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Rug cleaning is a tricky business. Sometimes, your policy may cover the rug in transport, in case of theft, or in case of any damage due to accidents while in your care (“care, custody and control” coverage), but not if the rug bleeds or is damaged during the cleaning process. Sometimes, a policy may cover a rug when it is cleaned in the home, but not if it is cleaned in a rug cleaning facility (or vice versa). It’s important to find out your coverage before you need it. Ask your agent what is covered and what is not, so that you know which risks you are willing to take, and what you are not — or if you want to add additional coverage to your work. Usually when cleaners find out they are not insured is when they need it the most. (Continued from prior page)
not be able to prevent damaged areas from losing dye.
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Most rug dye migration disasters can be avoided by thoroughly testing the dyes of the rug before you clean it, so you know which rugs to run from. To see a video on how to properly test for potential dye problems, visit www.Cleanfax.com/DyeTest. Test with hot water or a high pH spotter. It is important if you are testing the front side of the rug that you “grin” open the fibers so you are testing the entire fiber, and not just the “tips” of the fibers. Test with your dye stabilizer or dye lock solution as directed. If your first hot water test shows migration, then you test with your stabilizing solution (acetic acid, citric acid, etc.) to see if it also migrates with this test. If there is no improvement in the transfer during the test, then you need to look more closely as to whether you have bad dyes on your hands, or perhaps ink. Test the back of the rug, too. Sometimes the bleed is not coming from the face fibers, but coming from dyed weft threads. Test the back of the rug to make sure the wefts will not bleed. You can also test the back if you are afraid of
making any unintentional marks on the front of the rug with your dye test (or if the rug is so filthy you cannot get to the dyes from the front to test them).
Walk from the bleeders With the right training, and the right solutions, it is possible to wash rugs that are “bleeders.” But if you do not feel confident in that area, it may be a better choice to seek out someone else who is. Leave it to the rug plant professionals. If your dye tests come up as troubling, most rug plants have the chemicals, tools, wash system and water removal equipment to handle the trickiest textiles. It’s always good to have a plant you can subcontract to when you know you have a bleeder on your hands, and most will extend a professional discount to you. If you do take on the risk yourself, because you feel you have the right training, solutions and tools, then at the very least send some photos to others in your network to get any additional insight before you begin. It never hurts to seek out support before your work begins, and can end up saving you from a disaster if you happen to have some knowledgeable cleaners in your circle to give you some guidance in the process. CF