Thames Carpets

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Thames Carpets


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Rug Cleaning


Stain Removal


Rug Cleaning process




Dust and soil removal


Immersion cleaning


Centrifuge water removal


Brushing and Drying




Thames Carpets have been at the forefront of antique and contemporary handmade rug cleaning since 1956. We specialise in off-site immersion cleaning, where the rug is immersed in water. Immersion rug cleaning is essential for the preservation of your rugs as it is the only effective way to clean the entirety of the rug. Dry cleaning only cleans the surface of the rug and the dirt remains sitting in the foundation, immersion rug cleaning ensures the dirt is rinsed away.

Overtime dust and dirt particles become embedded in the foundation of the rug. These particles are abrasive and if left untreated, the rugs fibres will become brittle and begin to deteriorate. Our immersion rug cleaning process ensures that the dust and dirt in the foundation is dislodged and removed. We recommend deep cleaning your rugs every 2-4 years to stay on top of detrimental dust and dirt build up.

Immersion rug cleaning will remove general dirt and dust but stains will require a targeted specialist treatment. Our years of experience have enabled us to master the art of stain removal as we have worked with every type of stain imaginable. So whatever the problem - colour run, coffee, wine, urine, ink, blood, etc, we are confident we will find the best remedy. Our expertise comes from generations of enthusiasts handing down trusted methods with proven results.

Every handmade rug is unique and requires its own personalised treatment. There is no ‘one process fits all’ in rug cleaning. These are the fundamental steps of our rug cleaning process. Factors such as cleaning equipment, soaking time, drying time, etc, are adjusted to suit each individual rug.

The rug is thoroughly assessed by our team of specialists in order to decide the most suitable treatment. We will inform you of any pre-existing conditions such as stains, moth infestation or damage, and any advised additional work.

Our beating machine removes dust and dirt trapped in the fibres of the rug. These trapped particles are difficult to break down so must be removed before rug cleaning. The machine shakes the rug to loosen the particles and a suction device vacuums the particles away.

This is an effective and gentle rug cleaning process that uses only cold water and a specially formulated shampoo. The rug is immersed in cold water and a soft mechanical brush massages the shampoo deep into the rug. This dislodges any remaining dirt in the foundation and restores the natural softness and sheen of the fibres. Immersing the rug in water enables us to thoroughly rinse away all the dust and dirt.

The mechanical brush is much gentler on the fibres than hand brushing due to its fluidity and control. The best analogy we can give is to liken it to the advantages of an electric toothbrush over a manual one.

After rug cleaning it is vital to remove the excess water from the rug in preparation for drying. If the water is not removed the rug is at risk of developing mould and colour run. Similar to a spin cycle on a washing machine, the centrifuge spins the rug and sucks out any excess water.

Every handmade rug has a pile direction. This is the direction in which the fibres of the rug run. You can easily test this by running your hand up and down the length of the rug. One way will be smooth because you are pushing the pile down in its direction, the other will have some resistance as you are pushing against its direction. After rug cleaning it is important to brush the pile in its direction to prevent pile distortion.

The rug is then hung in our dry room. We use a thermostat controlled heater and dehumidifier to keep the room at the optimum temperature to safely dry your rugs.

Our hand finishing and quality control ensures your rugs and carpets are returned in prime condition. Each item cleaned is closely inspected before being carefully wrapped and delivered back to you.