Area rugs can work to bring everything together in a room while often adding color and warmth as well. They’re also not cheap(!) so let’s talk about how you can keep them looking fresh and lasting a long time!
First, Know the Rug You’re Working With
Be sure you can answer these questions before you begin to clean the rug: “What kind of yarn is it made of?”, “What kind of backing does it have?”, “Are there any special instructions from the manufacturer?”
Also consider how high the pile is on your rug. This is extremely useful information when going to vacuum (and make sure your vacuum can adjust to different pile heights). A high pile rug can be damaged by a vacuum on a low pile setting and the reverse won’t really allow your vacuum to clean anything.
Next, Figure Out What Your Rug Needs
We need to figure out what is providing the most wear and tear (and dirt) to the rug.
- Avoid the Sun! Limit exposure to direct sunlight to prevent fading. When the room is not in use, turn up the blinds.
- Manage Shedding. This is a problem especially for shag carpets. A couple tips here: never pull back on stray loops, but instead use scissors to cut them back to size. Also, vacuum 1-2 times a week when you first get the rug.
- Remove Pet Hair. See graphic to the right!
- Protect from the Furniture. Use protectors on feet of furniture to prevent large divots or damage to the pile. Also – clean the legs of your couch and chairs before they’re placed on the rug.
- Have High Traffic? You’re just going to have to vacuum more often. Sorry, but that’s the way it is. Once a week or more should help your rug last longer.
Need to Clean Up a Spill or Stain??
Don’t rub the stain in! Scrape up semi-solids with a spoon, blotch the stain, and vacuum as it dries. Learn more here.
Visit our tips on cleaning a full rug here: https://www.johnschemdrywhatcomcounty.com/area-rug-care/
Follow These Tips After Cleaning (and Always)
When you have a clean, good-looking rug, you need to set down a schedule. Not only do you need to vacuum a rug fairly often, but you should also schedule regular professional cleanings. It’s not just a myth that rugs that are regularly deep cleaned last longer. A professional cleaning can reverse a lot of the day-to-day damage the rug receives.
You should also regularly rotate your rug. And by ‘rotate’ we mean ‘switch out with another rug’. Yes, that’s twice as expensive, but those rugs will last at least twice as long. Consider having different rugs for different seasons! Of course, this tip is really only necessary if you have extremely high foot traffic on those rugs.