We just had a rug cleaned and learned from the Rug Guy that the number of rug cleaners in San Francisco has dropped from 60 in 1940 to two today and neither of the remaining rug cleaners does the cleaning in San Francisco.
He reports that 60% of the rugs brought in for cleaning have been fouled by cat or dog piss. Clean-up requires a five minute acid bath and later use of protease. Protease is an enzyme that works by cutting the large smell proteins into smaller parts which we can’t smell. Cleaning up carpets after cats and dogs is very expensive. I wonder how much of that cost is included in the amount Americans spend on pets.
Where have all the rugs gone? Certainly a major force in their disappearance has been the arrival of synthetic carpeting. A little can be explained by wall-to-wall carpeting. But that really doesn’t explain enough. Do we let carpets get dirtier? Is the vacuum cleaner considered an effective rug cleaner or possibly we are increasingly putting more faith in vacuum cleaners.
What are the explanations for the decline in rug cleaning and rug cleaners?