Area rugs are a great addition to a home, but just like most other investments, they require proper and continuous care to have a long life. By following a few simple guidelines for care and maintenance, you can ensure that your rug lasts many years.
General Care & Routine Maintenance
Knowing the material of your rug is imperative since it will determine its specialty care needs beyond the general maintenance routine. It is recommended that if you choose to remove your rugs care tag, you file it for future reference when cleaning or repairing. No matter the material of rug you choose, there are general care rules that across the board are a good first step in helping a rug have its longest life.
- Weekly or biweekly vacuuming, for most but not all rug types, is the first step in area rug care. Avoid using vacuums that have beater bars, which damage rug fibers by stretching and loosening them. For rugs with fringed edges, use a broom or carpet brush to remove excess debris instead of vacuuming since these are easily pulled and ruined by a vacuum intense sucking power.
- Rugs exposed to pet hair, high traffic, or with longer pile often need a second step after vacuuming, using a carpet sweeper, brush or rake, to eliminate the remaining dirt and scrap that was not removed.
- For short pile or outdoor rugs, a carpet sweeper or brush can be used for further cleaning, whereas, longer pile rugs should be taken to with a carpet rake.
- Make sure to remember to sweep or vacuum the area under your rug, especially with natural fiber rugs where dirt is easily able to fall through.
- If your rug is under heavy furniture, such as a couch or dining room table, make sure to place rug protectors under the legs of the furniture to lessen the chance of furniture marks.
- Indoor rugs are not built with the durability to withstand the elements in the way that outdoor rugs are. This means that you must be aware of outside elements sneaking in such as direct sunlight and humidity. Over time direct sunlight will cause colors to fade, which with a bright colored rug, could be the difference between your rug looking brand new or decades old.
- Humidity is also known to make a rug age and deteriorate at a much faster rate. With that in mind, try to keepnon outdoor rugs away from areas with excessive moisture, avoid placing plants on area rugs and make sure to clean up spills right away. These two things, along with regular rug rotation, will help with keeping rugs flat and vibrant.
Another key factor in rug maintenance is timely stain removal. The first step with any liquid stain is making sure to absorb all remaining liquid that has not yet been fully soaked up.
To do this, use a clean, non dyed cloth and press firmly to absorb. Make sure to never rub or scrub the stain as it can spread or work the spill deeper into the rug fibers. For tough non pet stains, combine cold water, white vinegar and mild detergent together to create a cleaning foam. Then apply the foam directly to the stain with a new clean cloth, let sit and finish with a damp cloth to absorb the residue. When cleaning a lighter stain or something on a synthetic or delicate rug, sponge clean with just cold water and a mild detergent to not cause further damage.
For harder to remove stains, professional rug cleaning is recommended in order to protect the integrity of your rug.