Your area rugs are a special part of your room design, and as such, deserve special care. With a little regular maintenance, and an understanding of the rug itself, your area rugs can provide years of enjoyment.
The first consideration in caring for your area rug is understanding what specific kind of rug it is, and what kind of care is appropriate for it. A delicate needlepoint rug under a living room coffee table will receive much lighter use than a rugged dhurri in a playroom. Likewise, the beautiful Oriental rug that defines a reading area in a master bedroom will call for slightly different care than the durable knotted hall runner near children’s rooms. But regardless of the type of area rug you own, certain steps are essential for the care of every style.
First and foremost is the area rug pad. Every area rug, even those going over carpet, should have a good quality pad underneath it. The pad will keep the area rug in place, keep the floor surface underneath the rug cleaner, and prevent any “bleed” of colors from the area rug to the floor. Area rug pads are an important safety feature as well, especially for rugs placed in high traffic areas and on hard surface floors such as wood or tile. The pad will hold the area rug in place, and help prevent slips and slides. Use only quality vinyl rug underlay from your flooring retailer as rubber, foam back, or plastic mats may discolor the floor.
A weekly vacuuming (or more often, if the rugs are in a high traffic area) will extend the life of your area rugs. A thorough vacuuming prevents dirt and soil from becoming embedded into the rug’s fibers, and helps keep the nap of the rug fresh-looking. The traditional practice of shaking small area rugs is not recommended. The stress of flapping the rug by hand to loosen dirt and dust will stress the fibers of the rug, and accelerate its wear. When vacuuming those rugs that have fringed edges, avoid the fringe while doing the body of the rug. Then set your vacuum on the rug, and pull it towards you over the fringe. This should avoid any tangles or damage to the fringed border, and keep those fibers dust free as well.
Should a stain or spill occur, warm water and a mild soap may be all that is needed for the cleanup. Cleaning instructions should come with new, manufactured carpets, so be certain to follow the maker’s cleaning recommendations. Older and handmade rugs are a bit trickier. If a stain occurs on one of these, test your cleaning solution (soap and water, club soda, commercial spot remover, etc.) on a small, hidden part of the rug, or on the reverse side, to make sure the dyes in the fibers will not run. Once you are certain that you will not damage the rug by spot cleaning, proceed carefully as you would with any carpet. If it seems that the solutions may damage your rug, it’s time to call a professional.
Even with good weekly vacuuming, rugs will collect some dust and dirt over time, so a professional cleaning should be done at least every two years. In-home steam cleaning companies may be able to take care of your area rugs, and reputable off-site rug cleaners (often operated in conjunction with dry cleaners) can also give your rugs a fresh, renewed look.
To reduce uneven wear from traffic and fading from natural light, rotate your rugs 180 degrees every two or three months. By turning the rug, you will distribute the actual use of the rug over its entire surface.
Following these guidelines will protect the appearance of your rugs and increase their longevity.
Call Flooring America to learn about our amazing selection of area rugs today!