How to care for your area rugs

Purchasing an area rug is an investment. However, with proper care maintenance, it can last more than a decade. Regardless of the type of rug you choose, regular care is required in order to prolong both its life and its appearance. This is due in part to the fact that these rugs can quickly fill with dry soil which, along with environmental pollutants and spills can damage the fibers of rugs and reduce their attractiveness.

A regular maintenance program will not only extend the life and the original appearance of your area rugs, it will also help to keep it clean and looking new. It is a good idea to vacuum area rugs a minimum of twice each week or as often as you vacuum your carpet or sweep your hard floors. This helps to eliminate the dirt and grime that can ruin the rug. Remember to take care when vacuuming both the fringe and edging. You will also need to Brush out any hair as a vacuum tends to leave hair behind, especially pet hair. It is best to use a stiff brush and brush in the direction of the nap of the rug.

You may also want to instill a no-shoes policy in your home so that less dirt gets into your rugs in the first place. When vacuuming, be sure to use a machine with a proper filter and be sure to empty the canister often. This will allow you to keep more dirt and allergens from escaping into the air.

Regardless of whether you own synthetic or wool rugs, if you need to clean a spill it is best to blot. Do not rub the area with the stain as this will only push it into the fibers. Instead, cover the area with a clean towel or a thick pad of paper towels. Then, press down with the heel of your hand and repeat using dry towels until all of the liquid has been absorbed. You can also use a small amount of dish soap if needed. Mist or blot until the stain comes out.

Another thing to remember when it comes to handmade rugs or any other type of rugs is that they should be turned once or twice a year. This is important because foot traffic and sunlight can put extra stress on them which could cause out one side of the rug to wear out before the other. Also, if you have smaller rugs, it does not hurt to take them outside and shake them, at least once a month to remove dirt, grime, and grit.

Finally, be sure to have a professional come out at least once a year to clean your rugs, carpets, and furniture. The machines that you can rent from big box stores are not recommended as you could end up leaving water or cleaner behind. This can cause the rug to get dirtier faster or to grow mold or mildew. In fact, the safest, easiest, and most effective deep-cleaning solution for area rugs is to have them rolled up and taken away for cleaning.


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