DIY Tips: Ways to Care for Your Rug

Keep your area rugs looking and feeling their best by following these seamless tips for basic care, deep cleaning, and stain removal. Furthermore, learn how to properly treat specific types of rugs.

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Basic Rug Care Tips

 

Typically, exceptional rug care is determined by size, construction, and material.  Hemphill’s Rugs & Carpets recommends that you care for large-size area rugs as you would wall-to-wall carpet.

Vacuum big rugs to remove dirt. As with carpet, the most essential thing you can do for larger rugs is to vacuum them on a daily basis. If an area rug is reversible, vacuum both sides. This removes grit and grime that can wear out your area rug prematurely. Take care to not vacuum the fringe of your rug.

Hemphill’s Rugs & Carpets also recommends that you brush out pet hair.  A vacuum will sometimes leave pet hair behind. Use a stiff brush to remove the hair, brushing in the direction of the nap of the area rug.

We also advise you to turn your area rugs every year. Foot traffic and sun can put additional stress on your area rugs. Turn them once or twice a year to even out the wear and tear from everyday food traffic.

Shake small rugs. If the area rug is small enough, you can take it outside and shake it or beat it strongly to remove dirt and grit.

Cleaning Special Types of Area Rugs

Special types of rugs require special cleaning care. Our Orange County Rug Cleaners recommend that you keep care tags on the area rug or in a file which can end up saving you from costly mistakes. Follow these tips for taking care of specialty rugs.

  • Handmade, hand-knotted, antique, and Oriental rugs: Vacuum a new Oriental rug as you would carpet and wool area rugs. Hemphill’s Rugs & Carpets recommends that you use special care with delicate vintage or antique area rugs. Protect them from the vacuum by placing a piece of nylon screen over the rug and weighting it down with books or bricks. Vacuum over the screen. Or, tie a piece of nylon mesh over the vacuum attachment and change the mesh frequently as dirt accumulates. Have these area rugs professionally cleaned once a year. Rotate rugs to ensure even wear; direct exposure to sun will cause fading. Note: When buying antique rugs, learn as much as you can from the seller about the rug’s fiber content and construction. Ask for care tips.
  • Coir, sisal, rush, and grass rugs: Area rugs made from these natural fibers feature an open weave that allows dirt to sift through to the floor beneath. Vacuum regularly, removing the area rug occasionally to vacuum the floor, as well. Many of these rugs are reversible; if that is the case, flip the rug every time you vacuum for even wear.
  • To clean stains or discolorations on a room-size natural-fiber rug, leave it in place. Protect the floor beneath it with a plastic drop cloth and towel. Scrub the stains with a soft brush dipped in soapy water. Rinse with clear water. Place a towel over the wet area. Blot the cleaned spot as dry as possible. Use a portable fan or hair dryer to speed drying. Move small rugs to a protected table or counter to clean. Water weakens the fibers, so work fast and dry thoroughly to extend the life of these area rugs. Some natural-fiber rugs are made in squares that are sewn together. Buy a few extra squares or a smaller size of the same rug. If a rug square becomes unalterably stained, clip the threads that hold it in place and replace with a new square. Hand-stitch it in place with heavy-duty carpet thread.
  • Fur, sheepskin, and hair-on hides: Shake unscented talcum powder on fur, sheepskin, and hair-on hide rugs and leave for several hours. Brush the talcum powder through the hair, then shake it out. Repeat this process several times, depending on the length of the fur. To clean the back of such a rug, use a clean cotton cloth dipped in lukewarm soapy water. Wipe off any dirt or spills. Rinse with a cloth dipped in clean water and allow to dry completely before putting back in place.

Stain-Removal Guide for Rugs

 

Time becomes essential when your area rug becomes stained. Remember to blot — not rub — the stain and remove moisture from spills as quickly as possible.

  • Alcohol and soft drinks: Use a solution of 1 teaspoon liquid dish detergent, 1 quart of warm water, and 1/4 teaspoon of white vinegar. Apply to the stain, rinse, then blot dry.
  • Coffee or tea: Using the detergent mix above, apply to stain, rinse, and blot. If a stain remains, use a commercial spot carpet cleaner.
  • Fat-based stains: For foods such as butter, margarine, or gravy, use a dry-solvent spot carpet cleaner.
  • Gum: Peel off what you can, then put ice cubes in a plastic bag and harden the gum, scraping the gum off with a spoon or dull knife. Vacuum and use a dry-solvent spot cleaner if needed.
  • Paint: For acrylic and latex paint, while the stain is still wet, spot-clean with the detergent solution. If color remains, dab with rubbing alcohol. For oil-base paint, sponge with odorless mineral spirits, being careful not to soak through to the backing.
  • Tomato sauce: Sponge with cool water, dab with detergent solution or a citrus-oxygen cleaner. Rinse with a solution of 1 cup white vinegar and 2 cups of water and blot until dry.
  • Urine, feces, and vomit: Apply detergent solution or a citrus-oxygen cleaner, rinse, and blot until dry.
  • Melted wax: Use the same treatment as gum, hardening it with ice cubes in a plastic bag and scraping. Dampen a clean white cloth or cotton ball with rubbing alcohol and blot to remove any remaining wax.

 

We recommend purchasing a WoolClean kit – there are two liquids and one powder designed for specific stains.  An instruction guide and cleaning towel are in included.  Purchase online HERE 

More cleaning tips can be found from the  Wools of New Zealand at our website –http://www.rugsandcarpets.com/cleaning.html

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About hemphillbrett
Floorcovering specialist

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