Rug Care Tips to Avoid Severe Fading and Sun Bleaching

Published: Jun 8, 2021
Category: Area Rugs | Rug Repair
rug sun fading bleaching

With the beginning of summer comes a new risk for rug care: sun bleaching. Without careful attention, your rugs could suffer from fading and bleaching during this time of year.

You’re probably excited to see more sunshine. It can help lift your mood and help you get outside more to enjoy the fresh air. But it also threatens the longevity and beauty of your home furnishings.

Get practical rug care tips to help prevent sun bleaching and fading now that summer has begun.

What Is Sun Fading?

Fabrics and fibers of all kinds naturally fade, though some fade at different rates than others. Many factors contribute to how long it takes for a fabric to fade, including:

  • Fabric type
  • Dye type
  • Fabric color
  • Dye method
  • Location within your home
  • Light exposure

Sun is not the only cause of fading. Wear and use will also fade your rug with time. Rugs that start with lighter colors tend to see less impact from sun exposure since there is less vibrancy to fade.

Avoid Placing Rugs in Direct Sunlight

Consider the orientation of your room carefully when choosing where to place rugs. Before laying a rug down in a room, watch for a few days to see how the sun comes through your windows.

Pay special attention to the most intense sun of the day and where it hits your room during that time. This is when the sun will do the most damage to your rugs and other fabrics in the room. 

rug in sun

Avoid placing the rug in very sunny areas.

Then place your rugs in the room in such a way that they will see as little sun fade as possible.

Some rooms are more limiting than others due to size constraints or challenges in how you arrange your furniture. If your room only allows for a few select arrangements, follow the guidelines in the next tips to still protect your rugs from sun fading.

Add Curtains to the Room

Window treatments can help reduce sun fade within your home. Curtains or blinds on your windows can work wonders in improving your home’s energy efficiency while protecting your indoor fabrics, carpets and rugs.

The thicker the curtains, the better they’ll do in protecting your home from the sun. You can also get blackout shades for your windows to really ensure optimal sun protection for your indoor fabrics. 

While you want to let the sun in when you’re there to enjoy it, be sure to close up curtains or blinds before leaving your home. Or, create a strategy for covering up your windows during the most intense sun of the day. That way you still get some sun exposure when you’re at home but don’t have to worry about it doing too much harm to your rugs.

Add a Coating to Your Windows

Many newer windows come with a UV protectant coating on them to help avoid sun fading within your home. But if you aren’t ready to replace your windows, you can add window film or tint.

Be ready to pay $6 to $14 per square foot for these window treatments. But remember that you’re protecting your home’s energy efficiency while also ensuring you don’t need to buy new furniture, rugs or carpets sooner than absolutely necessary.

window tinting to protect rugs

Adding a window tint might be a good idea, not just for your rugs.

Before applying window tint, make sure your windows don’t have serious issues, like air leaking through the frame. No amount of window tint or film will fix that problem. And you don’t want to incur the expense of adding these films only to realize that you need to replace the windows anyway. 

Ultimate Window Tinting provide some great insights into ways to coat your windows and how to know if it’s time for new windows before tinting them.

Place Light-colored Rugs Near Windows

Lighter-colored rugs already have less vibrancy, so the effects of sun fade won’t be as noticeable with them. If you have a room with tons of natural light, consider using a lighter rug to avoid it from aging quickly due to harmful UV rays.

Consider simpler patterns too so that it won’t be as noticeable when details start to fade. That’s not to say you can’t have any bright rugs in your home, but be strategic in how and where you place your rugs. This will ensure the longest life for your rug.

Oriental or heirloom rugs need special protection. These rugs are difficult if not impossible to replace. That doesn’t mean you should hide them away in storage because they won’t bring any beauty to your home that way. But know that the more time they spend in the sun, the sooner you’ll need to replace them. 

Talk to Your Rug Cleaning Company About Rug Protectors

Fluorocarbon rug protectors can help add a protective layer to your rug against sun fading. However, these treatments aren’t right for every type of rug. Talk to your rug cleaning company about whether this protective layer might be right for your rug. 

You’ll get tons of great benefits from this protector, including stain and soil resistance. During your discussion with your rug cleaning experts, ask for recommendations for a good protector that is safe for your home and its residents, especially if you have pets or children.

Need some advice?

We can tell you what treatment is right for your rug.

Do Wool Rugs Fade in Sunlight?

Rugs of all types fade in the sunlight. Both wool and cotton will fade in sunlight, but these rugs can also become brittle due to repeated sunlight exposure. The best thing to do no matter the material of your rug is to prevent heavy sun exposure.

No matter what material your rug is made from, it will fade with time when placed in the sunlight.

Can You Reverse Sun Fading on Rugs?

Once a rug has faded in the sun, you do have options. Often, the rug is only faded at the tips, which means that below the rug’s surface, the vibrancy of your rug remains. Professional rug care teams might be able to clip the pile gently to reveal the fibers that have not been exposed to sun fade. 

However, once you’ve had this service on your rug, you need a strategy for how to prevent future sun fading. Your rug’s pile can only be clipped so many times before there is nothing left to it or it has become too thin.

Use the tips above to help prevent future rug fading once your rug care team has brought your rug back to life.

Here is a video of one very manual trimming method below. Do not try this at home! 🙂

Rug Care Tips in Everett, Washington

Get insights and tips from the team of experts at A Advanced Rug Care in Everett, Washington. Bring your rugs in for an assessment and cleaning. We’ll provide rug care tips and ideas for improving the life of your rug, no matter where you place it in your home.

Our rug care blog keeps you up to date on the latest tips for taking care of your home. And you’ll find timely articles based on the season to help you keep your rugs looking great.

To schedule your rug cleaning service, use our simple online booking system. You’ll get a quote for your service during booking. Or if you have questions, feel free to send us a message or call us at 425-355-4810.


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