So you’ve landed the rug of your dreams. Congrats! Now that you’ve brought that baby home, you’ll quickly want to start thinking about how best to care for it to maintain your investment and keep it looking sparkly and new. Of course, you could always hand it over to the experts, but that could run you up a bill in the hundreds.
To save you those dollars, we’ve laid out all the rug maintenance and cleaning tips you need to keep your carpets in tip-top shape.
In the words of Michael Jackson, just beat it. You don’t need any kind of fancy equipment, machinery or products to maintain your rug the old-fashioned way. Start by taking it outside, then face the pile away from you—unless you’re interested in getting a face full of debris—and shake, shake, shake. Next, double it in half (clotheslines work great for this purpose) and beat the rug from the back. People have been doing it for centuries so you can trust that this cleaning technique is tried, tested and true.
It may be a tedious task but you’ll want to vacuum your rugs regularly to avoid build-up of dirt and dust. But proceed with caution: err on the side of gentleness, especially if you’re dealing with more delicate materials or a long pile. Avoid specialty nozzles that concentrate suction and be extra careful around fringe and edges.
The reality is that unless you live in a museum, stains will happen. Have kids running around the house? Entertain often? Guilty of the occasional spill? Congratulations: you’re human! When slip-ups happen, you’ll want to act fast and try spot cleaning the stain as your primary course of action. First, grab a spoon or butter knife and try to scoop up as much of the spill as possible. Next, dilute the spill with water without soaking the area, which could accidentally cause the stain to spread. Finally, grab a cloth and blot from the perimeter of the stain inwards until it has disappeared entirely. Again, we can’t stress enough the importance of acting fast: the more time a stain has to marinate, the harder it will be to remove. Harsh cleaning products should be your last resort.
In order to ensure you’re getting an equal amount of wear and tear on each side of your rug, you’ll want to rotate it at least once every year. By doing this, you’ll get an even distribution of foot traffic and sunlight, avoiding having one side appear more worn than the other.
If you’ve invested in a high-quality rug, you’ll also want to invest in a rug pad to make sure it not only looks its best but functions properly, too. Without the necessary padding, your rug will slip, causing it to move around underneath you and creating a recipe for disaster. It will also wear at a much faster rate, especially in higher-traffic areas. In addition to reducing slippage and wear, rug pads also help minimize mold and mildew, keep dirt away from the foundation of the rug and prevent discoloration of your rug and floor. Invest in a good pad to make sure it stays put and keeps looking as good as the day you bought it.
So, your rug has been sitting underneath a piece of heavy furniture for what seems like forever. Now what? Well, you will likely be dealing with a case of crushed pile. But fret not: we have you covered. All you’ll need is a soft brush and a bit of water. Moisten the area and gently brush the pile until it’s standing upright, the way it’s supposed to be.
Have a family heirloom or past purchase that’s out of rotation in your home? You’ll want to take care that those unused rugs are tucked away in storage properly. Just like humans, rugs need to breathe. Wrapping it in plastic is a surefire way to suffocate a rug, letting humid conditions wreak havoc and cause mildew or even rot. Instead, wrap your rugs in a breathable fabric and aim to keep it in a dry place.
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