FAQ’s on Rug Care

Are educational and juvenile play rugs safe for school use?

Yes, educational and juvenile play rugs supplied by G.A. Gertmenian and Sons are safe. They strictly conform to the requirements of the Consumer Safety Improvement Act of 2008, which sets specific standards for the safety of products intended for use by children. They pass the U.S. Department of Commerce flammability standard FF2-70. They are non-toxic. If they have latex on the back (almost all of them do), they are skid resistant.

Of course, if your school or district has specific regulations not mentioned here, we urge you to consult them.

What makes an outdoor rug good for outdoors?

Most important is materials that resist absorbing water. They are not subject to deterioration from soaking, or to staining, mildewing, or developing odor from dampness. Materials like jute, cotton and wool do absorb water and are not good for outdoor use. The preferred fiber for outdoors is one based on polypropylene, which does not absorb water.For true outdoor use, it is important that fibers hidden within the construction of the rug are also water resistant, just like those on the surface. This can be an added element of cost in an outdoor rug.

Another factor is that the construction of the rug should allow water to drain from the rug and air to circulate through it. Otherwise moisture is held in the rug, where it can develop mildew or odor. It is also relevant that the colors of the rug should be UV stabilized, so that the rug does not quickly fade in direct sunlight. Finally, the rug should be durable enough for the wear and tear of outdoor use.

Outdoor rugs can be used indoors. But indoor rugs will deteriorate if used outdoors.

What’s the best way to clean a rug?

Most rugs come with cleaning instructions attached, and it’s best to follow them for your rug. Regular vacuuming always helps keep a rug looking fresh. If it’s a small rug with a long pile, shaking it out might be better. For spot removal, dab the spot with cool or lukewarm water. You can also use mild, non-detergent soap with the water. Try to dab the spot so that it does not spread. Avoid soaking the rug. If you use soap, rinse enough to remove it, but without soaking. Let the rug dry before using it.

If these steps don’t solve the problem, it’s a good idea to consult a professional rug cleaner.

Some rugs can be safely washed in a machine, but many cannot. The specific instructions on your rug are the best guide. By the way, a benefit of outdoor rugs is that they can be washed simply by hosing them off.

Why do wool rugs shed?

It’s the nature of a natural product. Woolen yarn is made up of thousands of short strands which, overlapping and twisted together, make a long rope. When the yarn is cut, just by the chance of where strands overlap, many strands are cut short. At different points in time, pieces of short strands work loose. Sometimes pieces of weak strands break off. These pieces are the annoying loose bits we call shedding. Take a look at the surface of your wool rug and think about the many, many tips of cut yarn that go to make it. That’s why a wool rug can shed so much. (Loop pile rugs shed less than cut pile, because individual strands are not shortened by cutting.)

Shedding just about never gets to the point of compromising the durability of a wool rug. It can seem as though a lot of wool has come up, but it is puffed with air, not packed as it is in the rug. The appearance of quantity is deceiving.

Shedding diminishes in time. The amount of time varies from rug to rug, depending on when bits of wool come loose. Wool never stops shedding, though. It diminishes to the point you stop noticing it. Usually that takes one to three months with a new rug.

Rugs made of high quality wool tend to shed less than those of standard quality, but they are more expensive, too.

What if a rug is creased from folding?

Many new rugs have creases because they have been folded. These creases will flatten out pretty quickly when the rug is open flat on the floor.

How do you keep a rug from slipping?

If the rug has a latex back, it has built-in skid resistance. Just put it flat on the floor. If not, you can buy a pad to put under the rug and provide skid resistance. Pads can be found at rug and carpet stores, home improvement centers, and elsewhere.