How To Clean Area Rugs?


Best practices in keeping your area rugs clean

How do I keep my rug clean?

Turn proper area rug care in to a regular part of your house cleaning routine! The main consideration when it comes to care is simply keeping your rugs clean.

Regular Area Rug Care

Keeping a rug clean will prolong its life and appearance, and routine cleaning is as simple as regular vacuuming. Vacuum once a week to remove the loose soil that gets tracked in from outdoors, and take special care when vacuuming around the edges, especially if your rug has fringes. Your rug's manufacturer may provide a recommendation for specific type of vacuum. For some rugs, you may not need to vacuum at all - again, per your manufacturer's recommendation, if your rug is small enough, you may be able to simply take it outside and shake loose any dirt.

How should I clean up spills?: Emergency Maintenance

We've all accidentally spilled a beverage on a carpet or rug - but do you know the proper technique?

Clean spills immediately after they happen to prevent stains. For most liquids, blotting a soft cloth in the direction of the fibers is the best way to avoid grinding the stain even deeper into the rug. Never scrub, as this will have the opposite effect.

Depending on the type of liquid you spill, you may need to employ the use of cleaning fluids. Consult your manufacturer's maintenance recommendations to ensure that the ingredients in the cleaner you're using won't harm the color or fibers in your rug.

You should also have your rugs professionally cleaned every few years - again, specifically per manufacturer recommendations.

Other maintenance

It’s important to rotate all of your area rugs frequently, particularly if they lay in high-traffic areas. As your family & guests walk over your rugs, they will begin to wear in the spots that get the most traffic. By rotating the rug, you ensure the entire rug wears evenly and the appearance is similar throughout.

Machine Washable Rugs

If your rug is labled as "Machine Washable", we recommend following these steps when machine washing your rug:

  1. Check the tag to ensure that your rug is, in fact, machine washable. Please note that there is a difference between being “washable” and “machine washable.” Only rugs with the machine-washable designation should be placed in the washing machine.
  2. Spot clean any noticeable stains first. By working to remove tough stains before washing, you can help to guarantee that your rug comes out looking as good as it did the day you brought it home. Depending on the stain, one cleaning solution may work better than another. When in doubt, liquid detergent can be used. No matter what solution you decide on, the process remains the same. Place the cleaning solution on the stain and use a bristled brush (perhaps an old toothbrush) to massage the product into the rug. Once finished, let the rug sit and absorb the solution for 15-20 minutes before putting it into the washer.
  3. Place the rug in the washing machine, washing it with cold water and liquid detergent. If your rug is rubber backed, be sure to use an oxygen-based bleach. You’ll also want to balance the load to ensure your washing machine is not damaged during cleaning. You can do so by washing multiple rugs at one time or placing a few towels in the load along with your rug.

When finished, air-dry the rug on a drying rack or clothesline. Do not place the rug in the dryer as it could shrink and harm the material. You should also avoid letting the rug dry in direct sunlight as it can bring in fading.