Area rugs add so much beauty to your home and like any other piece of furniture, you want to make sure it lasts. Though there are some universal care instructions that can be applied to all rugs, some materials require an extra level of caution and attention to detail to ensure that your rug stays in excellent shape. Here are some tips on how to care for your rug based on the material.

Rug Care Basics

As we mentioned, there are some standard rug care guidelines that can be applied to all materials. 

Vacuum Frequently

Think of your rug as an extension of your carpet. All of the dirt and grime that gets into your carpet is also finding its way into your rugs. 

When vacuuming, you will want to go over both sides of your rug. This might be news to you but doing is important. Vacuuming both sides will pick up any stubborn dirt and dust that could be hidden within the fibers. If those particles remain stuck in your rug, they can cause your rug to look dull or cause it to break down quicker.

Clean Up Spills Immediately

Accidents are bound to happen, especially if you have pets or children running around so when something is spilt, it is crucial to clean it up immediately. 

For all rug types, you will want to pick up larger pieces of dirt or debris first so you don’t end up embedding the mess further. Then, using a cloth or paper towel, absorb any liquid by blotting the spill rather than scrubbing. If any discoloration remains, refer to the proper cleaning procedure based on the material your rug is made from.

Cleaning spills immediately and allowing them to dry fully can prevent staining and matting of rug fibers.

Use a Rug Pad

Placing a rug pad under your rug provides many benefits. The most obvious one being comfort, especially if your rug is on a surface like hardwood. Another benefit is that rug pads offer protection to your rug from the surface underneath and vice versa. Rug pads also allow your rug to be more secure and reduce the likelihood of slipping and wrinkling. 

Rotate Based on Foot Traffic

One last thing to keep in mind for all rugs is that you should be rotating each one at least 90 degrees based on the foot traffic of where it is placed in your house. Rugs in high traffic areas like entryways should be rotated more frequently than rugs in say a spare bedroom. 

If you do not rotate your rugs, you will start to notice that one part will appear worn down much more than the others causing it to look and feel uneven.

Rug Material Cleaning & Care Guide

Natural Material

While the most common natural fiber that is used to make area rugs is wool, silk is also used  frequently. Rugs made from these natural fibers can get quite pricey so, if you decide to invest in a natural fiber rug,  you must follow these care guidelines in order to make it last:

  • Natural fibers can be susceptible to damage from vacuums so aim to vacuum twice a month 
  • When you do vacuum, use a canister vacuum or a handheld attachment rather than a beater bar or brush bar
  • Do not steam clean as these fibers are very sensitive and will shrink if in contact with extreme heat like steam
  • If you need something stronger than water for your wool rug, you can use a little bit of vinegar mixed with water 
  • For silk rugs, you can use a mild detergent mixed with water to clean more thoroughly 
  • Never use bleach on natural fibers because it will cause irreversible damage to your rug

Synthetic Material

Rugs made from synthetic fibers are typically less expensive than wool rugs. The synthetic fibers have differing qualities and levels of durability so it’s important to know what your rug is made from before bringing it home. Here are some care tips to be aware of:

  • Vacuuming can be done weekly as synthetic fibers are durable
  • Nylon is relatively stain resistant and good for high traffic areas 
  • Polyester is good for rooms that get a lot of sun exposure due to its fade-resistant qualities
  • Synthetic fibers usually can withstand chemicals in household cleaning products, but it’s always good to test a spot first

Plant Material

Plant based rugs are made from natural fibers like jute, hemp, or seagrass and offer a very natural and organic look. They can be identified by their color and coarse texture and need specific care to help them last as long as possible:

  • Like wool, vacuums can be damaging so avoid using a vacuum with a brush bar
  • If possible, flipping rug can be beneficial and help it to achieve even wear
  • Plant materials are extremely absorbent so know that they are prone to staining
  • Always keep your rug dry. Plant material is susceptible to mold and this can affect your rug’s durability
  • To spot clean, you can use club soda or white vinegar mixed with water

Get Help From a Professional 

When it comes to cleaning your area rugs, it’s better to be safe than sorry! At Springer Floor Care, our specialists are ready to assist you with any stain, repair, or simple yearly maintenance your rugs need. Contact us today to schedule your area rug cleaning!