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What is a rug dye test and why is it vital?

Professional cleaners who specialise in luxury rugs understand that such items require care and attention before cleaning can even begin. Rug dye tests are an ideal example of a step a standard carpet cleaner might omit, but when it comes to expensive rugs, this can be a disastrous move.

Also known as a dye stability test, a rug dye test is a process which determines whether dye will bleed during cleaning resulting in loss of colour. Many luxury rugs like Persian and Oriental editions use natural vegetable dyes, which can be extremely unstable. However, a professionally conducted test will tell the cleaners exactly what approach to take to preserve the rug’s appearance.

A rug with unstable dyes will typically be subject to a pre-treatment with a dye fix, which mitigates dye loss while cleaning is carried out. In some cases, an acid solution may be employed, which can stabilise the rug’s dyes before the core cleaning processes of soaking and flushing can be performed. By using a low pH and soft water solution, it minimises any chance of colour movement.

The way rugs with unstable dyes are dried is also critical, however. Hanging wet rugs up to dry can cause dyes to move, so rugs that test as bleeders are usually dried lying flat.

Cleaning rugs with unstable dyes at home should always be discouraged, because errors as simple as using overly hot water or an improper drying environment can increase the risk of dye migration.

For expert rug washing in Essex, contact us at The Rug Cleaning Studio today.


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