Care and Cleaning For Your Rug

There is nothing quite as satisfying as decorating a happy home, a welcoming space where friends and family gather.  Over time, dirt from daily wear, spills, and pets, will leave their mark on your cherished rug. When it is time to clean your rug, it is important that you follow the proper steps to extend its life and maintain its beauty. We offer care and cleaning tips below however if these don’t satisfy your needs, we recommend contacting a professional rug cleaner.

Indoor Rugs:

Routine vacuuming is the most important step in maintaining the beauty and extending the life of your rug. Vacuum thoroughly as needed. The more frequently you vacuum, the less likely dirt will adhere to the rug’s fibers. If your rug has a fringe, do not vacuum the fringe; we recommend sweeping it.

If the size of your rug allows, take the rug outside and shake it out; this will help remove dirt and dust that has become embedded between the fibers. Another method of cleaning is to vacuum the backside of your rug.  

As a general rule, rugs should be rotated every six months to balance wear and color.

If a spill occurs, blot it dry immediately.  Do not rub. Spot clean as necessary using mild, clear dish soap and water. Do not saturate. Blot and allow to air-dry. For thorough cleaning, contact a professional rug cleaning service.

Many synthetic rugs, especially those constructed of polypropylene (olefin) or polyester can be washed outside at home.  Follow these steps:

  • Use a hard surface such as a driveway or deck and be sure that it is clean before you lay your rug out on it.
  • Next, thoroughly wet down your rug using a hose or buckets of water. Mix a small amount of clear dish soap or rug cleaner with cold or warm water (not hot!) in a bucket. Note: only a very small amount of soap is needed; err on the side of less.
  • Test the soap mixture in a small corner of the rug to be sure the soap does not cause fading or the rug’s colors to run. Let the soap sit for a few minutes, then wash it out. If there is no discoloration, it is safe to wash the full rug.
  • Using a soft scrub brush, lather the soap mixture on the rug. Once complete, thoroughly rinse the rug off. Rinse until the water runs clear of soap.
  • To expedite drying, roll the rug tightly and stand the rug upright for a few minutes to remove excess water.
  • Lay the rug completely flat to allow the rug to dry. Once the rug is dry, turn it over to allow the back to dry. Another method is to pull the rug halfway back over one end of the rug, flatten, and repeat on the other end.  Depending on the weather and the density of your rug, it may take up to a few days for your rug to fully dry.  Do not return the rug to your floor until it is completely dry.

Carpet cleaners are another method of cleaning your rug.  They work by forcing soapy water into the rug, then immediately sucking the dirty water out.  If the rug is on a hardwood floor, be sure that there is a waterproof barrier between the carpet and the floor as the water could damage your flooring.

  • Before using a carpet cleaner, thoroughly vacuum your rug.
  • Follow the directions on how to operate the carpet cleaner if you do so. Go light on the soap.
  • Start at one end of the rug and pull the carpet cleaner in smooth straight lines. Work in a direction so that you won’t have to step onto the already cleaned area. The more water the machine pulls from the carpet, the more quickly your carpet will dry.
  • If the weather allows, we recommend opening windows or setting up fans to help the carpet dry. Once the front is dry, you should turn it over to allow the back to dry.

Shag Rugs:

Routine vacuuming is the most important step in maintaining the beauty and extending the life of your shag rug. Vacuum thoroughly as needed using suction only will do the trick. Do not engage beater bars when vacuuming the face of your rug. If your vacuum doesn’t allow you to turn off the beater brush, use the upholstery attachment to vacuum by hand. The more frequently you vacuum, the less likely dirt will adhere to the rug’s fibers.  If your rug has a fringe, do not vacuum the fringe; we recommend sweeping it.

If the size of your rug allows, take the rug outside and shake it out; this will help remove dirt and dust that has become embedded between the fibers. If there is a railing you can safely hang it over, beating the rug with a broomstick will help remove additional dirt and dust. Another method of cleaning it is to vacuum the backside of your rug. This will help loosen dirt.

As a general rule, rugs should be rotated every six months to balance wear and color.

If a spill occurs on your rug, blot it dry immediately. Do not rub. Spot clean as necessary using a mild, clear dish soap and water.  Do not saturate.  Blot and allow to air-dry.

For hard to remove stains and a complete cleaning, we recommend using a professional rug cleaning service.

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Outdoor Rugs:

Outdoor rug maintenance and cleaning is as simple and easy as outdoor rugs are woven with all synthetic materials and made to withstand dirt and stains.

When you first unroll your new rug, it is likely there will be some creases or that the ends of the rug will curl. This is normal and they will relax within a few days, especially if the rug is in the sun. If you wish to accelerate the flattening process, either reverse roll the rug for a short time or place heavy objects on the corners. Double stick tape is another solution for holding the corners down.

As needed, sweep the rug with a soft broom. A vacuum may also be used. For a more thorough cleaning, simply hose off the rug and wash it with a small amount of gentle dish soap. A soft brush may be used to gently scrub the rug if necessary. Rinse completely and allow it to dry. To dry, lay your rug in a sunny area; once the top is dry, flip it over and allow the back to dry. Be sure the rug dries completely on both sides to avoid mildew.

While outdoor rugs are naturally mold and mildew resistant, depending on your local climate, mildew may form over time. This is more common on the back of the rug as it is not exposed to the sun. Whether it is mildew or stains you need to remove, follow the directions above.

Depending on where you live, you may want to store your rug indoors over the winter months. We recommend washing and drying the rug before you put it away. Once completely dry, roll it up and store it indoors in a cool, dry place.

Wool Rugs:

Wool is an excellent choice for a rug. It is a durable fiber that stands up well to traffic and wear. It naturally repels dirt and moisture, making it difficult for stains to set.

Routine vacuuming is the most important step in maintaining the beauty and extending the life of your rug. Vacuum thoroughly as needed. The more frequently you vacuum, the less likely dirt will adhere to the rug’s fibers. If your rug has a fringe, do not vacuum the fringe; we recommend sweeping it.

It is completely normal for new wool rugs to shed. The shedding should slow down after a couple of months with regular vacuuming.

If the size of your rug allows, take the rug outside and shake it out; this will help remove dirt and dust that has become embedded between the fibers. If shaking is not possible, occasional vacuuming of the backside of your rug will help loosen any embedded dirt.

As a general rule, rugs should be rotated every six months to balance wear and color.

If a spill occurs, blot it dry immediately. Do not rub. Spot clean as necessary using mild, clear dish soap and water. Do not saturate. Blot and allow to air-dry.
Steam cleaning is not recommended for a wool rug as it strips the wool of its natural oils.

For a complete cleaning, contact a professional rug cleaning service.