In our rug cleaning shop we see all kinds of rugs from hand woven rugs that cost more than a car to machine made rugs that cost less than $100.00 and everything in between. One of the reasons people bring their rugs into our rug cleaning shop is because there is a lot of dust or sand coming out of it. This can be caused by a couple of different things and you may be surprised to learn that one of them has nothing to do with foot traffic across the rug.
So first off, this could be actual soil in the rug that needs to be removed. This can happen to rugs that are in a high traffic area, even with a good vacuuming schedule. This is due to the way a wool fiber can hold or trap soil. In the photo to the right you can see the wool fiber magnified. The ridges will hold or trap soil as a vacuum cleaner tries to pull the soil up from the bottom of the rug. This can make it almost impossible for you to remove all the dry soil out of a wool rug by just vacuuming it on the top at home. So soil will build up and when you move the rug you might see some soil under it. A rug cleaning in an oriental rug cleaning plant will be able to remove all the dry soil and return it to you clean and fresh. A rug cleaning company has specially designed equipment that will vibrate the dry soil out of the rug and this generally can not be duplicated in your home.
The other issue we see a lot is on tufted rugs that have a cloth backing glued on to them. Many times the glue they use to adhere the cloth backing onto the rug will start to degrade and a fine white powder will be left on the floor under the rug. This can happen on rugs that are brand new as well as ones that are several years old. If the rug is brand new and you see this condition occurring I suggest you take the rug back and get one without a glued on backing. This is not caused by traffic across the rug and is not dirt that is in the rug. It is just glue or adhesive that is breaking down and leaving a mess under the floor covering. It is important to note that a rug cleaning will not fix or correct this issue. We have had some success in eliminating it by removing the backing and gluing on a new backing. However, there is no guarantee that the issue will not return somewhere in the future.