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Old April 18th, 2018, 02:30 PM   #1
Eric-Zwicky
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Default Washing old rugs

Hi all,

I used to take my rugs out to the driveway and soak them with a hose, wash them with Murphy's Oil Soap and a soft bristled brush, hose them off real well, and gently scrape them with the dull edge of a 2x4 to get most of the water out, then let them dry outside for a couple days.

I haven't washed my old rugs in years, but have kept them vacuumed front and back to keep the grit and dust away. More often if they are walked on, less often if they are on a wall or seldom walked-on areas.

At the moment, I particularly want to wash an old Karabagh runner that's in decent shape, ends and all. I read somewhere about Orvus Paste being a good detergent for rugs, but before I buy some, I wanted to see what you all use. Are there detergents that will putsome lanolin back into the wool? Is that possible?

Thanks in advance,

Eric Zwicky
Richmond, VA
USA
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Old April 19th, 2018, 04:08 AM   #2
Rich Larkin
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Hi Eric,

Orvus seems to be the choice, at least it used to be. I was put onto it many years ago by an elderly dealer friend who was sort of a mentor for me. He said its principal virtue was its rinsing qualities. He said it would rinse out completely, unlike soap.

Orvus is sodium lauryl sulfate. If you check the label of any bottle of shampoo, it is likely to be the leading ingredient (along with its sidekick, sodium laureth sulfate, which sudses up more).

I used to do a lot of rug washing on the driveway on Saturdays years ago. My neighbor told me her husband commented, "Richard must have the cleanest rug in Stow. He is out there washing it every weekend." "Bob, that's not the same rug every time," she told him. "Oh," said Bob. A good guy, but not the brightest bulb on the tree.

I don't know about any method of supplementing the lanolin in the wool.

Rich
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Old April 19th, 2018, 01:36 PM   #3
Ken Shum
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With smaller rugs that can fit into a bathtub, I mixed a bit of lanolin cream into the final rince water.

For larger rugs that had to be washed on the floor, I put some into pails and poured it over the rugs. Brushed it in, waited for a few minutes, pushed out most of the water and let dry.
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Old April 20th, 2018, 01:17 AM   #4
Rich Larkin
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Ken,

Could you see a difference in the rug after that treatment?

Rich
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Old April 20th, 2018, 01:38 PM   #5
Ken Shum
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Rich,

Not really. I only used a small amount for fear that it would make the rug too 'greasy', so the benefit was probably more psychological than anything.

Ken

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Ken,

Could you see a difference in the rug after that treatment?

Rich
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Old April 21st, 2018, 10:40 PM   #6
Rich Larkin
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Hi Ken,

When I was a very small kid (about the time all your antique rugs were semi-antique), I had a case of very dry skin. My doc prescribed a product called "Lanum," which (if memory serves) was 'pure' lanolin. It came in a large squarish jar (not unlike the one Orvus comes in), and it was extremely viscous. In fact, it was my standard of measure for that word for many years. It was shiny and greasy, translucent to opaque, and on the yellowish side of off-white. Applying it to my skin was a job for Mama, or some other able-bodied adult, as it was not especially workable.

I don't know whether 'pure' lanolin is available in other forms, but with that description in mind, what can you tell us about the lanolin cream you used. Do you recall the additional ingredients, if any?

Rich
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Old April 23rd, 2018, 01:39 PM   #7
Ken Shum
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Rich,

What I used was definitely not pure lanolin. it was some kind of hand/foot hydrating cream that would disperse in water. It was years ago and I only remember seeing "With lanolin" on the label!

Ken
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Old April 23rd, 2018, 06:35 PM   #8
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Rich,

What I used was definitely not pure lanolin. it was some kind of hand/foot hydrating cream that would disperse in water. It was years ago and I only remember seeing "With lanolin" on the label!

Ken
I think I need to look for “hydrous” lanolin. I’ll see what I can come up with. The Orvus paste arrived Saturday but I am going to wait s week and see if the Central Virginia pollen subsided before I take the rug outside to wash it.
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Old April 24th, 2018, 12:03 PM   #9
Eric-Zwicky
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I think I need to look for “hydrous” lanolin. I’ll see what I can come up with. The Orvus paste arrived Saturday but I am going to wait s week and see if the Central Virginia pollen subsided before I take the rug outside to wash it.
That was me posting from my cell phone....
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