The photo contest winner this month is Frank Cabrera of Enrique’s Rug Cleaning in New Orleans. His company will receive a Visa gift card worth $250 for his successful cleaning of a smoke-damaged rug.

We picked up six still-wet rugs from an old home when we were finally allowed to remove them four weeks after a fire. These two were the worst, a 3-by-4-foot Sarouk Mir and a 16-by-25-foot Persian-design Pakistani. We washed and dried three times. The first wash, we sprayed on a high-pH restoration chemical at the weakest dilution and power washed and dried. The second wash, we dusted then pretreated with enzymes prior to immersion in our sanitizing agents. The third time, we did our normal wash procedure. Unfortunately, we didn’t get a picture of the final wash for the large rug. The “after” picture here was taken after the first wash of the smoke-damaged rug.

For an opportunity to win a gift card worth $250, send your images and a brief 100-word description on how you obtained your results to Amanda Hosey, managing editor, at, or submit via Facebook Messenger at Contest rules available by request.



The best neutralizers for alkali pH values are acetic acids, and the best neutralizer for acidic residues is ammonium hydroxide because both are volatile.

Learn more about color loss and chemical reactions at