Viscose Rugs – Yes, or No?

As carpet care experts, we are sometimes asked about viscose rugs… yeah or nay? Pros and cons…? And how to care for them…?

Viscose rugs, also known as art silk or rayon rugs, have gained popularity as an affordable alternative to pricier natural fibers. These rugs are made from viscose, a semi-synthetic fiber derived from wood pulp or cotton linters (short fibers /fuzz) found around cotton seeds).  While they boast a luxurious sheen and silky feel, understanding the pros and cons of viscose rugs is important before deciding to incorporate them into your home decor.


  • Looks: One of the primary attractions of viscose rugs is their visual appeal. They mimic the luxurious look and feel of silk at a fraction of the cost, making them an excellent choice for those seeking an elegant touch to their interiors.
  • Soft Texture: Viscose rugs are known for their soft and silky texture, providing a comfortable and inviting surface for both feet and hands. This quality makes them an ideal choice for areas where comfort is a priority, such as bedrooms and living rooms.
  • Versatility: Viscose fibers can be easily dyed, allowing for a wide range of color options. This versatility helps homeowners to find a rug that complements their existing decor or serves as a focal point in the room.
  • Affordability: Compared to natural fibers like silk or wool, viscose rugs are more budget friendly. This affordability makes them an attractive choice for those looking to enhance their home decor without breaking the bank.


  • Durability Issues: Viscose rugs are not as durable as rugs made from natural fibers. They are prone to wear and tear, crushing, and matting, especially in high-traffic areas. This makes them less suitable for spaces with heavy foot traffic.
  • Moisture Sensitivity: One significant drawback of viscose rugs is their sensitivity to moisture. They can easily absorb water, leading to discoloration, warping, or mold growth. It is essential to keep them away from damp environments and avoid using them in areas prone to spills.
  • Cleaning Challenges: Cleaning viscose rugs requires extra caution. They are not as resilient to stains as other materials, and traditional cleaning methods may damage the fibers. A professional carpet cleaner experienced with viscose rugs is essential for optimal outcomes.
  • Not Eco-Friendly: While derived from natural sources, the manufacturing process of viscose involves the use of chemicals, which can have environmental implications. Additionally, the production process may not be as sustainable as some natural fibers.

The bottom line is, viscose rugs offer a cost-effective way to bring luxury and style to your home, but their susceptibility to damage and moisture requires careful consideration. Balancing their aesthetic appeal with the practical aspects of maintenance and durability is key to making an informed decision for your interior decor.

By Sharon Koehler. This article is one of a series of articles written and published on behalf of Surface Care PRO Partners.

Help! I Have Stiff Carpet

Help! I Have Stiff Carpet

We know when you first had your carpet installed, it was plush and soft. You enjoyed sitting and walking barefoot on it. Now however, it is stiff and possibly even crunchy in places. Nobody likes that. Let’s take a look at what causes stiff carpet and how to fix it.

What causes a soft carpet to become stiff and hard?

There are actually several reasons your carpet may become stiff:

  • Accumulation of dirt, residue, and debris – The buildup of dirt, debris, and residues within the carpet fibers can cause this problem. Over time, foot traffic, spills, and other contaminants can build up, creating a layer that stiffens the carpet. This accumulation can also attract more dirt, making the problem progressively worse.
  • Harsh chemicals – Harsh chemicals used to remove a spill or stain are harder to remove from the carpet and may leave behind a residue that holds onto dirt, creating the stiff carpet feel.
  • Stains – The presence of stubborn stains is another contributing factor to this issue. Spills and stains can leave behind residues that harden over time, making the affected areas feel stiff and crunchy.
  • Improper DIY cleaning methods – DIY carpet cleaners are not as powerful as professional cleaning equipment and can leave chemical residue behind that can stiffen your carpet.

The good news is, there is a fix for stiff carpet: A good, thorough deep- cleaning.

Is this a good DIY project?

Unfortunately, no, for this issue, DIY is not a good idea. These are just two of the reasons you should not DIY this project.

  • Professional equipment is much more powerful than DIY equipment and can remove much more of the dirt and cleaning agents that may be used in the cleaning process.
  • DIY equipment is not always properly maintained, not always through any fault of the company. Sometimes people return equipment that they misused or broke and don’t say anything, making it a problem for the next user, which could be you.

A thorough deep cleaning by a professional is the best answer to a stiff carpet problem. A stiff carpet can result from the accumulation of dirt, residues, and stains over time. Professional cleaning is designed to address these issues effectively. By deep cleaning the carpet fibers, removing stubborn stains, and using proper cleaning agents, professionals can bring back the softness and flexibility of your carpet, enhancing its overall look and feel.

By Sharon Koehler. This article is one of a series of articles written and published on behalf of Surface Care PRO Partners.

Pet Stains on Carpet

We love our pets, dogs, cats, ferrets, birds, etc. They bring us laughter and joy. They console us when we are sad and stay by our sides when we are sick. Unfortunately, they can’t talk to us and tell us what they need. So, sometimes, accidents occur.

Pet urine stains and odors on carpets can be a common challenge for pet owners. Whether you have a new puppy still in the process of house training or an older pet with occasional accidents, it’s essential to address urine stains promptly to prevent long-term damage and lingering smells.

One of the primary concerns with pet urine is that it can seep into the carpet fibers and, if not properly treated, can lead to permanent staining and unpleasant odors. Here are some effective steps to tackle pet urine stains and smells on carpets:

  1. Act Quickly: The sooner you address a pet urine accident, the better. Blot the urine with paper towels or a clean cloth to absorb as much liquid as possible. Avoid rubbing the stain, as it can push the urine deeper into the carpet.
  2. Apply the Cleaning Solution: Enzymatic pet stain cleaners are excellent for pet stains and odors. These cleaners contain bacteria and enzymes that break down the components of urine, effectively eliminating both stains and odors.
  3. Finish with Baking Soda: Once the area is mostly dry, sprinkle baking soda over the stain. Baking soda not only helps absorb remaining moisture but also neutralizes odors. Leave it on the carpet for several hours or overnight.
  4. Vacuum the Area: After the baking soda has had time to work its magic, vacuum the treated area thoroughly. This will help remove the baking soda along with any remaining odor.
  5. Professional Cleaning: For stubborn stains or persistent odors, professional carpet cleaning services may be necessary. Professional cleaners have the expertise and equipment to deep clean carpets and remove tough stains.
  6. Preventive Measures: To avoid future incidents, make sure your pet has regular bathroom breaks and is properly trained. Use pet-friendly deterrent sprays to discourage repeat accidents in specific areas.

Dealing with pet urine stains and odors on carpets requires quick action and the right cleaning techniques. By following these steps and maintaining preventive measures, you can keep your carpets clean and free from the lingering effects of pet accidents. For more information, see our Carpet Care Guide.

By Sharon Koehler. This article is one of a series of articles written and published on behalf of Surface Care PRO Partners.

Protecting Your Carpet

Protecting your carpet throughout the year is essential to ensure it remains clean and pristine despite increased foot traffic, holiday decorations, pets, weather, and potential spills that happen as the year passes. Birthday parties, graduations, monsoon weather events, wet, dirty pets and various other events can have a damaging effect on your carpet. Here are various tips to safeguard your carpet and maintain its quality throughout the year.

  • Strategic Rug Placement: Utilize rugs or runners in high-traffic areas to act as a protective layer for your carpet. Placing rugs in entryways, hallways, and areas prone to heavy use can prevent direct contact with shoes and potential stains.
  • Shoe-Free Home Policy: Implement a shoe-free policy to minimize the amount of dirt, moisture, and debris tracked onto your carpet. Provide a designated area for shoes near the entrance to encourage guests to remove their footwear.
  • Regular Vacuuming: Increase the frequency of vacuuming prior to and during  gatherings and other events to remove dirt, crumbs, and other debris. Regular vacuuming helps prevent these particles from embedding deep into the carpet fibers.
  • Immediate Stain Treatment: Accidents happen, especially during gatherings and events. Have a stain removal plan in place and address spills immediately. Blot stains with a clean cloth or paper towel without rubbing, as rubbing can push the stain further into the carpet.
  • Protective Furniture Pads: Place felt or plastic pads under furniture legs to prevent them from damaging or crushing the carpet fibers. This will also make it easier to move furniture when rearranging rooms for seating and/or decorating.
  • Cautious Decoration Installation: Be careful when installing event or holiday decorations to avoid causing damage to the carpet. Utilize non-damaging methods like hooks or clips that won’t tear or pull at the carpet fibers.
  • Limit Food and Drink in Carpeted Areas: To prevent accidental spills, establish designated eating areas away from carpeted spaces. Use trays or tablecloths to contain crumbs and spills, minimizing the risk of them reaching the carpet.
  • Regular Professional Cleaning: Consider scheduling a professional carpet cleaning before and after any planned gathering. This deep cleaning can remove embedded dirt, stains, and refresh the carpet’s appearance.
  • Pet Precautions: If you have pets, be mindful of their presence and the potential for accidents. Keep pet-specific stain removers readily available to tackle any accidents promptly. Refer to immediate stain treatment if they track in any mud or debris.
  • Preventative Measures: Consider applying carpet protectants or sealants, which can create a barrier against stains and make cleaning up spills easier.
  • Inform Guests: Make your guests aware of your carpet care guidelines, especially if you have specific instructions regarding shoes, food and drink areas, or any other precautions they should take.

By implementing these measures, you can significantly reduce the wear and tear on your carpet during the events of the year. Proper care and maintenance will help preserve your carpet’s quality and appearance, ensuring it remains a beautiful and inviting part of your home, even during the busiest times that life brings.

By Sharon Koehler. This article is one of a series of articles written and published on behalf of Surface Care PRO Partners.

About Natural Fiber Hemp Rugs

From time to time we are asked if we clean hemp rugs, or our customers will ask our opinion of hemp rugs vs other, more traditional types of natural fiber material. Do they hold up well? Are they easily maintained? Are they eco-friendly… etc. Here’s our take on hemp rugs…

Yes, we do clean all types of rugs, including hemp. Here is a little insight into hemp rugs, vs other more traditional types of fibers: Most of the time, when people think about natural fiber rugs, they think about wool or cotton. Maybe even sisal or jute, but very seldom do we think about hemp as a natural fiber rug. However, as it turns out, hemp can be and is made into rugs.

The biggest problem hemp has is people’s assumptions that hemp plants and Cannabis (aka marijuana plants) are one and the same, but they aren’t. What they are is 2 different varieties of the same plant species. (Like a housecat and a tiger or a Great Dane and a Dachshund).

There are several real differences between the plants themselves:

  • Hemp – Tall sturdy stalks with little to no flowering buds.
  • Cannabis – Shorter, bushier plants with an abundance of flowering buds.
  • Hemp – Very low THC content (.03% or less).
  • Cannabis – Higher THC content (can be upwards of 30%).
  • Hemp – Hemp has many commercial uses such as rope, paper, fabric, and biofuels.
  • Cannabis – Grown strictly for medicinal and recreational reasons.

As noted, hemp has many commercial and industrial uses, one of which is rugs. Like other natural fiber rugs, they have their good and bad points:

Pros of hemp rugs:

  • Durability – Hemp fibers are known for their durability, making hemp rugs robust and long-lasting. They can withstand high traffic areas without wearing out quickly, making them a great choice for homes or offices.
  • Hypoallergenic – Hemp rugs are hypoallergenic, making them an excellent option for individuals sensitive to allergens. They do not trap dust or harbor allergens like some other materials, enhancing indoor air quality.
  • Environment Friendly – Hemp is a highly sustainable material. It requires minimal water, no pesticides, and grows quickly, making it an eco-friendly choice for rugs. Its cultivation helps to improve soil health and can be part of a regenerative agricultural cycle.

Cons of hemp rugs:

  • Color – Hemp fibers may have natural color variations due to the plant’s organic composition. While this can add a unique aesthetic, it might not suit those seeking a uniform color or pattern.
  • Texture – While durable, hemp rugs can be rough to the touch, especially when compared to softer materials like wool or cotton. Some people might find the texture less comfortable, particularly for sitting or walking barefoot.
  • Shedding – Hemp, like some other natural fiber rug material is prone to shedding. Regular vacuuming can help keep this under control.

Hemp has found its way into various industries, including the creation of durable, eco-friendly rugs. While hemp rugs offer durability and sustainability, they might not suit everyone due to their texture, shedding, and natural variations. Understanding these pros and cons can assist in making an informed decision when considering hemp rugs for your living or working space.

By Sharon Koehler. This is one of a series of articles written and published on behalf of Surface Care PRO Partners.

Indoor-Outdoor Rugs

Indoor-outdoor rugs have become more and more popular in recent years, offering a versatile flooring solution for both indoor and outdoor spaces. These rugs are made to withstand various weather conditions while maintaining a stylish appearance. However, like any product, they come with their own set of pros and cons that you should consider before incorporating them into your home or outdoor area.

Pros of Indoor-Outdoor Rugs:

  1. Durability: One of the most significant advantages of indoor-outdoor rugs is their durability. They are typically made from synthetic materials like polypropylene or polyester, which are resistant to moisture, UV rays, and mildew. This makes them perfect for high-traffic areas, such as patios, decks, and entryways, as they can withstand heavy use and exposure to the elements.
  2. Low Maintenance: Indoor-outdoor rugs are incredibly easy to clean and maintain. They can be hosed down, swept, or even vacuumed to remove dirt, dust, and debris. Stains are also less likely to penetrate the rug’s surface, making it easier to spot clean and maintain their appearance over time. This quality makes them good for homes with small children and/or pets.
  3. Affordability: Indoor-outdoor rugs are generally more budget-friendly than traditional indoor rugs made from natural fibers like wool or silk. This affordability allows homeowners to experiment with different styles and patterns without breaking the bank or wrecking the family budget.
  4. Fade Resistance: UV-resistant materials used in indoor-outdoor rugs help prevent fading caused by prolonged sun exposure. This means that even after years of outdoor use, the rug’s colors are likely to remain vibrant and true to their original appearance.
  5. Allergy-Friendly: Unlike some traditional rugs that can trap allergens like dust mites and pet dander, indoor-outdoor rugs are typically hypoallergenic and easy to clean. This makes them an excellent choice for allergy sufferers.

Cons of Indoor-Outdoor Rugs:

    1. Texture: While indoor-outdoor rugs have come a long way in terms of style and looks, they may not offer the same plush and soft texture as traditional indoor rugs. Some people may find them less comfortable to walk or sit on for extended periods.
    2. Limited Style Options: Although the variety of patterns and designs for indoor-outdoor rugs has improved, they may not offer the same level of customization and luxury as natural fiber rugs. If you’re looking for a specific texture or pattern, you may have to compromise when choosing an indoor-outdoor option.
    3. Environmental Concerns: Most indoor-outdoor rugs are made from synthetic materials, which are not biodegradable. This raises concerns about their environmental impact, especially when they reach the end of their lifespan. However, some manufacturers are working to create more sustainable options using recycled materials.
    4. Slippage: Indoor-outdoor rugs can sometimes be prone to slipping on smooth surfaces like tile or hardwood floors. To prevent accidents, you may need to invest in rug pads or anti-slip mats.

Indoor-outdoor rugs offer several advantages, including durability, easy maintenance, and versatility, making them a practical choice for many homeowners. However, they may not be the ideal option for those seeking luxury and comfort. Ultimately, your choice will depend on your specific needs, preferences, and where you intend to use the rug.

By Sharon Koehler. This is one of a series of articles written and published on behalf of Surface Care PRO Partners.

Robotic Spot Cleaners

Technology is a wonderful thing. The things that used to take us hours, days or even weeks to do can now be done very efficiently in the blink of an eye, and in some cases, the result is even better than if we did it ourselves. Technology, along with some carpet care companies, are giving us a new way to help care for our carpets and rugs: the ROBOTIC SPOT CLEANER.

Our carpets and rugs are big investments and can be crucial to the comfort, décor and overall look of our homes or businesses. However, once stains or spots set in, the looks and longevity of your floor coverings are severely diminished. You may try to get a spot or a spill up yourself but that entails a lot of work. You must blot the spill, then you have to hit it with whatever cleaning agent is recommended to take care of that particular spill. After that, you have to blot again and hope that you got it all. Only to find out when it dries, that you didn’t get it all up and you have to do it again.

Or, you have to drag out the big bulky carpet cleaning machine that you have and try to get the spot out with that. Then you have to clean that machine before you put it away. It can be a cumbersome and involved process.

This is a situation where a robotic spot cleaner may come in handy and save you some time and effort. Robotic spot cleaners, while not brand new, are still fairly new to the market so let’s take a look at some of the pros and cons of these technological floor care robots.


  • Time-Saving: One of the most significant advantages of robotic spot cleaners is their ability to operate autonomously. Once placed on a stained area, they can work on their own, freeing up your time for other tasks. This is particularly beneficial for busy households or commercial spaces where cleaning tasks often compete with other responsibilities.
  • Convenience: Robotic spot cleaners offer unparalleled convenience. With app-based controls and remote monitoring capabilities, users can initiate and manage the cleaning process from their smartphones or other devices. This level of connectivity adds a new dimension to convenience, allowing you to control the robot even when you’re not at home.
  • Reduced Chemical Usage: By precisely targeting stains, robotic spot cleaners can minimize the use of cleaning agents. This not only saves money but also contributes to environmental sustainability by reducing chemical waste.
  • Improved Indoor Air Quality: Carpets can trap allergens, dust mites, and other particles that affect indoor air quality. Regular use of robotic spot cleaners can help alleviate these concerns by maintaining cleaner carpets and reducing potential health hazards.


  • Limited Coverage: Robotic spot cleaners are specialized devices designed for spot cleaning rather than full carpet cleaning. While they excel at targeted stain removal, they may not be suitable for large or heavily soiled areas that require deep cleaning.
  • High Initial Cost: The upfront cost of purchasing a robotic spot cleaner can be relatively high compared to traditional cleaning methods. This initial investment might deter some potential users, especially those on a tight budget.
  • Maintenance and Repairs: Like any electronic device, robotic spot cleaners require regular maintenance and occasional repairs. This can add to the overall cost of ownership.
  • Battery Life and Runtime: The cleaning efficiency of robotic spot cleaners is often tied to their battery life and runtime. If the device has a limited battery capacity, it may not be able to complete a thorough cleaning session in one go, requiring multiple cleaning cycles.
  • Lack of Deep Cleaning: While robotic spot cleaners are adept at surface-level stain removal, they may not replace the need for periodic deep cleaning of carpets. Deep cleaning is essential for maintaining the overall cleanliness and longevity of carpets.

Robotic spot cleaners for carpets offer a range of benefits, from time-saving convenience to improved indoor air quality. However, they also come with limitations such as high initial costs, limited coverage, and the need for occasional maintenance. They are not meant to take the place of professional deep cleaning services; however, carpet cleaning professionals do say that tending to and removing spots and stains from your carpets is another line of defense against dull, dirty carpets and shortened carpet life. A robotic spot cleaner may be just the weapon you need in your cleaning arsenal to help keep your carpets looking good for years to come.

By Sharon Koehler. This article is one of a series of articles written and published on behalf of Surface Care PRO Partners.

Carpet Care for Allergy Sufferers: Tips for a Healthy Home

Living with allergies can be challenging, especially when it comes to maintaining a clean and allergen-free home.

Carpets, in particular, can harbor dust mites, pet dander, pollen, and other allergens that trigger allergic reactions. However, with proper care and maintenance, carpets can still be enjoyed by allergy sufferers. In this article, we will provide valuable tips for carpet care that will help create a healthier living space for those with allergies.

10 Tips For Managing Allergens

  1. Vacuum Regularly: Regular vacuuming is crucial for minimizing allergens trapped in carpets. Use a vacuum cleaner equipped with a high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filter, as it can effectively trap microscopic allergens. Aim to vacuum at least twice a week, paying special attention to high-traffic areas and corners where allergens tend to accumulate.
  2. Practice Proper Vacuuming Techniques: Slowly move the vacuum in overlapping passes to ensure thorough coverage. Remember to vacuum both horizontally and vertically to capture allergens lodged deep within the carpet fibers. Additionally, empty and clean the vacuum canister or replace the bag regularly to prevent allergens from re-circulating.
  3. Consider Steam Cleaning: Periodically steam cleaning your carpets can help eliminate allergens and refresh the fibers. Steam cleaning uses hot water and steam to penetrate deep into the carpet, effectively killing dust mites and bacteria. However, ensure that your carpet is compatible with steam cleaning and follow the manufacturer’s guidelines to prevent damage.
  4. Use Allergen-Reducing Carpet Treatments: Explore allergen-reducing treatments available in the market. These treatments, applied to the carpet fibers, can help minimize allergen buildup and create a barrier that prevents allergens from becoming airborne. Look for products specifically designed for allergy sufferers and follow the instructions carefully.
  5. Implement a No-Shoes Policy: Shoes can track in pollen, dust, and other allergens from the outdoors. Implementing a no-shoes policy in your home can significantly reduce the number of allergens introduced to your carpets. Provide a shoe rack or designated area near the entrance for family members and guests to remove their shoes.
  6. Regularly Clean Pet Areas: Pet dander is a common allergen that can settle in carpets. If you have pets, take extra care to clean their living areas, such as pet beds or favorite spots on the carpet. Regularly wash pet bedding and vacuum the surrounding areas to minimize the presence of allergens.
  7. Invest in Allergy-Friendly Carpet: Consider replacing your current carpet with allergy-friendly options. Look for carpets labelled as hypoallergenic or low pile, as they are less likely to trap allergens. These carpets are often easier to clean and maintain, making them an excellent choice for allergy sufferers.
  8. Professional Carpet Cleaning: Periodically enlist the help of professional carpet cleaning services. Professionals have specialized equipment and expertise to deep clean carpets, extracting embedded allergens and dirt. Schedule professional cleanings at least once or twice a year, depending on the level of foot traffic and the severity of your allergies.
  9. Maintain Proper Indoor Humidity: Excess moisture can lead to mold growth, which can trigger allergies. Use a dehumidifier to maintain optimal indoor humidity levels, typically between 30% and 50%. This helps prevent mold growth in carpets and other areas of your home.
  10. Regularly Clean Air Ducts: Air ducts can accumulate dust and allergens, which eventually circulate throughout your home, settling on carpets. Have your air ducts professionally cleaned and inspected to ensure clean air circulation and minimize the introduction of allergens.

In Conclusion…

With these carpet care tips, allergy sufferers can create a healthier home environment, free from the burden of allergens. Regular vacuuming, steam cleaning, and allergen-reducing treatments will significantly reduce the allergen load in carpets. Combine these efforts with a no-shoes policy, allergy-friendly carpet choices, and professional cleanings to enjoy clean and fresh carpets while minimizing allergic reactions. By implementing these practices, you can create a comfortable and allergen-free space to thrive in.

By Sharon Koehler. This article is one of a series of articles written and published on behalf of Surface Care PRO Partners.

Washable Rugs

There has been a lot of talk lately about washable rugs. Are they good? Are they bad? Can you really wash them? Are they worth it? Can they go in a regular washing machine? How do you dry them? Here we will answer some questions and examine the pros and cons of washable rugs to learn more about them.

FAQs about washable rugs:

Does a washable rug really fit in my washing machine?

Maybe, maybe not. Most size washable rugs require at least a 4-cu ft. capacity washer. Some larger sizes even need 5 – 7 cu ft. Check the capacity of your washer. If it isn’t big enough, consider having your rug cleaned in your home by a professional.

What is the care and maintenance of washable rugs?

  • Vacuum the rug regularly in between washings.
  • Treat spills both liquid and non-liquid right away.
  • Rotate the rug periodically to prevent wear patterns.
  • Read the manufacturer’s care instructions.

Can you wash all rugs in a washing machine?

No, not all rugs are machine washable. Silk should never be put in a washing machine. Neither should wool, jute, sisal, seagrass, coir, or any rug with a rubber backing. Read the manufacturer’s instructions on how to clean your rug.

How can I dry my washable rug?

Most manufacturers recommend either air drying or drying in a dryer with low or no heat. (If the dryer is big enough). The manufacturer’s instructions will best recommend how to dry your rug.

How often should I wash my rug?

Most manufacturers recommend it every 4-6 months but read the care instructions for your particular rug.

What happens if my rug gets a stain in between washing?

If you spill something on your rug, treat the spill right away. If a stain occurs and you can’t wash the rug right away, click on the resources tab of our website and consult the Carpet and Interior Textiles care Guide.

Pros of Washable Rugs:

  • Easy to keep clean – You can (most of the time) just throw them in the washing machine and they come out clean.
  • Environmentally friendly – Some washable rugs are made from recycled polyester or some type of natural fiber.
  • Cost effectiveness – Most washable rugs are treated to be stain resistant or are created from stain resistant materials, giving them a long-life span and the need to be replaced less often.
  • Allergy friendly – Most of these rugs are low pile, so they don’t hold dirt, mites, dust, and other allergens like higher pile rugs do.
  • Versatile – Washable rugs come in a wide variety of colors, styles, and sizes.

Cons of Washable Rugs:

  • Durability – Washing can cause wear and tear on the fibers in your rug, shortening its life span over more conventional rugs.
  • Resale/Trade value – Washable rugs are often thought of as less expensive or luxurious in comparison to rugs made of wool or silk.
  • Curling or Poofing- Sometimes, after washing and drying, the edges may curl up or the seams along the side may gather and not lay flat.
  • Washer Issues – Not all washable rugs will fit in all washing machines. If you have a smaller capacity washer, or a very large rug, you may not be able to throw it in the washing machine. If it doesn’t fit in your washer or is extremely heavily soiled, calling a reputable carpet cleaning professional will solve your problems.
  • Too Lightweight – Many washable rugs are low pile and lightweight, which means they can bunch, slide, and move, creating a fall hazard. Make sure you have a pad underneath your rug.

Washable rugs, in spite of their recent notoriety, have been around for quite some time. They can be beautiful, economical, and quite a sensible option in home décor. Just be sure to do the research on the one you want to make sure it is a good fit for you and your environment.

By Sharon Koehler. This article is one of a series of articles written and published on behalf of Surface Care PRO Partners.

Robot vacuum Cleaners – Yay or Nay?

What is a robot vacuum cleaner?

A robot vacuum cleaner is a vacuum cleaner that you program to clean, instead of physically operating a machine cleaner yourself. It can be programmed to clean specific areas at certain times, or it can go from room to room. They are usually round, but some are square or D-shaped. Some will empty their own waste bins, some will not. Some will even mop your non-carpeted floor, some will not.

Let’s take a look at the PROs of robot vacuums:

Hard to reach areas – Robot vacuums can get in those hard-to-reach areas such as under beds, chairs or other furniture like tables or bookcases.

Scheduled cleaning – Since they are programable, they can be set to clean at specific times, days or in specific locations. Set it and forget it.

Location cleaning – Most, not all, but most models come with a location cleaning feature that will allow you to have it clean a certain spot or area. I.e., if someone tracks dirt or sand in or you spill something in the kitchen, you can call the cleaner to that specific location to clean it up instead of hauling out a dustpan and broom.

Time saving – Since you are not physically doing the vacuuming chore yourself, you can be doing other things while it does the cleaning.

Pet hair – if you have pets, a robot vac is a good way to keep pet hair under control in between your regular vacuuming.

Now, let’s take a look at the CONs of robot vacuums:

Cost – Even though they have been decreasing in cost lately, as more brands come onto the market, they are still pricey. A basic model can run over $200 while a top of the line, all the bells and whistles model, can easily run upward of $1,000.

Power – The motor on these vacuums is much smaller than regular vacuums, meaning they don’t have the suction power that regular upright or canister vacuums have. They won’t pick up the amount of dirt a regular vacuum can. Plus, they aren’t very good at cleaning corners. Experts recommend that even if you have a robot vac, you still need to clean with a regular vacuum from time to time.

You still must pick up – You would pick things up off the floor to use a regular vacuum. You wouldn’t vacuum over socks or coins or other objects. You still need to do this for robot vacs. Meaning, you have to remember when it is going to vacuum and where, so you can pick up anything in its path. Failing to do so could result in the vacuum getting stuck, damaged or creating a bigger mess than what you started with.

Small collection cup – these machines are small, so their debris collection cups are small as well. They need to be emptied frequently, unless of course you get a high end one that empties itself.

Noise – It’s not that they are particularly noisy. It’s that they take much longer to clean than doing the job yourself with a regular vacuum. If you are away when it cleans, then no big deal. However, if you work from home or are retired and spend a lot of time at home, you may have to listen to it for quite awhile, while you are trying to work, watch TV, read or just relax.

Robot vacuums are becoming more attainable with more brands on the market than ever before. They come with all sorts of features and attributes that make them more reliable and desirable than years past. Figure out the features you really want. Do you want self-emptying? Do you want one that mops? Do you want location cleaning? Do you want it to clean under furniture? If yes, then make sure you measure the gap under your furniture and also measure the height of the model you are considering, to make sure it will fit.

Just be sure to do the research so you can get the model that is right for you. And remember, even with a robot vacuum, you still need to use your upright or canister vac from time to time.

By Sharon Koehler. This article is one of a series of articles written and published on behalf of Surface Care PRO Partners.