Area rugs are an investment just like wall-to-wall carpeting. They require the same care and, in some cases, special attention. Here are cleaning tips:
Washing area rugs ─ If your rug is small and the label says “machine washable,” shake the rug outside first and then put it in the washing machine at the recommended temperature. Use warm water (90° to 105°) and a mild detergent. Tumble your rug dry at the lowest heat setting.
Vacuum area rugs ─ Keep your area rugs in tip top shape by vacuuming often. Here’s how to properly vacuum rugs:
Remove all furniture from the rug and vacuum to lift surface dirt.
Flip the rug over and vacuum the back of the rug.
Finally, flip the rug back over and give it one more pass on the pile side.
Area rugs with fringe require special technique. Use gentle suction and start from the center of the carpet, vacuuming toward the fringe and being careful not to catch the strands in the beater bar. Lift the carpet edge to vacuum beneath the fringe.
Professional cleaning ─ Many carpet cleaning professionals do area rug cleaning as well. But if the label says “dry clean only,” your best bet may be to roll it up and take it to a dry cleaner. Save time and aggravation by calling first to see if the cleaner does rug cleaning ─ many do not.
Just like carpets, no area rug stain proof. The key to preventing permanent stains is to act quickly when they happen!
Step One: Absorb the Spill
Blot liquids with a dry, white absorbent cloth or plain white paper towels. Continue until the area is barely damp. Scoop up semisolids, like food spills, with a spoon. Solid, dried bits can be vacuumed up. Do not scrub or use a brush because these actions can cause fraying and texture changes.
Step Two: Treat the Spot or Stain
Use a cleaning product specifically formulated for carpets or area rugs. Check your care label for recommendations. Before you treat, test any cleaner on a very small section of rug.
Rotating your rug yearly or more often will help even wear patterns and prevent uneven fading. When rugs are exposed to the sun evenly, the colors harmonize and the rug ages nicely. If parts of the rug receive too much or too little of sun, one side might fade faster than the other.