Your rug can last a lifetime if cleaned properly. We suggest a professional cleaning every 1-3 years, depending on the traffic and location. We recommend professional carpet cleaners that use the hot water extraction method for most rugs. You should not dry clean your rugs, with the exception of silk rugs, and you should not use bleach. Always check to make sure that your rug cleaning service is familiar with your type of rug. Professionals should know the best way to clean your rug type, nevertheless here is some useful information that will allow you to select the correct method of cleaning for your area rug.
Oxy Cleaners- There are many oxygen cleaners on the market that are environmentally safe and work well for spot cleaning of various stains on synthetic fiber area rugs. Most of these cleaners are biodegradable and form oxygen, hydrogen peroxide and soda ash when mixed with water. Soda ash is sodium carbonate and has alkaline properties, so do not use this cleaning method on wool or silk and avoid prolonged skin contact. Carefully follow the usage and dilution guidelines for all oxygen cleaning products. Rinse the cleansed area well and be sure to test for colorfastness.
Dry Powders- We do not recommend using dry powders with plush or deep pile area rugs as the cleaning residue may be difficult to remove. For surface stains on low pile area rugs, use a dry powder to absorb dirt particles and then remove by vacuum. This is a relatively simple method that uses no water and is easy to perform without a professional. If the area rug is heavily soiled, we recommend a different procedure or using professional assistance.
Dry Foam and Absorbent Pads- Another method that uses little water is light detergent foam that is worked into the pile, then vacuum out once dry. Use care on looped area rugs that may not tolerate heavy beater bar use or other brushing.
Steam Cleaning- This method is most effective when performed by a professional, although many rug cleaning machines may be purchased or rented. The dangers of performing this method on your own are using too much detergent or water. Some cleaning agents available with rented units leave a heavier residue, so use care or the advice of a professional when choosing a product. Test the product on a small area to check for residue or a sticky feel. Do not use if a residue exists, or if in doubt about a product. Finally, do not use laundry detergents to clean your area rug to avoid possible optical brighteners.
Area Rug Stain Removal- Accidents happen! If an area rug becomes spotted or stained, work quickly. When possible, scoop up solids and blot liquids immediately after a spill occurs. Absorb as much liquid as possible with a white cloth or paper towel without scrubbing the area to prevent matting or fuzzing.
Methods of Cleaning for Various Area Rug Fibers
**The type of fiber in your area rug should be the primary consideration in selecting a cleaning method.
The majority of area rugs manufactured with synthetic fibers such as polypropylene, nylon and acrylic may be cleaned with most cleaning methods. We suggest that you follow the area rug manufacturer's recommendations when choosing a cleaning technique and follow the directions for dilution and application. Never use laundry detergent, automatic dishwasher detergent or any strong household cleaning products intended for use on woodwork, linoleum, laminate or tile.
Natural fibers- May require additional consideration before cleaning. Do not use oxygen cleaners on wool or silk.
Wool - Excessive agitation and heat should be avoided, but generally wool fibers may be cleaned with most cleaning methods. Wool should be cleaned with neutral detergents and dried quickly. Use special care around household cleaning products, as bleaches and other alkaline products such as bathroom cleaners easily damage wool.
Cotton/Rayon - Cotton and rayon are cellulose fibers and may be cleaned using all cleaning methods. To avoid shrinking and possible browning, avoid excessive drying and agitation. As with wool, take care with alkaline products.
Silk - Silk should be cleaned using a dry cleaning process. These fibers may be damaged by natural and synthetic acids (e.g. lemon juice), and sunlight. Consult a rug cleaning specialist for additional information about cleaning silk.
Sisal and Other Plant Fibers - Plant fibers such as sisal, jute, coconut (coir), ramie and hemp have characteristics similar to cotton. It is generally safe to clean these fibers with all cleaning methods. As with any fiber, dry the area rug as quickly as possible.
Caring for your Flokati Rug
General- We recommend combing your flokati rug with a wide-toothed plastic hairbrush or a simple wood or plastic garden rake to fluff it. A good shaking will also help to substantially fluff up your new rug.
Washing- Your flokati rug should be given a good shaking outdoors periodically to remove dust. Small rugs can be put in the washing machine on the gentle cycle in cold water with a mild detergent, like Woolite, and air dried out of direct sunlight to prevent distorting the color. Larger rugs, 30" x 54" and above, must be cleaned in a commercial washer (35 lbs). They can be found in many laundromats. Add mild detergent as the water is filling, then add flokati only after detergent is mixed well with the water. Lay flat to dry. If the rug looks disheveled, comb it. DO NOT: bleach, wash in hot water, place in dryer, or dry clean.
Vacuuming- Although vacuuming is NOT recommended, use the attachment suction hose if necessary. DO NOT: run the vacuum over rug with the rotating brush; the long hairs of the rug will get caught.
Storage- Use a moth repellent as flokati rugs are 100% wool.
Guide to buying and finding the best essential ice climbing tools, gear and equipment.
Several sporting goods companies have come forward to respond to the demand of the modern alpine ice climber. The surge in new technologies in this area provides ice climbers with the newest and most state-of-the-art gear on the planet. Ice climbing is one of those sports when specialized equipment and clothing are a must for both safety and survival.
As far as clothing is concerned, most ice climbers desire a body suit or set of bibs specifically for winter travel. These suits are designed to retain warmth while keeping out moisture and debris. Most of these suits are made for the articulation necessary for ice climbing. They are often reinforced at the knees and the ankles. If wearing bibs or separate snow-pants during a climb, a coat that hangs past the waist is a must. As an ice climber reaches, and stretches, the longer coats cover the midsection and ensure that the climber is not exposed to the elements.
While focusing on clothing, it is important to mention that a hat that accommodates a climbing helmet is also a necessity. Gloves with rubberized palms, designed for gripping ice tools, are the best bet for hand coverage. Gloves should always be attached with wrist straps to avoid becoming lost. An ice climber without gloves can find him/herself in a bad spot battling frostbite without this simple precaution.
Boots used by ice climbers are often designed out of synthetics such as plastic. Hard shell boots are the rule in alpine regions as they provide rigid soles for the attachment of crampons. More sophisticated models also allow for good foot rotation, necessary in "flat-footing", and still provide excellent ankle support. Lastly, gaiters, to go over top of footwear, are also a good idea. Gaiters keep the ankle free of ice, snow and debris while, at the same time, protecting bootlaces. They also provide extra warmth and make moving through deep snow more pleasant.
The tools of ice climbing are, like the clothing, highly specialized. Crampons are the mainstay of this activity. These metal spikes make it possible for the ice climber to safely traverse icy landscapes and scale vertical ice falls. Crampons attach to the climber?s boots and can easily be removed when no longer necessary. The two main types of crampons are rigid and hinged. The type chosen by the climber is based on the activity at hand. Front-pointing, a technique used in scaling vertical ice, is most easily accomplished with rigid framed crampons. These are more technical, and more expensive, than hinged crampons. Hinged crampons, however, are sufficient for moderate ice travel.
The next most important piece of gear in the ice climber?s arsenal is the ice axe. These devices are usually fitted with an adze or hammer opposite the axe?s blade. They come in many varieties; curved, reverse curved, technically curved, or straight. These tools have numerous uses from aiding in scaling ice to stopping a climber who has slipped on steep ice and is sliding out of control. Most ice axes are fitted with wrist leashes to keep the climber from loosing the device and also to facilitate in holding and swinging the axe. These leashes are bound close to the axe shaft so that they do not get caught or tangled on any other equipment while they are in use.
Ice screws are important pieces of equipment for setting rope placements. Ice screws come in several designs and, again, the type used depends on the type of climbing being attempted. Some screws are hollow, allowing for less ice fracture, while others are solid, for harder more stable ice. Some ice screws are made to be quickly placed by screwing in with an attached ratchet or other device (read: hand) and some are hammered in and "screwed" out. All are designed for removal and to be used more than once, depending on the condition of the device after the climb.
Another piece of gear for ice climbing includes the holster. Holsters for carabineers, screws and other ice tools make it easy to carry a large quantity of these items while at the same time keeping them well organized. Ropes for ice climbing are standard 10 ? 11 millimeter climbing rope. While the standard length is 50 meters (165 feet) some climbers prefer longer ropes for longer pitches. It is also worth looking into the newer, water repellent ropes that are designed to keep from freezing.
With all the gear covered, the final thing that needs protection is the eyes. It is often underestimated how quickly one can become blinded by the reflection of the sun?s rays off of freshly fallen snow. Heavily tinted and specifically designed glacier goggles are the answer to this problem. No brand is cheap, and it is worth noting that when dealing with one?s sight, think quality over price. Even temporary blindness in such extreme conditions can lead to disaster.
The fundamental tools and equipment of this alpine sport have been covered in their most basic form. It is always best to personally try on and inspect all gear prior to purchase and prior to every trip. Each climber will have unique needs and tastes. Always remember that this equipment should be used only after receiving proper instruction in its use. A little training can go a long way to make this adventurous sport enjoyable for a lifetime.
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