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by Astrid Bullen



Certain rugs, such as those of Asian origin, can be made from anything, from silk to nylon to wool. Very special care must be taken when cleaning to prevent any possible damage. You can save money by taking these rugs to a cleaning facility. However, it might be prudent to pay the service to have your rugs cleaned on site if you have several rugs or if they are very large and heavy. 

Here are some basic tips for caring for your area rug: 

  • Rotate your rugs at least once a year to even out effects of the sun and to prevent uneven wear. Depending on traffic, the rotation may vary from six months to two years. Experts recommend turning the rugs 180 degrees. Consider swapping rugs from one room to another. This may just invigorate your décor, and it will rejuvenate the life of your carpet.

  • Avoid constant direct exposure of your rug to sunlight. 

  • Clean spills right away to avoid discoloration. 

  • Vacuum a couple of times per week to get rid of loose dirt and bring back life to the fibers. Be sure not to vacuum the loose fringe. Vacuuming is the best way to clean a rug: hanging it outside and banging it with a broom or stick will eventually ruin it.

  • Be sure to use a rug cleaning expert for professional cleaning, especially deep cleaning. Professional carpet cleaning increases the life of the carpeting and improves air quality, reducing allergies and illness.

  • Always adhere to the rug maker’s suggested cleaning methods.

  • Top quality padding used under your rug helps to guard it from dirt, wear and slippage.

As a rug buyer you must keep certain things in mind to get the service you expect from your selection: 

  • Always lay rugs or carpets on smooth surfaces.

  • Cut loose yarns or tufts even with the rest of the pile. Never pull them, as they would have escaped the shearing of the pile in the factory.

  • Have holes and tears repaired promptly and by a professional. 

  • Be aware that the first few cleanings of machine made rugs with cut pile surfaces will produce large rolls of fluff.

  • The deeper the pile the more difficult and the more important it is to clean your rug meticulously to the very roots of the tufts, or else fine grit will become entrenched and grind through the fibers at their base.

Caring for your area rug also involves keeping a coarse mat in front of the door to stop dirt from being tracked inside of the house, and shedding your shoes when you enter. Keep a shoe mat right inside the front door and have family members and guests take off their shoes before proceeding through the house. 

To reduce carpet indentations, move your furniture every so often. Dab an ice cube on the spot until the fibers bounce back. 

To save money, a lot of people interchange between do-it-yourself cleaning and professional cleaning. Beware of the three most common ways do-it-yourselfers damage carpets: 

  • Over-shampooing

  • Over-wetting

  • Failing to protect the wet carpet from furniture


Stain Removal

Dilute spills with plenty of water as soon as they take place. Next, use paper towels to blot or brush lightly from the outer edge of the spill towards the middle to avoid spreading or causing “the ring” when using solvents, especially on twist rugs and pile carpets. Test solvent on a hidden area first. Avoid rubbing the spot. Take a spoon and carefully scoop up the material if the spill is solid. Saturate, blot and brush to get rid of old, dry and stubborn stains. 

Caring For Oriental Rugs

Oriental rugs insert ageless style to nearly any space, whether heirlooms or fake antiques. True Oriental rugs are hand-woven of natural fibers and made in geographic regions that comprise the Near East, Middle East, Far East and the Balkans. Grime and grit will make your wool Oriental look dreary and gray and make the fibers wear faster. The dust particles tend to grind in and cut fibers. A complete cleaning to restore the richness of color and revive rug softness is suggested every three to six years if the rug is in a high-traffic area. 

It is because of careful handling that an Oriental rug can continue to exist for centuries in reasonably good condition. Good quality padding will protect your Oriental, especially in heavily trafficked areas; by prevent needless friction from wearing out the rug. Never vacuum against the nap of the rug, as this forces dirt back into the rug. If your rug has a loose fringe, turn it under the carpet before vacuuming. If a spill occurs, a good stain resistant treatment is spot cleaning with mild soap and cold water or club soda. Use a sheet or cloth to wrap your rug if it is to be stored for a long period of time, but do not use an airtight plastic bag. 

Handmade Oriental rugs are unpredictable. It’s always best to get advice for cleaning from the place of purchase. Leave cleaning to the pros if you’re in doubt. A good Oriental rug will last for generations if taken care of properly. 

Caring For Sisal Area Rugs

Sisal rugs and carpets are great alternatives when you are looking for selections to redecorate or give a new look to any room. Sisal is the most adaptable of natural fiber flooring materials. It holds up well under medium traffic. To avoid accelerated wear, caring for your area rug is important, you should give it a professional cleaning twice a year or more.

Caring For Navajo Rugs

When hanging your rug use a technique that does not damage the warp. A Velcro strip with an adhesive back is one method that seems to work well. If possible, turn over your rug every 90 days to expose the hidden side to fresh air. This is thought to reduce the odds of insect infestation. Always take your rug to someone skilled in cleaning either Navajo, Persian or Oriental rugs, as harsh chemicals can cause the colors to bleed and otherwise harm the integrity of your weaving.


If you are reading this page it is probably too late but you may still find the information on making the best use of your area rug and what you should look out for when choosing one, of interest.





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