Area rugs are preferred by some people over carpets.  One reason is that there are more designs to choose from.  Also, renters can use them to decorate their home, and when they want to give the room a makeover and rearrange the furniture, they can also move the rugs around.

However, just because you have area rugs instead of carpets, it doesn’t mean that they won’t need upkeep.  To keep your rugs in tiptop shape, looking and smelling good, you still need to clean and maintain them.

Rug Cleaning Ideas To Keep Your Rugs in Pristine Condition

Rug Cleaning1. Regularly vacuum the rug on both sides at least once a week to get rid of dirt, dust and possibly tiny pests in hiding.  Some vacuum cleaners are also designed to remove pet hair which has a tendency to cling to the carpet.

2. For pet hair that can’t be detached by a vacuum cleaner, use a stiff brush and follow the direction of the nap.

3. Small area rugs can be taken outdoors and shaken to get rid of dirt.  To shake off more dirt, you can use a rug beater or carpet beater.

4. Over-exposure to sunlight, constant weight and foot traffic on the rug could cause fading and warping.  At least twice a year, rotate the rug and expose all areas equally to help it stay even.

5. Stain treatment. For stains, use the same guide for treating carpet stains.

DIY Deep Clean

Aside from regular weekly care, your rugs will need to be deep cleaned every 12 months.

✓ Handle with care.   Treatment of the rug will also depend on its material.  Make sure you are aware of the kind of rug you have and what the manufacturer’s instructions are.

 If the label says the rug can be machine-washed, use the delicate setting and cold water to be safe.  The fringes might get tangled though so before you throw the rug in the washer, group the fringes into bunches and wrap each bunch with white string.  Zip up the rug in a mesh laundry bag.

✓ Air dry. Wet rugs should be hung over a rack, on your patio, or laid to dry somewhere with sunlight.  Do not hang it over a clothesline as this will bend the rug and destroy its shape.

You can use a cleaning solution or a commercial rug shampoo.  Test any solution or detergent you use on a small area of the carpet first.  Check that the color of the rug is not affected.

✓ Hand wash. If the rug cannot be machine washed, but hand washing is allowed, you will need to take the rug outside.  After vacuuming and shaking, lay the rug flat somewhere clean and where you won’t mind getting wet.  Hose down the rug with cold water.  Using a soft brush, brush cleaning solution, rug shampoo or mild dishwashing detergent on the rug including the fringe.  Rinse the rug and allow to dry under the sun.  Finally, go over it with a vacuum when done.

✓ Dry cleaning. Some small rugs may also be dry-cleaned.  Check the rug’s label.

Image: Tracey R