Caring for and maintaining rugs strongly influences the durability and long-term appearance of your rugs! By following these basic rules of thumb, you can drastically increase the life-space of your carpets!
Another way you can care for and maintain your rugs is to vacuum them on a regular basis. Once a week is recommended - especially in the first month of owning it.
Vacuum the rug in the direction of the pile (as an example, imagine the way you stroke a dog's fur).
For heavily textured rugs (like looped or braided rugs) remove the rotating beater bar so that your vacuum does not pull the yarns loose.
Certain rugs like leather rugs or shags cannot be vacuumed. When in doubt, shake these rugs outside to loosen dirt and other particles
Rug pads are highly recommended for all rugs. Rug pads prevent rugs from sliding on the floor, helping with appearance but also longevity and premature aging. Rug pads can be easily cut to any size or shape.
Rotating the rug (180 degrees) will help prevent uneven wear and deterioration due to sunlight and foot traffic.
There are different rules of thumb for each different type of fiber used in rugs - the basics are below:
Cotton - Small rugs can be machine washed in warm water with a mild detergent. Larger rugs should be treated with a dry cleaning powder.
Sisal - Use a dry cloth to blot the stain, then use water and pure vinegar together to treat the stain. Be sure to wring out the cloth prior to applying the solution as excessive moisture is not healthy for sisal rugs.
Jute - Limit the amount of moisture used when treating a stain (never steam clean). Treat stains by dabbing a small amount of club soda or a cloth dampened with mild soap.
Wool - Shedding in wool rugs is completely normal. Vacuum wool rugs at least once a week for the first few months. Use a common wool cleaning detergent or create one with a teaspoon of neutral detergent and a teaspoon of pure white vinegar combined with a quart of warm water. Absorb as much of the liquid as possible before applying the cleaning solution.
Acrylic - Use a common cleaning detergent or create one with a teaspoon of neutral detergent and a teaspoon of pure white vinegar combined with a quart of warm water. Absorb as much of the liquid as possible before applying the cleaning solution.
Polypropylene - Polypropylene is one of the most stain resistance fibers as it resists moisture damage comparatively well. Follow wool cleaning instructions for this type of fiber.
Viscose - Avoid placing a viscose rug in a high-traffic area, as it does not take moisture and heavy foot traffic well. Professionally clean or use a spot cleaner with very little moisture.
Polyester - Polyester (like polypropylene) is one of the most stain resistant fibers as it resists moisture damage comparatively well. Follow wool cleaning instructions for this type of fiber.
Cleaning Stains and Spills
In caring for and maintaining your rugs, time is of the essence! Clean stains immediately and dry quickly with an absorbent cloth. Always work inward on the stain to prevent spreading and do not rub (especially in circles).
If cleaning and maintenance are dominant concerns, consider an indoor/outdoor rug. They are UV and mildew resistant, and can be washed down with a hose.
These basic principles of care and maintance will help you to extend the life of your rugs and keep them looking their best for as long as possible, however, when in doubt, opt for a professional cleaning service!