All About Rug Bleeding

Aug 1, 2023 | Area Rug Cleaning

various area rugs rolled up
Oriental rugs are valuable and unique pieces that add character and beauty to your home. However, their intricate patterns and delicate colors make them prone to damage during the cleaning process. Incorrect cleaning methods or stain removal can cause the colors of your rug to bleed together, ruining its appearance and value. This phenomenon, also known as dye migration, can transform a beautiful area rug into a muddled mess if not addressed correctly. Whether it’s an antique Oriental rug or a modern synthetic piece, rug bleeding can affect any type. Learn how to prevent rug bleeding and properly care for your rugs with help from CJ’s Chem-Dry.

Why Rug Bleeding Occurs 

Rug bleeding, or dye migration, can be caused by several factors. One common cause is improper cleaning. If a rug isn’t cleaned properly, the dyes can bleed and mix together, changing the colors and patterns of the rug. Other factors include:

  • Natural dyes that are not colorfast. Oriental rugs made with traditional methods often use natural fibers and pigments, and the dyes used may not be colorfast. Water-soluble dyes are particularly prone to bleeding during cleaning, and certain cleaning methods like flooding can cause major problems.
  • Damaging cleaning methods. Dry cleaning and steam cleaning are not suitable for oriental rugs and can leave behind a residue that causes dyes to bleed and damage the rug.
  • Application of excessive dye. If too much dye is used to color the rug, excess dye may wash out during the first few cleaning cycles and contaminate surrounding areas if not stabilized or protected.
  • Exposure to alkaline substances or high heat during cleaning. Even if the dyes in the rug are colorfast or have been stabilized, they can still react and cause bleeding when exposed to high heat or alkaline substances often used in cleaning or stain removal processes. Fading is also a risk with such exposure.
  • Pet accidents. Corrosive substances like pet urine can cause dyes to bleed before or during cleaning if not promptly and appropriately removed.

Color bleeding and fading of your oriental rug can be avoided if you take the necessary precautions. Here are some tips from our oriental rug cleaners to minimize the risk of color bleeding and fading:

  • Keep your rug out of direct sunlight. UV rays can disintegrate the bonds that hold dyes to the fibers in your rug, causing fading. Avoid placing your rug in direct sunlight and use other methods to dry it if it becomes wet.
  • Clean up accidents right away. To prevent staining and bleeding, absorb as much liquid as possible with white paper towels or a white cloth. Then call a professional oriental rug cleaner to carefully remove the rest of the stain. Avoid using store-bought stain removers, as they may bleach your rug, cause color bleeding, or damage the delicate fibers.
  • Schedule regular rug cleaning appointments. To extend the lifespan of your rug and maintain its rich color palette, schedule a yearly cleaning with our professional team. We’ll do an analysis of your rug to determine the best cleaning approach that preserves its integrity and avoid color bleeding.

If you’re looking for a team of rug cleaning experts in Andover who will respect your rug and keep it in its best shape, give CJ’s Chem-Dry a call at (763) 862-7862 today! 

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