Picture this: your family has just gotten brand new puppy and everybody loves him, but all of a sudden he starts making a mess on your oriental rug. What do you do? Listen as Sam Presnell of the Rug Gallery gives advice on how you can protect your oriental rug from pet damage.
John Maher: Welcome to the Rug Gallery with Sam Presnell. The Rug Gallery is an oriental rug company and carpet store in Cincinnati, Ohio. I'm John Maher, and I'm here with the owner of the Rug Gallery, Sam Presnell. Hi, Sam.
Sam Presnell: Hi, John.
What kind of damage can pets do to an oriental rug?
John: Sam, today we're talking about how to protect your oriental rug from pets. What kind of damage can pets do to an oriental rug?
Sam: It's one of my favorite things. I always say that a dog is not man's best friend, he's the rug man's best friend because we get a lot of work from pets, and mostly dogs I would say, not so much cats per se. Most of the time it's dogs and they, like anything, you got to train them. If you got a puppy, a lot of them have bad behavior with going on the carpets or whatever. Sometimes they get excited and, of course, stuff happens. Sometimes they get sick, all kinds of things. A dog can, and cats too, they can do some serious damage to a rug where you get a stain on there and, also, make color bleed. All kinds of different things happen that could really ruin a rug.
How can you prevent pets from damaging an oriental rug on the floor of your home?
John: Right. How can you prevent pets from damaging an oriental rug that's on the floor of your home?
Sam: I always say the best thing to do is to be diligent and then, if you see something get it right away. The best thing to fix a problem from a pet usually is speed, just getting quickly and doing something about what's happened. If it sits there for a long period of time or you don't even see it and then you find it later, that's when you really have serious damage. It's irreparable and usually, sometimes, cannot be corrected. Preventing your pet from going on your carpet or your rug or whatever, I don't know, that's something -behavior school- I don't know what to--
John: Some training would probably do it, but if you have a rug on your home the pets are naturally going to want to go to and lay down on them. Obviously, you don't want them peeing or pooping on the rug. That's the worst scenario but there's probably not much you can do in terms of them just laying down and getting all that hair in there and that kind of thing.
Sam: The hair is not a problem- that sweeps right off. But a lot of times with pets, there is not much you can do about them, it just happens. If you have a new puppy and they're not house trained, roll up the rug. Give it some time. If you get a new rug in the house make sure you stick with your pet for a while and make sure they get acclimated to the rug because a lot of times dogs like to mark stuff. If it's new and they don't recognize their scent or your scent sometimes they'll do it just out of territory type stuff. You’ve got to be very careful about that and I think that's, probably, about the best advice I can really give for you, other than just keep your eye on them when you've got a nice rug and they're in that room that they're not acting funny. A lot of times dogs get sick too. Things can happen.
What is the best way to clean pet messes from an oriental rug?
John: If a dog, or even a cat, does make a mess on an oriental rug, what's the best way to go about cleaning it?
Sam: If it’s a wet type of stain, the best thing to do is blot it up as quick as possible. Get some paper towels, white paper towels, nothing with dyes on it or whatever. Same thing if you had fabrics or towels or whatever, just blot it up, just step on it, get as much as you can out of it as soon as possible. Then, just take some cold water, basically, and just dump it on there and again blot it up. Don't rub it, scrub it, just more of a wetting and blotting, Just diluting it and trying to get it to the top. Some people use club soda. I recommend it because the fizz makes the urine rise and go to the top where it can be supped up and blotted way.
When would an oriental rug need repairing after pet damage?
John: Okay. Then, say, a pet did damage the rug, maybe a cat or a dog scratched at it or something like that and made some marks, is there anything that can be done to repair that type of damage from a rug?
Sam: Yes, you can, but most of the time if it's an oriental rug there is no-- If it's not a loop pile, the carpet or rug, they're not going to be able to break the pile. You could take their nails whatever or you take a key to that carpet. If it's a pop carpet there's nothing to grab onto it, there's nothing to break so they're not really going to do-- A lot of times they like to make a little nest and things like that. Sometimes they can mess the direction of the pile up, where it's going, all different ways. You can steam that out or mist it down and brush it back to the way the grains running and make it look better, but most of the time they really can't do much with scratching and things like that.
Cats, dogs, especially cats, they love to scratch so I don't mind them scratching my oriental rugs. I hate for them to scratch my berber or my loop pile. That's where really they do damage.
Are there any situations on which a rug cannot be cleaned or repaired after pet damage?
John: Are there situations where a rug can't be cleaned or repaired after pet damage?
Sam: Yes. There are instances of that. It's not common but, yes, we do have instances where it's been in a long long time or it's been repeated on so many times and it just becomes like hard as a rock, and it becomes like a big massive tumor on that rug, almost, where you really can't do anything with the fiber. The fiber starts breaking down and basically self-destructs.
John: The main thing, I guess that I'm hearing from you, is just diligence. Making sure, especially if you have a new dog or a new cat, just make sure that they're not doing anything on the carpet and maybe keeping them out of the room temporarily or rolling up that carpet, getting it out of the way. If the pet does make a mess on that carpet, time is of the essence and just trying to get that stain up as quickly as possible.
Sam: Yes, and then if you get something that you can't get rid of, definitely call an expert. There's lots of rug cleaners around that are quite adapted to helping you with getting that stuff removed and fixed.
John: All right. That's great advice, Sam. Thanks again for speaking with me today.
Sam: Alright John, my pleasure always.
John: For more information about Sam, The Rug Gallery, and oriental rugs and carpets, visit ruggallerycincy.com. That's rug gallery C-I-N-C-Y.com or call 513-793-9505. Make sure you catch the latest episodes by subscribing to this podcast on iTunes and if you could take the time to give us a review on iTunes as well, we would appreciate that. See you next time on The Rug Gallery.