Six Myths About Caring for Wool Carpeting Dispelled
Contrary to reports, wool carpeting is still manufactured and sold in the United States and is invariably finding its way into upscale environments.
The reasons for wool's ongoing popularity are easy to understand. Wool has a luxurious feel that is hard for synthetics to duplicate. It can insulate rooms better than many other floor coverings can. Wool accepts a variety of dyes that become colorfast, so they often last the life of the carpet. And it offers superb resilience (the ability of the carpet fibers to return to an upright position after being walked upon).
However, there are fears and myths about cleaning wool carpets.
Myth: Wet-cleaning wool (for instance, cleaning with a carpet extractor) can damage the fibers.
Fact: Wool is hair, and like any hair it can be cleaned with water. If done properly, wet-cleaning will not damage wool carpets.
Myth: Wet-cleaning wool can cause it to shrink.
Fact: It is recommended to clean wool using cool water; also wool can be quite absorbent, so do not saturate with water
Myth: Wet-cleaning wool will cause it to turn brown.
Fact: Discoloration is likely caused by the backing on the carpet, not because of the wool fibers.
Myth: If wet-cleaning, no chemicals should be used.
Fact: Carpet cleaning chemicals can be used; they should have a neutral pH.
Myth: Bleach should never be used on wool carpeting.
Fact: This is true. Bleach can actually dissolve wool.
Myth: Wool should be allowed to air dry at its own pace.
Fact: Rapid drying is best; place air movers in strategic positions to facilitate drying.
"In fact, rapid drying is recommended when cleaning wool," says Mark Baxter, an engineer with U.S. Products. "I suggest that technicians also make an extra drying pass or two to help recover moisture and speed [the] drying."
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