Area rugs can make a great addition to your home. Take care of them and you will have them for a long time. Unlike carpet, area rugs can be picked up off the floor to clean them and eliminates cleaning hard to reach areas.
Basic Area Rug Care
Some area rugs may require different ways to care for them, but there are ways you can care for any rug.
• Vacuum area rug. Vacuuming is a great way to care for any rug because it removes dirt and grime. Always vacuum both side of a reversible rug and avoid vacuuming the fringe of areas rugs as it can damage the rug and your vacuum cleaner. If your rug is a shag rug, turn the beater bar off so the long fibers won’t get tangled.
• Remove pet hair from area rug. While vacuuming is a good way to remove dirt and grime, it won’t always remove all the pet hair that our four-legged friends leave behind. Use a stiff brush and remove pet hair by brushing in the same direction as the nap of the rug.
• Rotate area rugs. Foot traffic can take a toll on your area rugs because it causes the fibers to wear down. Turn them at least once a year to ensure even wear and tear to prolong the life of them.
• Shake smaller area rugs. Rugs that are small enough can be taken outside and given a good shake to remove more dirt and grime.
Specialized Care for Area Rugs
• Handmade, Hand-Knotted Antique & Oriental Rugs. New Oriental rugs can be vacuumed just like any other rug, but if the rug is vintage or antique, you will need to be more careful. Place a nylon screen over the rug and weigh it down with some books before you vacuum it. You can also tie a piece of nylon mesh over the attachment of your vacuum and change it out as dirt accumulates. These rugs should be cleaned by a professional once a year for the best care. Rotate them for even wear and even sun fading. Always get all the information you can when you purchase an antique rug, so you know about the fiber content and how it was constructed.
• Coir Sisal, Rush & Grass Rugs. These rugs are constructed with an open weave that can allow dust and dirt to sift through it to the floor under it. Vacuum regularly and take the rug out to clean underneath it. These rugs should also be flipped regularly. Protect the floor under these rugs from stains with a towel or a drop cloth and clean stains with a soft brush and soapy water. Rinse with clean water and blot till dry. You can also use a hair dryer or fan to dry it completely so fibers don’t become weak.
• Fur, Sheepskin & Hair-on Hides. The first step in cleaning these rugs is to shake talcum powder on them. Leave the powder for a few hours and then brush the powder through the hair and shake. Use a clean cotton cloth dipped in clean water to clean the back of these rugs and make sure it’s completely dry before putting it back in its spot.