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Superior Carpet & Rug Cleaning

The Art of Oriental Rug Washing

Superior Carpet  Rug CleaningLaunched in 1985, Superior Carpet & Rug Cleaning quickly earned a reputation for quality and affordable home and commercial carpet cleaning in East Tennessee. During its 28-year history, Superior Carpet & Rug Cleaning owner, Kerry McDuffie, also earned a reputation as an innovative entrepreneur who routinely invested in new, state-of-the-art technology. These technological advances not only helped successfully differentiate Superior from its competition, but it also resulted in far superior cleaning results for its customers.

Today, as ever growing numbers of homeowners and businesses are choosing hand-crafted Oriental rugs to replace wall-to-wall carpeting, Superior Carpet & Rug Cleaning has once again demonstrated its talent for innovation. Superior has built a state-of-the-art Oriental rug washing facility that safely and affordably cleans and revitalizes your family’s Oriental rugs.

EK: There’s no question that Oriental rugs are replacing wall-to-wall carpeting in many American homes. Aside from their obvious visual differences, how do rugs and carpets differ?

Kerry: Conventional carpeting is machine made and tufted with synthetic material, although cotton and wool are sometimes used in higher end wall-to-wall carpeting. Oriental rugs, on the other hand, are created with a specific design, pattern, or motif in mind as well as color scheme.

Machine made rugs are made by mechanical means such as on a power-loom or flat bed machine. There can be hundreds of these rugs made exactly alike and therefore be mass-produced, impacting their cost and quality. Handmade rugs can’t be mass-produced. Each artisan pays individual attention to detail, color, pattern, and the motif of each piece of art they are hand-crafting. Each rug tells a story based on its origin and time in history in which it was created.

Synthetic rugs are machine manufactured using olefin (polypropolene), nylon, acrylic, rayon, and polyester. Hand-crafted rugs feature natural fibers such as cotton, wool, and silk. Synthetic rugs can often be produced with fibers that can appear to be natural fibers. The consumer can be misled in believing that these rugs are in fact hand-crafted rugs.

EK: Does the use of all-natural fibers and organic dyes in the hand-crafting of Oriental rugs require a different cleaning process than that traditionally used on conventional carpeting?

Kerry: Because of the use of natural fibers and vegetable or plant dyes, extensive care and steps must be taken in order to ensure that dyes remain stable during the entire cleaning process. Ignoring one or more steps in properly cleaning these rugs can compromise the texture, color, and integrity of the rug. Wall-to-wall carpeting can be cleaned with high heat and strong cleaning agents. In contrast, Oriental rugs are washed in deionized pure cold water with wool-safe approved solutions, thoroughly rinsed, and hung to dry in a temperature-controlled drying room.

EK: Alex Zahir, owner of AZ International, LLC Rug Gallery, whose family has hand-crafted fine Oriental rugs in his native Afghanistan for three generations, expressed his surprise at your extraordinary level of knowledge related to the Oriental rug industry. How did you gain that knowledge?

Kerry: Our company is certified by a national certification board called the IICRC. I attend classes annually to learn and keep up with the latest in rug cleaning knowledge and advancements in technology. I am also a wool-safe approved service provider. In addition, I frequently collaborate with Oriental rug specialists like Alex.

EK: Why is your level of knowledge of the rug industry important in washing these Oriental rugs, which you describe more as an art?

Kerry: You must know the construction, fiber, and dye content to correctly determine your course of action. If I have been given an expensive heirloom rug to clean that has been passed down from generation to generation, then I am required to handle it with the utmost respect and care that the customer deserves. Some people think that rugs are just rugs, when actually they are art that is designed as a floor covering. People who purchase these rugs invest a great deal of time and money in choosing the right design, color, size, and material that is right for their home. They deserve the specialized experience we can offer.

EK: How did your knowledge and experience in Oriental rug washing help you in the design and creation of your rug washing facility?

Kerry: After visiting several rug cleaning facilities and attending a variety of schools, I came to the conclusion that caring for Oriental and fine area rugs required more than just a carpet cleaning machine. Developing a specialized rug washing studio was needed to meet growing customer demand, to provide the high level of expertise required to care for their rugs, and to reduce the potential for damage that can result when rugs are washed by inexperienced trades people.

At Superior, we offer an 11 to 12 step process, based on the rug, to properly care for and wash a rug:

1. Thorough inspection to determine the fiber content and type of dyes
2. Agitate and dust the rug to remove dry soil
3. Test for dye migration
4. Pre-condition
5. Pre-spot
6. Agitate pre-conditioner thoroughly to loosen soil
7. Submerse in special rug bath of our exclusive pure Kinetico water
8. Extract excess water
9. Transfer rug and cart it into our temperature controlled drying room
10. Clean the fringe
11. Post-inspection and post-vacuuming
12. Roll and wrap for pick-up or delivery

Many of these steps are accomplished using proprietary pieces of equipment that we specifically designed to care for your fine Oriental rugs and that are unavailable elsewhere.

EK: Does the presence of pet stains and odors mean my Oriental rug is ruined?

Kerry: Most rugs can be safely and successfully cleaned in our state-of-the-art rug washing studio. However, the presence of pet urine or other animal accidents can compromise the dyes and degrade the fiber makeup of the rug. Based on the construction of the rug, 100% removal of urine cannot always be guaranteed, although using our proprietary process, we have had good results. So the presence of pet urine does not necessarily mean that your rug is ruined.

EK: Lest we forget, Superior Carpet & Rug Cleaning also cleans home and commercial carpets.

Kerry: We not only wash rugs, but we have mobile state-of-the-art equipment to clean your wall-to-wall carpet as well as upholstery and tile in your home or business.

EK: Kerry, how can people learn more about Superior Carpet & Rug Cleaning?

Kerry: You can find out about us by visiting our website,, email us at, call or text us at 865-680-1450, or look us up on Facebook.

EK: Any final thoughts you would like to share with our readers?

Kerry: In our 28 years of business, our company is committed to giving the highest level of quality in the industry. Hundreds of satisfied customers give testimony to that fact. “Quality plus service equals superior value… guaranteed!”

Superior Carpet & Rug Cleaning

Member of the Better Business Bureau and West Knox Chamber of Commerce

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