How do you clean different types of rugs?
People often underestimate how much dirt, dust and other gunk get stuck inside their rugs and carpets. It is literally pounds and pounds of the stuff (those with a central vacuum system are often surprised at how much and how quickly that central collection drum fills up).
Certain types of rugs are even worse offenders for hiding dirt, especially natural wool rugs, and overtime these debris can permanently damage them. Beyond simple vacuuming, here are some tips and tricks on how to keep your various rugs in tip top condition!
Just remember, it’s still good to call in aprofessional carpet cleaner at least every 12 months to ensure they get that deep-clean and maintain their optimal appearance. Call to book your appointment today!
Small Natural or Synthetic Rugs
Small area rugs are often used to add colour or style to a room. Sometimes they’re also used to serve a more functional purpose; like for those high traffic hallway areas - an area rug can save the underlying carpet from a lot of wear and tear.
But, like all furnishings and flooring in your home or office, you need to clean it once in a while! So, what’s the best way to clean a small natural-fibre rug? Unless the label specifically says to dry clean the rug, most rugs can be washed by hand or thrown into the laundry machine.
Follow these steps to safely wash your rug:
1. Test for colorfastness - before you wash your rug for the first time, be sure to test it for colourfastness to ensure none of the dyes get transferred to your other clothes if you’re mixing it with your other laundry. You can easily test this by wetting a small spot on the rug and rubbing it with a white rag or cotton swab. If any of the colours get on the rag or swab, then the dyes will probably bleed when you wash it.
If you want a quick and easy way to set the fabric dye in the cloth so it doesn’t bleed out colours, you can soak the rug in water with ¼ cup of salt or 1 cup of vinegar to naturally lock the colour into the fabric. Agitate the water for about 5 minutes so the salt or vinegar gets evenly distributed throughout the rug and then let it soak for 15 minutes. Take the rug out and wring the excess water out and proceed to the next step of cleaning your rug.
2. Inspect for stains - if food or greasy spots appear on the rug, it’s best to treat them before washing the rug. If you know what caused the stain, you can use the correct stain removal techniques we outline in our “How to deal with Carpet Stains & Odours” blog post.
3. Wash the rug - if you’re washing by hand, use a mild detergent and scrub gently with a brush or sponge. Then, rinse and roll it in a thick towel to remove as much water as you can.
If you’re using a washing machine, wash in cold water and a mild detergent. Try to wash a couple of rugs together or with some towels for best results so your load is well balanced.
4. Dry your rug - Rugs should be air dried as heat from a dryer can damage the rug or cause it to shrink. Hang dry it so it dries as quickly as possible. Be careful of hanging it in direct sunlight though as sunlight acts like bleach and can dull the colours of your carpet.
Rubber backed rugs
Rugs with rubber backings are popular for kitchens or bathrooms because they don’t skid. But rugs with rubber backings have limited lifespans as the rubber can crumble or even come off, with time. So, just be careful not to wash them too often or the rubber will deteriorate faster and could tear.
These types of rugs can still be washed in the washing machine though, especially those made out of cotton or synthetic fibres. Wash them on a gentle cycle in cold water with a couple of towels (Do not wash with your clothes). The rug needs plenty of space to move freely in the wash.
There are also a couple of extra precautions to take with rubber backed rugs:
Larger Area Rugs
Larger area rugs are typically used to accent large living spaces. It’s important to maintain them by vacuuming regularly and dealing with spills as soon as they occur. To get a true deep-clean, it’s best to hire a professional carpet cleaner every few months.
When spills happen, sop up the mess as soon as possible and blot the stain off with a cloth or sponge dipped in some seltzer. Use as little water as possible and remove any excess water with a towel. If the rug isn’t colourfast though, then instead of seltzer, use a mixture of 4 parts cold water and one part white vinegar to blot out the stain.
You can also sprinkle baking soda on your rug and let it sit before vacuuming to help deodorize your rug. This can be done every 3 or 4 months.
Be sure to also flip the area rug over and vacuum the underside and if you have pets, you can brush any pet hair off with a stiff brush.
Oriental rugs require special care and attention as they’re often antiques or quite old. It’s advisable to place a nylon screen over these rugs and then vacuum over the screens to protect them from any damage.
It is best to call in the pros to handle these types of rugs as they would have the expertise and machinery to know how to keep them safe while giving them a deep clean.
Talcum powder is your best friend when it comes to cleaning your sheepskin rugs. Sprinkle some powder on top of the rug and let it sit overnight, then shake the rug outside to loosen out any dirt the talcum powder has adhered to
Wool rugs tend to accumulate a lot of dust in a small span of time. It’s important to vacuum them at least twice a month and shake them out weekly to remove the dirt and dust that has piled up.
Cleaning your rugs is important to help them stay in good condition. Also, calling a professional carpet cleaner to give your home that deep clean goes a long way to making your carpet and rug investments last a long time! We at Carpet Cleaning Airdrie Pros have the expertise and years of experience to know how to deal with all kinds of carpet types. Give us a call today for your free, no obligation quote!
At Carpet Cleaning Airdrie Pros, we are passionate about carpet & upholstery cleaning.