Greg Turcotte grew up in the cleaning industry. He took the knowledge he had of the carpeting cleaning industry and applied it to the rug washing industry, launching Heirlook Rug Cleaning over 25 years ago! Since then, Greg has become one of the foremost experts in vintage rug cleaning around the world. He regularly hosts Rug Summits for other rug washers worldwide, teaching all aspects of what happens in a rug washing facility. He has designed revolutionary equipment and supplies for rug washers including the world’s first dual-port rug wringer centrifuge and a line of cleaning products. Heirloom Rug Cleaning is a full-service shop offering cleaning, repairs of all types and severity, as well as underlayment and fabric protection. We can also prep your rug for shipping and storage. One exciting new addition to their shop is a specialized underlay for rugs from Rug Pad Wizard that has a unique Pet Barrier that stops liquids from going all the way to the hardwood floor beneath the rug. Pet urine can be damaging to floor surfaces and the Pet Barrier prevents that. It comes with a limited lifetime warranty and can be washed just like your rug to maintain cleanliness.
CHT: If you could give a potential client just one piece of advice, what would it be?
GREG: NOT to BUY VISCOSE RUGS!! This is a plague on our industry, our environment, and the wallets of our clients. That is a huge topic all by itself. Viscose is also known as rayon, art silk, artificial silk, bamboo silk, banana silk, and so on. It is plant material that has been turned to pulp, and with many toxic chemical baths, it is spun into a yarn in a production cycle that is one of the most toxic production processes in our history! In fact, the process is banned in the US because of the health and safety risk the processes poses to employees. Viscose products are manufactured in other countries where employee safety is not a priority.
Viscose fibers are often sold as “luxury” fibers to uneducated consumers and so the demand for the product continues. Viscose fibers are some of the worst performing in the world and viscose rugs have a very short lifespan as they are stained, faded and damaged easily. Something as simple as a water spill can permanently damage a viscose carpet!
CHT: If you could have lunch with any one person in the world, who would you pick?
GREG: Jeff Bezos from Amazon. He is one of the most well-known entrepreneurs who started from very humble beginnings to being one of the richest men in the world. It would be nice to have a down-to-earth conversation about how small companies can become more efficient at what they do and become more profitable.
CHT: If you could go back 20 years, what advice would you give your younger self?
GREG: Get started earlier on the ideas in your head. Don’t wait!