Whether you paid thousands for a one-of-a kind, exquisite, hand-knotted rug or merely a few hundred on a whimsical machine-made rug, you can take some simple steps to extend your rug’s life. In many cases, less is more when it comes to practical, effective rug care.
Whether you have a busy office with lots of traffic, a household full of active children, or it’s just you and your cat, you don’t have to treat your beautiful rug like a fragile antique. Rugs are made to withstand everyday use. Although most have a built-in life expectancy, you can extend them by following these tips for caring for your rug:
- Use a pad. We’ve covered this subject before, but we can’t emphasize it enough. An effective pad keeps the entire rug off the floor and ensures the rug stays in place, avoiding excessive sliding that loosens the pile. A pad also stops musty odors from building up. A rug pad made of organic materials like the ones at Rug&Home allow your rug to breathe, providing life-extending air circulation.
- Clean spills immediately. Using an effective spot cleaner such as the Capture products sold at Rug&Home, blot the spills until the spot is gone. Immediate treatment keeps spills and dirt from penetrating the rug fibers and creating permanent stains.
- Vacuum properly. The beater bar on your vacuum cleaner that so effectively loosens dirt in your wall-to-wall carpeting actually harms your area rugs. The fast rotations of the bar snag the fibers, causing strings to pull out unnecessarily, leaving a thinner layer of pile. So when you vacuum your rugs, a chore we highly recommend on a regular basis, raise the bar to its highest setting. By forcing the vacuum to use only its suction for cleaning, you will prolong the life of your rugs. In addition, flip your rugs once a year to vacuum the undersides with suction.
- Avoid protectants. Treating your rug with a carpet protective coating will certainly keep the first stains from penetrating into the fibers. When you clean that first spill, however, you remove that protection and leave the spot bare. If you follow the directions on the protectant and re-treat the spot, you’ll inevitably create some overlapping that will lead to rings and darkened areas that you can never remove.
- Turn your rugs at least once year, more often in heavily trafficked areas. Don’t allow one side of your rugs to be exposed to constant foot traffic, pet abuse, or dragging chairs. Instead, remove all the furniture and turn the rug 90 degrees if possible, given the size of the room and the rug. Our advice is even more aggressive: turn your rug 45 degrees every four months. Not only will you expose various sides of your floor art to the traffic, you’ll also get a new experience as you get to know another side of the pile on your rug.
- Repair minor pulls. Bring your rug into a professional for repairs as needed, especially if a piece of fringe becomes untied. A few stitches can reinforce the fabric, ensuring that your rug will continue to give you years of enjoyment without unraveling.