Rug Cleaning – General Advice

Rug Cleaning is toughRugs may appear like carpets but that’s about as much as they have in common. Generally, rugs are more delicate than carpets, made of different fibres woven in a different way to those of carpets. Carpets are designed to handle a lot of foot traffic and hide certain amount of dirt and soiling, whereas rugs don’t tolerate much soiling or staining at all. Rugs are not as hard wearing and aren’t designed to handle carpet cleaning methods too well. So avoid the No.1 mistake and don’t treat your rugs as you do your carpets. Understanding how to clean and maintain a rug will keep it cleaner and looking better for longer.

For effective, regular rug cleaning all you really need is a properly working vacuum cleaner and a medium bristled brush. For stain removal however, you need formulated rug cleaning product, or a formulated carpet cleaner which also works on delicate rugs.

For everyday rug cleaning:

  • Turn the rug upside down (front to back) and thoroughly vacuum the reverse side, loosening any bits and pieces of dirt and soil;
  • Next turn the rug right side up (face up) and again vacuum thoroughly, but avoid catching any tassels in the hoover;
  • Once finished vacuuming on both sides, use a soft bristled brush to manually remove any leftover hairs or dust;

If attempting to remove stains from rug, be sure to apply a dedicated cleaning product. For lighter stains however, you may get away with applying a solution of warm water, small amount of white vinegar and a small amount of laundry detergent. Treat the affected area then blot out using a clean towel.

Sticking a rug in the washing machine for a good spin:

Machine washing of (suitably sized) rugs is possible but you must be careful as rugs are delicate and many of them won’t handle machine washing too well.

  • Generally, woven or braided rugs are able to withstand machine washing, nevertheless provide more protection by putting the rug in a pillow case and then machine wash it;
  • Alternatively any cotton bag will also suffice to provide more protection during machine wash;
  • If possible skip spin dry, instead let the rug drip dry;

Oriental rugs:

Oriental (Persian) rugs are more delicate than your average doormat and need TLC when cleaning them. They get damaged easily from aggressive cleaning methods so take your time and be a tat more careful.

  • For everyday vacuuming – place an airy fabric on top of the rug (light fabric pillow case or bed sheet for instance) then vacuum over the fabric, this will prevent mechanical damage to rug fibres and texture. At the same time, dust will be filtered through the fabric leaving the rugs fibres clean and fluffy;
  • For removal of light (traffic) stains like dirt and soiling mix and apply a gentle homemade cleaning solution – small amount of detergent, small amount of white vinegar both diluted in warm water, this usually proves an excellent natural stain remover on most rugs;
  • Odour removal from rugs is easy – when looking to remove stubborn odours like pet smells, tobacco etc. all you need to do is sprinkle the rug with a sufficient amount of talcum (baby) powder and let it sit overnight, then vacuum thoroughly. Talcum powder soaks in and removes most odours;

Overall cleaning  a rug can be very much energy consuming. Cleaning your rug alone you can burn up to 300kcal!

Posted by: Carpet Cleaning Hackney