How to Care for Your Area Rugs




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close up of a vacuum on a tan rug

Picture this: you just got a stunning new area rug, and it was not particularly cheap. It is the rug of your dreams. You got your new area rug, rolled it out onto the floor, and now your thinking, How am I going to keep this clean? You didn’t consider area rug cleaning when you made the purchase.

With kids, pets, and different guests coming into your home, you know your new rug is destined to have pet hair, snack crumbs, and accidental spills take place. Each type of area rug in the home is made of different material and requires different techniques for keeping them clean.

Properly caring for your area rugs will give them a longer life and keep the home fresh and clean from unwanted dirt, dust, and allergens that can hide in the fibers of your rugs.

In fact, Men’s Health Magazine says carpet and area rugs are a favorite place for unwanted house guests, germs to live.

Try our care methods for your area rugs, and if there are stubborn stains that just won’t come out, call TLC Cleaning. TLC Cleaning will remove all pesky stains in your rug. Contact TLC Cleaning and get an online estimate for an area rug cleaning today.


someone doing area rug cleaning with a vacuum

Regularly vacuuming your rugs is crucial to their care. However, most of the vacuums in today’s market are made to care for wall-to-wall carpeting or hardwood floors. Which means they have a high amount of suction power. It’s best to use a vacuum that does not have a beater brush. A vacuum cleaner with a beater brush and a high amount of suction can pull the rug into the beater brush and cause damage to the area rug.

-If you have a canister vacuum that includes a beater brush, it is best to either use the hose attachment and brush to vacuum the rug with or run the vacuum cleaner in the lowest setting possible.

-If you cannot use your brush attachment to clean the rug, it is best to either remove or set the beater brush on the highest setting. Take care when using the vacuum with the beater brush because it can still cause the removal of carpet fibers.

-Check the canister. While some shedding is normal, a large number of leftover fiber in the canister. Large amounts of shedding mean the settings on the vacuum are too aggressive.

-Empty your can and readjust your settings.

-Take care to avoid vacuuming any tassels, fridge, or bound edges to prevent destruction to the sides of the rug.

Spot Cleaning

a person yellow rubber gloves cleaning a red wine stain from carpet with a sponge

Are you having a wine night with the girls? You already know where this is going. The worst thing imaginable happens, you’ve had just a little too much red wine, and it sloshes on to your new area rug. Party. Foul.

Spring to the kitchen and grab the nearest dishcloth (you know, the one that’s acceptable to use for spills). Now start blotting like a mad-woman. Blot. Blot. Blot.

Do not rub or scrub that spill. Rubbing the spill can cause the spill to set and stain. You also don’t want to let it sit while you finish your wine, or you’re looking at having a deep red stain in your brand new area rug.


How to Care for Different Types of Rugs

an oriental rug store filled with folded and hanging rugs

Tufted/hooked (oriental rugs)

 -Carefully vacuum the rug regularly to avoid the fibers being packed down from high traffic

-Blot the stains with a white towel

-You can use a cold damp cloth to refresh an oriental rug by wiping it down. (Think microfiber).

-Experts recommend that an oriental rug is washed by a professional every 3 to 5 years to prevent dirt and soil     build-up and restore the rug fibers and extend the life of the rug.

-Set-in stains in an oriental rug should be taken to a professional to avoid damage to the area rug or the flooring    underneath.

-If exposed to liquid or moisture, an oriental rug can be aired out outside to avoid the formation of mildew or mold.

Indoor/Outdoor Rugs

an outdoor seating area with a black and white geometric rug design

-Indoor/outdoor rugs, made from synthetic fibers, are durable enough to be used outdoors in the elements.

-Read the label on the back of your rug to ensure it’s safe for outdoor use.

-To clean the rug, take it outside after it has been vacuumed thoroughly and mix a small amount of clear detergent.
-Be sure to clean the entire rug with the water and dye-free detergent mixture.

-Hose down the rug with a garden hose thoroughly.

-Lastly, place in direct sunlight to thoroughly dry. (this is best done during the summer and can take more than a day)

Natural Fiber Rugs (“Jute” Rugs)

a braided jute rug on a hardwood floor

-It is a regular occurrence for natural fiber rugs to lose some of their fibers.

-To care for natural fiber rugs, you vacuum them regularly.

-Make sure to clean underneath the carpet for any of the loose fibers that can pool underneath.

-For stain removal, you can use a mixture of vinegar, detergent, and lukewarm water. Take the mixture and apply it on a white cloth and blot out any stains or spills.

Shag rugs

smiling woman laying on a dark gray shag rug

-Due to a shag rug’s high pile, it is common to experience more shedding.

-To care for a shag rug, you want to flip them over and shake loose and dislodge any dirt trapped in the fibers.

-If it is a smaller rug, take it outside and beat it with a rug beater or a broom handle to ensure all the dirt is knocked loose.

-Then using the hose attachment on a vacuum, you can part the rows and clean between the individual rows of the shag rug.

-Hand washing is another option but can be daunting if the rug is quite large.

-Set the rug in the tub with mild detergent. Then use a brush or your hands to work the soap through the fibers to remove any stains.

-Squeeze out as much excess water as possible and then allow the rug to dry.

Leather/cowhide rugs

multiple cowhide rugs hanging outside off of a balcony

-With any leather cowhide rugs, you want to avoid using any cleaning agents because they can break down and stain the cowhide even further.

-The best method for cleaning a leather or cowhide rug is to shake any loose debris and spot clean any spills.

-If you spot clean a cowhide, make sure you use a mild shampoo as it is similar to cleaning hair.

-In the case of a pet stain, in most instances, you can use a small amount of vinegar to neutralize any odors.
Here’s your list of the many different kinds of area rugs that you can own in your home and how to properly care for them to improve the lifespan of the area rug.

If this seems too daunting of a task or you have a stain that is impossible to tackle, contact us at TLC Cleaning to get an online estimate so we can handle any of your rug care needs!

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