that had the beginnings of moth damage. Now when you inspect the back edges of your rug you will have a better idea what to look for.

As you can see the damage is very slight, but after a few weeks the larva can eat several inches and you wouldn’t know it until you vacuumed and a hole appeared.

Whenever we find any evidence of moth larva activity we have to put your rug through our non-toxic moth treatment. The moth eggs are too small to see with the naked eye and the female moth can lay up to a hundred eggs at one time. There is no way of knowing how many eggs have hatched or how many are waiting to hatch.

Contrary to popular myth moth eggs do not go dormant for months like flea eggs. After a few weeks of not having the ideal hatching conditions they die, but again there is no way to tell if the eggs are still alive. That is why we must do our moth treatment to all rugs with any signs of moth activity. We cannot have cross contamination to our shop or another rug, plus it isn’t good business to send a rug home and have the moth larva hatch and eat the rug.

If you can catch the moth damage early enough there is no visible damage to your rug. Remember a clean rug doesn’t attract moths, so get your rug cleaned professionally every year or two, vacuum your entire rug often and check under the edges (4-6 inches) for the starting of moth activity.

If you do find moth activity call us and we will come pick up your rug and start our moth treatment right away.
250-590-6210/1-800-886-2802. Or if your rug is small you can bring it to our place on 4144 Wilkinson at Interurban.

Thanks for reading, RugloverMary

>What type of Moth eats your Wool rug in Victoria BC?

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There are two main types of moths that eat wool. Here in Victoria, BC we see the Cloths Moth. These moths leave their larva casings behind after they have turned into an adult moth. The casings look like flat pieces of rice and can be the same colour as the rug depending on what colour of wool they were eating.

The other main type of wool eating moth is the webbing moth. I have never seen evidence of the webbing moth in Victoria before this week.

This week we had 3×5 wool area rug come in from Toronto, ON Canada. The owner lives in Victoria and had it flown out here. Since I am not used to seeing the webbing moth it would have been easy for me to over look the evidence. It is a good thing that I did months of research into moths and what to look for.

On the back of this rug it looked like weird dirt, for lack of a better word. Here is what the webbing moth leaves behind as it eats a wool rug.

As much as we would like to not think about moths damaging our rugs, it does happen. Here are a few things that you can do to help prevent a moth attack on your wool area rugs.

 Thanks for reading, RugloverMary, your local rug cleaning expert, and moth hater in Victoria BC, Canada

>The Luv-A-Rug way of Rug Cleaning

>One of the most asked questions we get here at Luv-A-Rug is what we use to clean the rugs and how we clean the area rugs.

Here what we do:

  • After we do our visual inspection with you and give you the cleaning expectations and any repair recommendations your rug gets Badgered.

Badgering your rug means that we turn it upside down and vibrate the rug with our world famous Badger machine. This does what grandma did with a broom or beater over a clothesline, only we do it faster, 40,000 vibrations a minute. This is a very important first step in the cleaning process. This rids your rug of all the dry, insoluble dirt that would turn to mud if not removed first.

  • Then your area rug is tested for colour stability and shrinkage. The results of these tests determine the method and moisture level of the cleaning process.

Luv-A-Rug has every process from full submersion wash to completely dry wash. We clean your rugs with the best and safest way to get the optimal results.

It is believed that wool rugs cannot be wet washed, but they can if you do the testing and have qualified, professional staff. Our rug cleaner has been cleaning every type of rug for the last 16 years at Luv-A-Rug.

  • When your rug is getting washed it is done individually, so there is no chance of cross contamination from someone else’s dirty rug. We use safe cleaning soaps and everything is rinsed away leaving no residue.

Residue attracts dirt and we don’t want that. Your rug is washed as many times as needed until no more dirt is coming out. This is why it may take 5-7 days. Between each cleaning your rug is air dried in a temperature control environment.

  • We then do any special spot or odour treatments that is required.
  • Then it is dry cleaned. Our dry cleaning process helps bring out the sheen of your rug.
  • After that we apply our protective dirt repelling finish if you desire.

We cannot make our process any greener than we already have and it has been this way for a long long time. Wool is just like the hair on our heads and reacts to strong cleaning agents and such, so we are very careful to only use wool safe products.

Rest assured that when you entrust your area rugs to Luv-A-Rug your rugs gets the most thorough cleaning available.

Thanks for reading, RugloverMary

HELP! My Rug has changed colour after I cleaned it

When buying an area rug you have to consider the size, colour, design, checking for bad smells and fibers shedding. As if that doesn’t seem like enough I come along and write about one more thing to add to the list. This isn’t a new thing I’ve just seen, but it is the first time I have noticed it in a wool hand tufted designer area rug.

A lady brought her area rug that had an unfortunate pet accident in to Luv-A-Rug for a cleaning. She used everyday baking soda and a home steam cleaner to spot clean the affected area. After she was done cleaning it she noticed it had turned white in the area she spot cleaned, as shown in the picture below.

Now baking soda isn’t great for a wool rug to begin with, but it seemed to remove the colour way too easily.

Usually baking soda lightens only the spot where used not the whole area that was steamed cleaned. I was a bit baffled as to why the rug lightened so easily.

As I am wracking my brain for an answer for the client I separated the fibers of the rug and found the reason as to why her area rug changed colour so easily.
The picture may not show it too well

The tips of the fibers are a golden colour while the rest of the wool fiber is an off white. The other colours used in the design were the same all the way through except the white.

The reason for the is that after the rug was made someone decided that the white didn’t look right and changed it to a golden colour.

The process used is called “tea staining”, it is a good way to make a rug look antique. The manufacturer uses synthetic dyes, herbs or even tea in a wash to only dye the tips of the fibers to give the rug a warm yellow antique look.

When you are selecting an area rug check the fibers to see if the colour is uniform all the way down the fiber, especially when you are looking at a hand tufted rug (a tufted rug is a rug that has a fabric backing on it).

By checking a rug thoroughly before buying saves you money, time and the headache of finding out that your is ruined because of tea staining and improper cleaning.

Thanks for reading, RugloverMary

I should have paid more attention in Chemistry class

I wanted to title this post: Today’s Dinner Special-Annoying Cough with Scratchy Dry Throat, but I figured it should reflect something about area rug cleaning.
Back in December 2007 I took a carpet and upholstery cleaning course. I did very well considering that I don’t clean either of them. The key to getting carpet, area rugs, and furniture very clean is not more power, it is chemistry. Too many moons ago I aced Chemistry 11 and 12, I loved the periodic table and finding out how chemicals reacted together. Today I cannot remember much from those fun fill classes, but rug cleaning is bringing a little of it back.
Cleaning is all about neutralizing, bring the area rug back to a pH level between 4.5 and 8.5. I wish there was an easy way to educate and re-program our clients about spot removal. I cringe when I hear that someone used baking soda on their wool area rug. Club soda isn’t as nasty as I thought, but it does depend on the spill. I am pretty sure that people are not pH testing their spills to see if it is acidic or alkaline, be great if they did though.
Thanks for reading, RugloverMary

Rugs be Safe or You’ll be Sorry

Yesterday we had 7 lovely wool area rugs brought into Luv-A-Rug. They were unfortunately brought in by a restorations company. The owner of the area rugs went away on vacation and the fish tank over flowed, for days. Fortunately only one rug was badly damaged by colour bleeding, but they all smelled foul and the floors were a mess.
We see a lot of area rugs that didn’t have a good vacation while the owners were away and that leads me to today’s topic, house sitters.
Getting someone to either stay in your house or just to check in every day or so could save you a lot of money and stress. When you get ready to go on vacation you make sure that the mail and paper are stopped, the alarm is set, doors are locked, etc., but what about the unknowns?
The water tank exploding, fish tank overflowing, you really did leave the coffee maker on. These are things that make a “house sitter/checker” very valuable. For years I have house sat for my friends while they were away and thankfully the only major thing that has happened was a cat decided to fall into a bucket of car oil. It was quickly into a bath and onto the vet to make sure he was ok, which because of my quick actions he was.
That was something that could have had very bad results if it weren’t for a house sitter. There are professional house sitter organizations you can use as well.┬áThis blog isn’t endorsing anyone it was written to remind you about little things that add up to huge problems.
Thank you for reading, RugloverMary.

Area Rugs out of Context

Today I only have a short amount of time to write a blog because clients come first. It is nice to see area rugs going home all clean and healthy. Speaking of home have you ever wondered what a clients home looks like when you see their area rugs?
We always see the area rugs out of their element. Some area rugs make you wonder if the whole room or house is decorated around the colours or pattern of the area rug. People who love their area rugs really love their area rugs, so much so that they might even want to be buried with it. Back in ancient times royalty were buried with their most prized possessions, so the idea of being buried with your area rug it isn’t that off beat , especially if it is a wool Persian or a wool Gabbeh (my favorite).
On their own some area rugs look….um…okay, I’ll say it…ugly, but we are only seeing the area rug. Every hand-knotted area rug is beautiful once you look past the colours or pattern. I do not like some of the reds and blues that Persians are made with, but I appreciate the way the are made, or the intricate border, or the way the fringe looks. I love fringes. One day in the shop I had the pleasure of admiring three rugs all with not-the-average fringe. They were knotted uniquely, weren’t white and gave character to the area rugs. I also think that not all area rugs should have fringe, especially if it is badly stained or worn, but we are programmed to believe that all area rugs must have a fringe.
We have had rugs come into Luv-A-Rug for cleaning and we wonder why. There is no longer a wool pile on the rug or they are very tattered or stained. The reason they came into our shop was because the area rugs were rich with sentimental value. Sentimental value is the highest value there is and the biggest reason why no rug is truly ugly.
Area rugs are as individual as the people who own them and should be treated as such. That is why, in as many words as I could type in 30 minutes, we shouldn’t be so quick to call an area rug ugly. We are just seeing it out of its element.
Thanks for reading, RugloverMary