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Rug Care and Maintenance Guide

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The best way to increase the lifetime of your rug is by caring for it properly. Check with your rug's manufacturer for specific cleaning guidelines. In the meantime, here are three universal tips that make a big difference.

  1. Vacuuming or Shaking

    Regular vacuuming or shaking of your rug is an essential step to keeping your rug clean and strong. Dirt particles in the rug fibers act as abrasives that can begin to break down the rug over time. This preventative measure can also ease the discomfort of those with allergies. 
  2. Rotation

    Rotating your rug every six months will guard against uneven wear from foot traffic paths and furniture weight. 
  3. Rug Pads

    Rug pads are absolutely necessary for every area rug. In addition to preventing rugs from slipping, the right rug pad will extend the life of your rug and protect your floors. Rug pads provide extra cushion to your rug, prevent uneven wear, and will help in dampening sound.

    Open-weave/waffle non-slip rug pads are thin and will not offer much cushion, but are great beneath area rugs where thickness may be a problem, such as under a door. In addition to helping with slippage, a premium rug pad improves the feel of a rug. Instead of rubber, they are often made of needle-punched fabric that grips well on both hard surfaces and carpet. A singed rug pad helps grip an area rug when it's laid over wall-to-wall carpet. Felt padding is the thickest and is very soft. It's usually not recommended over wall-to-wall carpet because it creates a floor covering that is too plush and the rug will not be able to support pressure without being destroyed. 
Wondering how to choose the right size rug pad? Purchase a new rug pad (or trim one you already have) a few inches smaller than the size of your rug. 

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Spot Removal Guide

Learn the ideal way to clean up specific stains, such as beverage and paint spills, from this chart below. Always remember, the key to avoiding serious staining is to wipe up the spill immediately.


Stain Solution Notes
Alcohol, soda, coffee, or tea
  • 1 teaspoon of dish soap
  • 1 quart of warm water
  • 1/4 teaspoon of white vinegar
Apply, rinse, and blot dry. If spot remains, use a carpet cleaner.

Fat-based stains (butter, margarine, gravy, etc.)Dry-solvent spot carpet cleanerApply, rinse, and blot dry. If spot remains, repeat.
GumIce cubes in a plastic bag
Apply the bag of ice cubes to stain to harden the gum for easy removal. Scrape gum with a spoon or dull knife.
PaintAcrylic and latex: Use the above cleaning solution

Oil-based: Use an oderless mineral spirits
Make sure to clean paint when it is still wet. If paint remains, try dabbing it with rubbing alcohol. 
Tomato sauceUse above cleaning solution or citrus-oxygen cleanerRinse with 1 cup of white vinegar and 2 cups of water. Blot until dry. 
Urine, feces, and vomitUse drink cleaning solution above or citrus-oxygen cleanerRinse and blot until dry.
Melted waxSame treatment as gumDampen a cloth with rubbing alochol and blot the spill. 


How to Wash and Dry Your Rugs


Washing
  • Before placing your rug into the washing machine, make sure to divide the fringe into small bundles by wrapping each grouping with white string. Then, place your rug in a mesh laundry bag and wash in cold water on delicate.

Drying

  • Depending on size, you will want to lay your rug out flat to dry. Look for a clothes-drying rack, a slatted picnic table, or several bricks stacked on a flat surface outside. Hanging a wet rug over a clothes line distorts the rug's shape as it dries. 
  • For small, synthetic fiber rugs (similar to carpeting): Look for a small table or countertop and lay the rug flat across the surface. Make sure to place an old towel or sheet down first to protect the surface.
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Cleaning Tips for Specific Types of Rugs

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Woven and Braided
  • Stitching breaks cause your rug to wear quickly, especially if you are constantly vacuuming. To ensure your rug maintains its pristine condition, constantly check for stitching breaks before and after vacuuming. 
  • Small Rugs

    How-To: Some small woven and braided rugs are machine washable. If the label gives you the green light, place the rug in a mesh laundry bag and clean it in cool water on a gentle cycle. If you do not want to use a drying machine (tumble dry on low), we recommend drying it outside—or on a flat surface inside—to maintain its quality.
  • Large Rugs

    ​How-To: Place it on the floor with a blanket beneath it to protect your working surface. Then, use a sponge commercial carpet cleaning foam and rub it into the rug. Make sure to follow the products cleaning directions. Simply rinse or vacuum after cleaning. 

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Handmade and Hand-Knotted

  • This is a delicate style that needs special care or professional cleaning. Below we have provided a clever vacuuming tip.

    How-To: Place a piece of nylon screen over your rug to protect it from the harsh back and forth of a vacuum cleaner. It picks up the dirt while protecting your rug! Anchor the screen to the ground with heavy objects, like bricks. Start vacuuming over the screen. If desired, you can also tie the nylon mesh around the vacuum. It is time for a new nylon mesh once dirt starts accumulating. You can find a nylon screen cover at your local hardware store. 

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Natural Fibers: Jute, Sisal, and Coir

  • Vacuum frequently. Natural fiber rugs are designed with an open weave, which causes more dirt to accumulate in between the fibers and underneath the rug.
  • Water can damage the material, so clean up spills quickly.

    How-To: When cleaning, use a soft brush—which helps prevent fiber breakage while cleaning—dipped in soapy water to scrub out the stain. Rinse off with water. Then, blot the wet area with a towel to speed up the drying process.  

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Fur, Sheepskin, and Hides

Use talcum powder, as the powder absorbs any moisture and cuts down on friction.

How-To: Shake the powder over the rug's surface. Let it sit for a few hours. Then brush the powder through the fur and shake it out. Make sure to bring the rug outside to avoid making a big mess indoors. For extra large rugs, repeat this process two to three times. 

Whether you are using a homemade cleaning solution or a commercial cleaning product, it is important to deep clean rugs every 12 to 18 months. If you are using a cleaning solution for the first time, test out a small area to ensure it will not damage your rug. 

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