Some rugs, particularly those made of wool, linen, or a mix of these two fibres, can either be dry cleaned or cold water extraction cleaned. The advantage of cold water extraction is the more effective removal of spots and stains.
Cold water extraction uses water (up to 30 degrees Celsius) with Woolsafe-approved chemicals. They are added to the cleaning machine’s tank, which then injects them into the rug’s fibres. The water, along with the chemicals and all the dirt, bacteria, larvae, and allergens, is then vacuumed out of the rug’s fabric.
It’s important to note that at 30 degrees, some bacteria and allergens may be removed by the cold water extraction process, but these fabrics are likely to be damaged if a higher temperature is used, so this process is effective on specific bacteria and allergens.
Also, wool and linen rugs present particular problems:
Firstly, wool attracts moths, so there could be existing physical damage on the rug’s fabric. Such damage needs to be repaired, not cleaned. If you are familiar with such areas on the rug, please make the technician aware of them; in turn, if the technician identifies such issues on the rug, he will make you aware of them.
Secondly, there might be some colour running from the rug’s fabric, especially if it has been home-dyed. If so, the technician will do a colour fastness test before cleaning the rug to help avoid such issues.