Rugs can be the perfect way to accent a room. People can either buy rugs for their house such as a living room rug for either looks or for purpose. Rugs offer softness where there is no carpet and a beautiful splash of color or design to an area that would otherwise be plain.
Indoor rugs take a little bit of effort to maintain, similar to carpet, but even more so. Outdoor rugs due to the different materials that they are made from have different care instructions. Runners, Rug Runners or Carpet Runners have the same care instructions to regular area rugs as explained below.
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If you are regular reader of this blog, you would already be aware that I was a professional rug cleaner. If you are new to this blog, my background has been, 9 years in a rug cleaning business. If you want to know more about me, head over to my ‘Who’s The RugCritic’ page. The reason why I am saying this is because for 9+ years I have specialized in rug and carpet cleaning. Over 9+ years, the #1 question or ‘Christine please help’ that I get is, “What are the best rug and carpet cleaning products around?”.
The products I use (I’ve been using them for years) get out the most toughest of stains and odors (especially from children and pets).
If I was negligent and didn’t care, I could refer you to your local store to buy any old commercially available rug cleaner, because some do actually work. But, I’ve been in rug cleaning for way to many years and I know what rug cleaning products are made from and they aren’t very healthy for you to use nor are they healthy for your children and pets to be sitting on the rugs/carpets that have had harsh chemicals on them.
I am a mother and I have a family with pets and also a husband that fell ill. I ONLY recommend products that I have personally used and that are 100% safe to use around your family (including babies) and pets.
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Basic Rug Care
The usual basic care for an area rug isn’t very complicated at all, but you do need to give your rugs some care every year. The easiest way to care for any of the indoor rugs that you may have such as kitchen rugs, living room rugs, bedroom rugs, kids rugs, nursery rugs or even bathroom rugs is to simply, vacuum them. No matter how cheap your rug is or how expensive it is or even if it is a large rug, regular vacuuming is a must to keep the rug in top condition. Vacuuming your rugs at least once a week is manageable depending on what area of the house it sits, but twice a week is optimal.
Vacuum the rug just as you would regular carpet unless it is otherwise stated by the manufacturer. If you have pets that shed a lot of hair, you may need to brush the hair out of the carpet because vacuums leave a lot of hair behind.
Another thing you can do to care for your rug is to take it outside and beat it. Hitting the rug with a stick or banging it out can get dust and dirt out of the rug pretty effectively. Be careful if you have allergies or if it’s banned in your area. This is usually more effective if you have small rug as shaking out a big heavy rug probably wouldn’t go over so well.
A way to prevent excess wear and tear on your rug is to rotate it once a year, at least. If part of the rug is getting walked on more than another part, putting the sides in and out of rotation can prevent the rug from wearing out so quickly.
Spills and stains are a part of life, especially if you have kids or pets. However, in most cases there is no reason to throw out a rug because something gets on it, you can remove the stains and clean the rug pretty easily in most cases. The key to removing the stains efficiently is time. The sooner you start working on the spill and spot clean the area, the easier it will be to remove, because the stain will not have had time to set into the rug materials. Different kinds of materials and fabrics require different types of care. Below each type of rug and the methods needed to care for them have be explained. *Keeping the care tags on the rugs will make this process even easier*
The best way to clean fur rugs such as sheepskin rugs, shag rugs, cowhide rugs or any other hairy rug for that matter is to use talc powder on the rug and leave it on for several hours.
Make sure the powder is brushed through the fur or hair of the rug. You can then shake it out and repeat as needed depending on the length of the fur or hair on the rug. To clean the back or skin of the rug, dip a cotton ball in soapy water and wipe the area clean. Make sure the rug is dry before putting it back in its place. This rug care method can also be used for other fur style rugs including flokati rugs or shaggy rugs.
Handmade, Oriental or Hand Knotted Rugs
You can vacuum handmade rugs but proceed with caution as you need to be a little extra careful. By this, I mean, for these types of rugs, using a vacuum straight onto the rug can damage it by pulling out the materials directly from the carpet.
A good cleaning tip is to place a piece of nylon screen on top of the rug and weighing it down before you vacuum, then vacuum from on top of the nylon screen, this way the dirt will stick to the nylon and the vacuum will not directly damage the rug. These rugs need to be professionally cleaned once a year. As handmade rugs tend to have a larger price tag, it is also a good idea to find out as much about the rug as possible from the maker or seller and ask for instructions on how to properly care for it. The above care instructions can also apply to Persian Rugs, Surya Rugs, Safavieh Rugs and Jaipur Rugs.
Woven or Braided Rugs
Before you begin to clean the rug, always check for rips or tears. Check again once you have finished. If the label says that you can launder the rug, place it in a zippered pillow case or mesh laundry bag and wash it gently in cold water.
You can tumble dry any woven or braided rug on low and lay it out on a blanket or a towel to complete the process. If the rug cannot be put in the machine, using approved carpet cleaner foam, wiping the area clean and vacuuming it up is an acceptable method. This method can also be used for Jute Rugs.
Wool, Coir, Sisal, Rush and Grass Rugs
Wool, Coir, Sisal, Rush and Grass Rugs are made of natural fibers and materials and are generally easy to care for.
These types of rugs, especially wool rugs, because they are so thick and voluminous, tend to accumulate dirt very easily. Therefore vacuuming regularly is a very good idea to keep the rug from building up dirt and grime over time. As well as vacuuming the upside of the rug, ensure you vacuum underneath it.
These rugs are commonly reversible, if it is, flip it every time you vacuum to reduce wear and tear on one side of the rug. When stained, pick the rug up and move to a table or other surface to clean, placing a towel underneath, scrub with a soapy brush or rag and then place a towel over top of the area. To assist in the drying process it is okay to use a fan or hair dryer on low heat.
Most stains and spills are pretty easy to get out of most fabrics, for stubborn ones a deep clean may be necessary and a professional clean is a good option to keep your rugs in optimum condition. For some rug materials you can buy a steam carpet cleaner, but always make sure that it is safe enough for use on your specific type of rug. Keeping up with preventative maintenance such as vacuuming, rotating and spot cleaning will ensure the life and beauty of your rug will last for a long time.