How To Care For Your Area Rugs

  • How To Care For Your Area Rugs

A great area rug can transform a space. Rugs are a fantastic way to make a statement that is entirely yours, and create a cozy, lived-in space that reflects your personality without requiring a major change or large time investment. However, quality area rugs can be expensive, and keeping them well maintained is important. After all, like all great statement pieces, you want your rugs to last for a long time. With a few simple tips and tricks, you can care for your area rugs and keep them looking like new for years to come.

Why Add An Area Rug?

If you have great hardwood floors, it may seem counterintuitive to cover them up with an area rug or mat. However, area rugs are a great temporary way to totally change the look and even feel of your space. Rugs can pull together different elements of a decorating theme, giving a room an organized, intentional look that enhances your space. Area rugs can also add a pop of color or texture to a neutral room, and even reduce noise

What’s more, area rugs just feel great. Especially during the colder months, area rugs are more comfortable underfoot, and they can make your space feel cozier. A great area rug can be a luxurious statement piece, reflecting your personality and design aesthetic. 

Regular Vacuuming Prevents Problems Down The Line

As with most projects in your home, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure when it comes to caring for your area rugs. Vacuuming regularly will help to keep dirt from becoming embedded and will keep your rug looking refreshed — particularly if you’ve chosen a plush or shag rug. Vacuuming can also help to remove dust and allergens, especially if you use a HEPA-filtered vacuum. Plan to vacuum about once a week, with a higher frequency in higher-traffic areas. If you have pets, brushing pet hair and dander out of the rug before you vacuum can help to achieve a deeper clean. To help prevent odor, sprinkling baking soda on your rug and allowing it to sit for a few minutes before vacuuming can help to deodorize and freshen your carpet.

For standard pile rugs, a standard upright vacuum with a brush or beater bar will help to remove dirt, dust, and grime. For deep pile or delicate rugs, a suction-only vacuum or vacuum setting will help to prevent pilling and fuzzing, and will keep your rugs looking as tidy as the day you got them. 

Spot Clean With Care

It’s inevitable. Just when your area rugs are looking their best, something gets dropped or spilled on them. How you spot clean your rugs will depend, to some degree, on the material of the rug and the nature of the stain, but a few basic cleaning techniques will help with most situations.

First, get to stains as quickly as you can. The less time a spill sits on your area rug, the less time it has to soak into the fibers and become difficult to remove. Always blot the area with a clean, dry cloth to pick up as much of the liquid as possible. Second, remember to place a towel or rag underneath the rug before you start cleaning, to avoid moisture or cleaning solution from soaking through the rug and damaging the flooring underneath.

To tackle most stains, you can use commercially available spot treatments, although I’ve found a simple solution of vinegar, water, and dawn dish soap to be particularly effective, even on difficult or set-in stains. To prepare this eco-friendly solution, mix ¼ cup of vinegar, ¼ cup of warm water, and ¼ teaspoon of Dawn dish soap, and then spray directly on the stain or apply to a clean rag and use the rag to begin to scrub out the stain. For low-pile rugs or particularly stubborn stains, a medium-bristle brush can help to remove discoloration and staining. Whatever spot treatment you use, be sure to test it on an inconspicuous area before using, to ensure that it does not discolor or damage your carpet.

Deep Cleaning

Depending on the size and material of your rug, it may be possible to wash it in your washing machine. Approach this option with caution, however. If a rug is not colorfast, or is made of a delicate material such as wool, washing can cause damage. Check the rug’s tag or manufacturer’s instructions before attempting to wash any area rugs or mats.

For rugs that cannot be machine-washed but that are safe to shampoo, deep cleaning every 12 to 18 months can help keep your rugs maintained and in top condition. You can rent carpet cleaners from most hardware stores. However, if you’re not sure about the best way to deep clean your area rugs, a professional cleaning can ensure that your area rugs are treated with the utmost care while giving you a break.

If you don’t already have one, lay a rug pad before deep cleaning area rugs, to ensure that no dyes or damaging cleaners bleed through your carpet and onto your floors. To ensure even wear on your area rugs, make sure to rotate your rugs whenever you deep clean them. This can help to keep your rugs looking fresh and avoid high-traffic areas from developing noticeable wear patterns, keeping them lasting even longer. 

Need A Hand Keeping Your Area Rugs Looking Like New?

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Ready to make this the best summer ever? Get in touch today for your FREE service estimate! Want to swap tips with other Chicagoland cleaning lovers? Connect with our community on social media to keep the conversation going!

2022-02-23T11:45:32+00:00 February 1st, 2022|Residential Cleaning|