Got an area rug? If you do, then you’re like thousands of other homeowners. When clean, area rugs can look very stylish and beautify your virtually any area of your home.
However, dirty rugs can have the opposite effect. Who doesn’t want a warm, cozy and inviting home? Area rug cleaning is crucial if you want to keep your rugs looking fantastic.
The problem is that area rugs are constantly subjected to massive amounts of dirt, wear and tear. On a daily basis, they’re subjected to frequent trampling and abuse.
An area rug can trap oils, odors, mud dirt, dust and many other types of debris. They can even trap smoking and not-so-nice things from your pets.
While it’s nice that these contaminants don’t end up on your floor, you don’t want them in your area rugs, either. Fortunately, there are some simple steps that you can follow for stain removal, deep cleaning and basic care.
The basic care that an area rug needs depends on its type and size. Larger rugs should receive the same type of care that you give to your carpets. It’s important to vacuum large rugs often to eliminate dirt.
Since area rugs are basically chunks of carpeting, you should treat them as such and make sure to vacuum the dirt out of them. If your rugs happen to be reversible, then make sure to vacuum both sides.
It’s very important to remove grime and dirt because these contaminants can wear down your rugs prematurely. However, avoid vacuuming the fringe on your rugs.
Remove Pet Hair
If you’re like most other homeowners, then you probably have one or more pets. While pets make for great memories and good times, they also leave behind a wealth of hair and other unwanted debris.
A lot of vacuums have the tendency to leave pet hair behind, so they’re quite ineffective on this front. The good news is that you can use a brush to remove pet hair from your rugs.
By using a stiff brush and brushing in the direction of the rug’s nap, you can successfully remove pet hair. Another aspect of basic care involves turning your rugs each year.
Sunlight and foot traffic can stress your rugs out. To even out the amount of wear they receive, make sure to turn them at least once or twice per year.
If you have smaller rugs, you should make a point to shake them out. Take it outside and beat it up a bit. This activity is also great for relieving stress. After all – it’s better to take it out on the rug than family members!
How to Clean Special Area Rugs
There are many different types of area rugs, and some of them are special. These rugs call for specialized care and cleaning. You should always keep the labels on your rugs, or you won’t know how to properly clean them.
Braided and Woven Rugs
Before and after you’re finished cleaning, you need to make sure you check these rugs for stitching breaks. Check your labels to see if your small braided rugs are washable.
Some of them are while others aren’t. If they’re machine washable, make sure to place them in a zippered pillowcase. You can also put them inside of a mesh laundry bag.
Make sure to wash these rugs on a gentle cycle with cold water and have them rinsed thoroughly. Use a low setting on the dryer and tumble dry the rugs. To clean braided rugs, place them on concrete or vinyl flooring and dab them with commercial carpet cleaning foam.
Rub the foam into the carpets and finish with vacuuming and rinsing. Make sure to dry all rugs thoroughly before you place them back where you found them.
Cleaning Oriental, Antique, Hand-knotted And Handmade Rugs
To clean an oriental rug, you’ll want to clean it like you would a wool or carpet area rugs. Make sure to be extra careful when cleaning antique and vintage rugs because they’re very delicate.
Put a piece of nylon screen over the rugs before vacuuming them. You also have the option of attaching some nylon mesh over the vacuum hose.
All of these rugs should be professionally cleaned at least once per year. Always rotate the rugs at least once per year. Make sure they’re not exposed to direct sunlight because it will cause the coloring to fade.
Cleaning Grass, Rush, Sisal and Coir Rugs
Rugs that are made out of these materials have an open weave design, which lets dirt flow right through them, so it’s important to vacuum them regularly. You should also make sure to move and vacuum under these rugs because they let the dirt flow through them.
If you need to clean discolorations and stains from these small rugs, you can use a soft brush and soapy water to remove the stains. Make sure to rinse with some clear water. A hair dryer or fan can be used to speed up the drying.
Hair-on hides, Sheepskin and Fur Rugs
To clean these rugs, just shake some talcum powder onto them. You should thoroughly brush the talcum powder through the hair of the rugs and shake it out when you’re finished.
You can repeat this process a few times until you feel comfortable with how clean the rugs are. It might take a few times for long-haired rugs.
If you need to clean the back of these rugs, you can use a cotton cloth that has been dipped in lukewarm, soapy water. Just wipe away any spills and dirt. Use a clean cloth to rinse the rugs with clean water.
How To Deep Clean Area Rugs
While basic care and maintenance is important, there will be times when you need to deep clean your rugs. Before washing and drying smaller rugs, make sure to check the care labels on them.
You’ll need to check to find out if they should be laundered, spot-cleaned or dry-cleaned. If a rug has a dry-cleaning only label, then it might not be colorfast.
You should always do a small test on an inconspicuous part of the rug before spot cleaning. If labeling says a rug can be washed in a machine, make sure to use a delicate cycle.
A lot of rugs have long fringe. To prevent tangling, divide the fringe into multiple hanks and wrap them with some white string. It’s also a good idea to use a zippered pillowcase or laundry bag.
You should give your area rugs a deep cleaning at least once per 12 to 18 months. You can do so with commercial cleaning products but always make sure you test a small portion of the rug first.
The last thing you want to do is ruin a rug that cost you hundreds of dollars. For smaller to mid-size rugs, dry cleaning can be a great option.