Whenever you purchase a rug, you're adding a little flavor to the room. Whether it's warmth, color, texture, or the pattern, it's amazing how something as simple as a rug can change the landscape of a room for every season. However, they do need to be cleaned, which is why we wanted to give you a few tips today.
The best way to take care of your rug is by determining the size, material, and construction.
We've put together several helpful hints that will help anyone with a common rug. On some occasions you might own a unique rug that needs special attention, so be sure to check the guidelines.
Staying with the Basics
#1 Storing Your Rug- Anytime you have to put a rug away for a certain period of time, make sure you have it professional cleaned before wrapping it up. It will help you avoid damage. Oh, and make sure the storage area is climate controlled.
#2 Care Tags- It's important to keep your care tag intact when you it's time to get it cleaned. If you don't, it will wear away and you won't remember how to keep it looking new.
#3 Larger Rugs- If you own a huge rug, you probably need to give it special attention. Most people call these wall-to-wall carpet as well.
#4 Smaller Rugs- The biggest problem with small rugs is that they're difficult to vacuum. You'll have to go old school here and shake them outside. Try to do it so you can't see any dirt or dust. If your city doesn't allow this, then hang it outside on a clothesline or outdoor furniture, then beat it with a broom.
#5 Dry Cleaning- Even though this is an option, be sure to check the care label. Sometimes you won't be able to do it, and if you do there will be nothing but damage done to it when you pick the rug up. Then again, some rugs have a "dry-clean only" portion on their care tag. Just make sure you do it with the right rug, or it will bleed.
#6 Washing- The easy way out is to put the smaller rugs in the wash. Keep in mind that if you don't keep it on delicate, the fringe could end up getting tangled. In order to combat this you'll want to wrap them with white string. When you're finished, put it in a mesh laundry bag and wash in cold water.
#7 Drying Wet Rugs- In order to do this appropriately, you have to hang these. Some options can be anything from a clothes drying rack to a picnic table, but there are several other places you can let it dry. If you try to hang it on a single clothesline you'll end up distorting the shape of the rug. You also need to make sure if you use a counter or worktable that they're protected with towels or drop cloths, and even bed sheets.
#8 Pet Issues- If you own a pet, you understand the issues of rug hair. For some reason it embeds itself, and the only way to properly get it out is by brushing the rug vigorously. If there are stains on it, use a commercialized enzymatic cleaner, which will also help with the odor.
Unique Cases- Sisal, Oriental, Fur, Braided
If by chance you own one of these styles, then you're going to have to learn a little more about the material composition. It will give you a better idea about the right type of care.
Woven and Braided Styles
One of the biggest things you need to do when dealing with woven and braided rugs, is check for stitching breaks. If the small rugs can be washed, then it will tell you on the label. Just remember that if it is, you will need to place it in a mesh laundry bag, or zippered pillow case. Simply wash in cool water on a gentle cycle, and continually rinse. When you place it in the drying be sure to put it on the lowest setting.
If you own a larger rug, put it on a concrete floor with an old blanket under it. Take out a new sponge and carpet cleaning foam, then rub it in accordingly. Let it sit for the specified time, then rinse and vacuum it accordingly. It will have to dry as well before putting it back.
Unless your oriental rugs are antiques or delicate vintages, simply vacuum them. However, if they are delicate make sure you read over the following guidelines to help you along the way.
Special Vacuuming- If you take a piece of nylon screen and place it over the rug, add a few books or bricks to the corners. Then take out the vacuum and do it over the screen. This way you can still remove the dirt, but at the same time you don't have to worry about the rug being damaged.
Stains- If you run into a stain problem, make sure you clean it up immediately. Club soda is your best bet for wine and other beverages, but if you have food stains, use baking soda. The most intelligent thing to do is consult an Oriental rug dealer. They will have a full list of various food stains, and give you the appropriate tips on how to clean them without damaging the rug.
Rotate Your Rug- Just as you're supposed to do on a vehicle, it's important to rotate a rug on the floor throughout the year. This way there will be even wear and the shape of your rug isn't transformed. Then of course you need to keep them away from extreme sun exposure.
Rugs Made from Coir and Sisal
When you come across these types of rugs, they will have an open weave. This allows dirt to get to the floor underneath them. Make sure you vacuum regularly, because using water will weaken the fibers. If you have to clean a stain, DO IT FAST! It will extend the overall life of your rug.
Vacuum- In order to vacuum the rug, you'll have to remove it from the floor. The best thing to do is take it outside and gently hit is with a broom. If you can loosen the dirt that is trapped, then it will be easier to clean it. Oh, and since most of them are reversible, be sure to flip it over from time to time.
Cleaning Stains- In order to make sure you don't damage the floor beneath the rug, place a drop cloth underneath the area where you need to clean the stain. If you own a small rug, bring it to your kitchen counter top. Then all you have to do is scrub it with a soft brush dipped in soapy water. However, when you rinse it be sure to use clear water. Once this is complete, blot the area and make it as dry as possible, then bring out a portable fan to finish it off.
Saving Sisal- Most of the time when you own a Sisal rug, the squares are made to be sewn together. The easiest way to fix it without worrying about damage is to purchase a few extra squares. Then again, make sure you know how to hand-stitch, or find someone who can do it for you.
Sheepskin and Fur Rugs
Last but not least, you can use talcum powder to clean up these two rug styles. Unfortunately you'll have to leave it on for several hours before being able to take it back off. Just brush it into the affected area, then shake it out. Keep doing this depending on the length of the fur. You'll also want to wipe off the back with a cotton cloth and lukewarm, soapy water. Then all you have left to do is rinse it with a cloth in clean water and let it dry.