Rugs are some of the most beautiful, useful and, let’s be honest, expensive furnishings in the home – and rug ownership requires a commitment to regular rug cleaning and care. Whether yours is a new investment or an heirloom item, you want that rug to last. To get the longest use out of your favorite textile, routine maintenance and a deep rug cleaning every so often, will add years to your rug’s life. For more about your rug’s needs, read on.
5 Rug Cleaning Tips for Your Favorite Focal Point.
1. For the best results, start your rug cleaning by shaking out the dry dust and dirt.
If your rug is small, you can just shake it outside. If it is larger, shake it then hang it off the ground and beat it (finally, a use for that old tennis racket or soft-bristled broom!). You may be surprised how much debris falls out of the fibers – not to mention how much calmer you feel after a good rug-beating.
2. Next, treat your rug to a thorough vacuuming.
Yes it’s totally obvious, but once soil has been shaken loose it is much easier to remove. Lay the rug down inside and choose your equipment with care. Stay away from vacuum cleaners with beater bars (the rotating mechanism with the hard bristles). These can damage imported, luxury or long-pile rugs. Instead, use a basic suction device. And be particularly gentle with fringe.
A regular vacuuming routine is one of the best ways to help your rugs last – you remove the contaminants and keep sharp soil particles from fraying your rug’s fibers. Don’t forget to clean the floor under your rug while you’re at it – that will prevent soil from sifting back up into your newly cleaned rug. Carpet To Go offers great vacuuming pointers.
3. Consider washing your rug.
Whoa! What does that mean? Well, it depends on the rug. Keep it simple…
- If the rug is small and is labeled “machine washable”, just follow manufacturer’s guidelines. You should be able to load the item in your washing machine on a warm, gentle setting with a mild detergent then tumble dry on low heat or air dry.
- If the rug is a natural plant fiber or fiber blend– including sisal, jute, sea grass and hemp – do NOT wash it. These rugs react badly to any liquids that come in contact with their surface. Some of these rugs respond well to dry-cleaning solvents. Others do not. Call a professional for the best advice.
- If the rug is made of 100% polypropylene, like most indoor-outdoor rugs, it can be washed outside using a gentle hose setting and mild detergent then air-dried. For more about caring for these rugs. https://plushrugs.com/blog/how-to-clean-a-polypropylene-rug/
- If yours is an heirloom piece. If it qualifies as an Oriental Rug, a Turkish Rug or a Persian Rug, or if it is labeled “dry clean only,” you will want to roll the rug up and take it to a professional cleaner. Save time and aggravation by calling first to be sure that the cleaner offers rug cleaning services. Many do not. You’ll want to find a company that specializes in rug care. Daniels Floor Care outlines the level of service you should look for in a professional rug cleaning company: https://danielsfloorcare.com/services/rug-cleaning/
4) Clean for spots or spills
The key to rug cleaning for spots or spills is to remove the excess liquid or solid and blot with a clean absorbent material before adding plain cool water or a solution of mild detergent, white vinegar and water solution to the area. Whatever you do, do not scrub, rub or over wet your rug. Just lightly rinse and blot dry. You can also use a hair dryer on a low setting to dry the area.
5) Consider calling a professional for assistance
Rug cleaning is their specialty! Professionals are trained to care for family heirlooms, antique rugs, imported items, even fussy contemporary rugs. Find a trustworthy local company with great reviews and a can-do attitude. You learn a lot about a company just by calling them for advice. If the person on the phone is courteous and takes the time to listen to your concerns, you’re off to a good start.
Every rug is unique and the folks trained in rug care are likely to get the best results.
We Live on Our Rugs
Rugs are the workhorses of our home decor. They welcome us in the front door and wait at our bedside – the last thing our feet touch at night. They offer decorative flair, bring warmth and comfort to any space and even serve as an impromptu yoga mat once in a while. As much as you value your rug, you want it to enjoy a long and happy life in your home. With regular maintenance and the help of these five rug cleaning tips, your rug will serve you and your family for years, to come.
Because any rug can be an heirloom, given love and the best of care.