Monday, September 28, 2009

Toothbrush Rugs: Don't launder, used a foaming carpet cleaner & My most elaborate "pattern rug" explained

Summer is usually the down time for toothbrush rug making... you're outside, in the garden, hiking, etc.

For years, one of the "selling points" I've used for these rugs is that you can put them in the washer.

This is true- you CAN.
Years of accumulated experience however has led me to the conclusion that this is not the best way to clean them for the following reasons:
  • It reduces their life span
  • They are hard to dry
  • Non-colorfast fabrics can bleed out and affect the other fabrics or items in the washer.
Plastic bag rugs, ones made from umbrellas and hosiery are not damaged and you don't generally have the color bleeding problem, but plastic bag rugs are the hardest to dry of all!

From now on, the only ones I'm even going to consider laundering are ones made from hosiery or similar.

Instead, I suggest the following three step process:
  1. Take the rug outside and give it a good shake. If you want to get in touch with your inner pioneer / Amish person, even hang it on a line and beat it out.
  2. Spray the rug with a foaming carpet cleaner- both sides
  3. Vacuum it up with a shop vac or a normal floor vac set to rug / carpet, again both sides.

This will clean the rug at least as well as washing it, it will last longer, and you don't have the "how do I get this thing to dry" problem.

With fall blowing in (we're under a high wind advisory today, the phrase is literally true here) I'm sure my mind will be back in this groove more often in the future.

The picture above is of my mother holding my most elaborate and successful pattern rug. I call it my "Berger rug" because I made it for Berger Park in Edgewater, the neighborhood in which we lived in Chicago.

Its an abstract / symbolic rug of Lake Michigan and its shores.

  • The blue center is the lake.
  • The tan area is the shore and the dunes in Indiana.
  • The light green on the right is the fertile farmland of the lower peninsula of Michigan.
  • The dark green on the top and left is the the wilderness of the UP of Michigan & Wisconsin.
  • I bet you can guess the final rings of blue and white- the sky.

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kicking a man already falling down by Rev Peter (Mr. Dr. Tess) List is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.
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