How to care and maintain your area rugs
Area Rug Care
Vacuuming: Regularly vacuuming with a good quality vacuum cleaner is one of the most important steps you can take to maintain the quality of your area rug.
- Vacuum frequently with a canister vacuum (we prefer vacuums without beater bars). Thoroughly vacuuming helps prevents permanent damage by keeping dirt particles from getting trapped deep into your rug.
- It is essential that rugs positioned in high traffic areas of your home should be vacuumed much more frequently.
- DO NOT vacuum the fringes of your area rug and always avoid the fringes of a hand-knotted rug.
Cleaning & Removing Stains: Act quickly following a spill to keep a permanent stain from setting into your rug.
- Liquid Spills – When cleaning liquid spills use a clean white cloth and apply firm pressure around the liquid spill to absorb as much as possible. Resist the urge to rub! Rubbing a liquid spill will set the stain deeper into the rug, making it much more difficult to remove. Rubbing a spill will also increase the chances of the spill re-appearing.
- Stains – We recommend making a solution of water, white vinegar and mild detergent. Mix and gently apply just the foam that rises to the top of the solution to the stained area. Finish using a clean cloth to absorb/remove any residue.
- For harder to remove stains, professional rug cleaning is recommended.
- A Special Note on Viscose Rugs: Viscose is a one of the oldest man-made fibers, though it is not entirely “synthetic” since it is derived from cellulose. Often referred to as artificial silk, or art silk, viscose has the same soft, luxurious look and feel as silk, but at a much more affordable price. It is a popular choice for many area rug styles because it blends easily with other fibers and it takes well to dyes, especially in displaying and retaining vivid colors. For this reason, special attention is necessary in cleaning and maintaining a viscose rug, or any rug made with viscose highlights.
- Vacuuming – Regular cleaning using a carpet sweeper is recommended for 100 percent viscose rugs. High power vacuums can be too rough on viscose, but if you do use a vacuum, be sure to set it on a low power setting and disengage the beater bars or set them on a high level.
- Removing Stains – Viscose is extremely absorbent so remove stains using only a clean, damp cloth and a mild cleanser when necessary. For especially tough stains make a solution of water, white vinegar and mild detergent. Mix and gently apply just the foam that rises to the top of the solution to the stained area. Finish using a clean damp cloth to remove any residue. A small amount of fabric softener sprayed onto to the stained area will help to preserve the softness of the viscose fibers.
Shedding: Wool rugs shed as a natural consequence of how they are made; this is especially true of new wool rugs. However, this shedding will gradually diminish and can be reduced by following these simple instructions:
- Use a high-quality rug pad under your carpet to reduce surface friction that can cause excessive shedding.
- Vacuum a new wool rug 1-2 times a week for the first few weeks using a low pressure vacuum cleaner without beater bars.
- Vacuum in the direction of the pile, not against it.
- Shedding is natural and to be expected of wool rugs, however excessive shedding in high-quality wool rugs will diminish within 4 – 6 months (or less).
- Do not pull loose ends; clip them with scissors to remove.
- Some wool rugs are made using a large loop weave and these loops can come undone. Do not pull “stray” loops, always cut them back with scissors.
Flattening and Removing Creases: Packing and shipping of your rug may cause temporary creases or kinks in your new area rug or runner. These surface waves are not imperfections or damage and will gradually recede. You can assist in the process of flattening and removing creases by:
- Back-rolling or reverse rolling is the fastest and easiest way to remove creases in your area rug or hallway runner.
- These creases and waves will normally flatten-out on their own so in most cases you can simply allow ample time for your rug or runner to settle.
- Use rug protectors under the legs of heavy furniture to avoid flattening piles.
Avoid Direct Sunlight: Direct sunlight will cause the colors in your area rug to fade over time.
- Place your area rug away from direct sunlight whenever possible. The center of a room is a preferable location to reduce the risk of fading.
- Draw your curtains or lower blinds to shade your rug.
- Use protective window treatments or window coatings to block UV rays.
Indoor-Outdoor Rug Care
Indoor-outdoor rugs are made with durable synthetic materials to help them to withstand high traffic, excessive dirt and spills, and the natural elements that can cause damage. However, while indoor/outdoor rugs are constructed to be dirt and stain resistant, they still require regular maintenance to keep them looking their best.
- Know Your Rug: Every indoor-outdoor and outdoor area rug will be made from different materials or a different blend of materials. So, read the label on your rug and follow the cleaning instructions and precautions provided by the manufacturer
- Vacuuming and Sweeping: Indoor-outdoor rugs are subjected to excessive dirt, grime and foot traffic and therefore require more frequent and thorough sweeping and vacuuming than indoor rugs.
- Spill and Stain Removal: Act quickly to soak up the spill and clean any residual staining
- Blot-up the spill using a clean dry towel or paper towels. Do not rub. Rubbing will cause the stain to settle deeper into the fibers, which on indoor-outdoor carpeting can cause a stain to re-appear over the course of time.
- Sponge clean the stained area with a small amount of cold water.
- Cleaning: Periodic cleaning of the entire surface will help to maintain the appearance and extend the life of your indoor-outdoor carpet.
- Sweep, vacuum and rinse rug with a garden hose, preferably over a rail to help drain away the water.
- Dry the rug over a railing in the sunlight, making sure to turn the rug over to allow for drying on both sides.