Can water damaged rugs be saved?

Mrs A. Corner and her family rent a house in Fulham on Elmstone Rd where they live with their children and a very cute dog. One afternoon while their daughter was taking a bath upstairs the ceiling in the living room collapsed and made a terrible mess. The ceiling was made of lath and plaster so a lot of wood plaster debri fell down together with tens of liters of water. The furniture, one wool rug and the wood floor downstairs were all wet and dirty. Naturally the wool rug absorbed a lot of the dirty water and it was soaking wet from both sides and full of old plaster dust. Alyssa thought that her rug is unrecoverable but decided to try and talk to a professional company - quick Google search showed her that Number One Carpet Cleaning specialise in rug cleaning, has great online reviews and it's located less than a mile away from her home.

Flooded Rug2
Flooded Rug1

The Problem:

Because we are local and flexible we often go to see clients before we commit to actually doing the work. When we get the call about this accident we offer to go and see the client on the next so we can see the impact and see if we can help.As experienced and woolsafe trained technicians we know that the situation with wool and water is very delicate. Even clean water can make, what we call, water damage - a permanent yellow or orange stain while the water is drying. When we got there the rug was cleared out from debri by the client but it was soaking wet with mud.

Flooded Rug4
Flooded Rug3

The Solution:

This is when we knew there is a great chance for us to save the rug as it wasn`t dry already so the damaging process was not complete. But we needed to act now, We managed to push our next job and sacrificed lunchtime and got on with the work immediately. Because of all the dirt though there was no guarantee that we can 100% save the colours of the wool rug but it was worth the shot.

Extraction - we first used our powerful equipment to dry extract whatever was reming in the rug. We did a very thorough extraction from both sides of the rug. We managed to extract 15-20 liters of dirty water.

Cleaning - then we went on to do our regular process of cleaning - sprayed cleaning detergents on the rug so we can dissolve all dirt and bacteria or/and any fungi that has started to develop, agitated and left it for 15 minutes and after we did a thorough cleaning with hot water extraction to make sure the wool rug is 100% clean.

At this point we and the client could see that the rug is completely cleaned but one part of it - the one that was right under the ceiling hole was a bit yellow.

PH neutralization - one of the reasons for wool rugs going yellow or orange when made too wet is the high level of PH in water and cleaning products so to start reversing this damage process we needed to neutralize the PH on the wool. The way to do this is by using a specialised “acid rinse” chemical with very low PH in the solution tank of a hot water extraction machine and wash thoroughly.

Drying - as we explained in the beginning the process of drying is when the damage is most likely to happen so we needed to speed dry the rug. We did another session of dry extraction with our machine until we could not see water coming out of the rug. But that is not enough in such a situation thus we have large air movers in our vans so we use it to speed up the drying process even more. The speciality of the situation needed the rug to be dried on both sides which normally is impossible to do on the ground even with an air mover so needed to improvise. The client helps us with creative thinking and we manage to fix the rug in a way that this is possible. See the video:

Few days after that we were notified by the client that she was satisfied with the result and could not see the different colour now. She confirmed that by leaving us a great 5 stars Google Review:


When our ceiling collapsed I thought our rug was unrecoverable but Stefan and his team did a fabulous job and went above and beyond to clean our rug. I would highly recommend their services.

So when we went to pick out air mover on the next day - the rug was absolutely cleaned and very slightly yellowish in one of the corners. The client was already thrilled with the result but to make sure we have done anything possible we sprayed some debrowning solutions on it.

Cleaned rug
Cleaned rug1

In such specific situations when we can apply our extensive knowledge and experience to resolve a difficult situation the clients can see what is truly professional carpet and rug cleaning services. If a non experienced or trained carpet cleaner would attend to do such a job they could just follow their regular cleaning procedure without PH neutralization, Speed drying after service and they would have cleaned the rug but it would never get rid of the yellow colour and prevent browning.

If you have items made of delicate materials, specific cases such as this one or if you would simply like to have your items treated with care and caution - feel free to get in touch! We at NOCC have always liked a good challenge! Give us a call on 020 3632 3212, get in touch through the Contact Form or via our live chat!