Congratulations, you have survived the often difficult process of choosing an area rug that fits your budget, upgrades your décor, and ties together your favorite room. Your new area rug has now become the central hub in your home. It is where your family sprawls out to watch TV or complete homework, and it is the witness to both child’s play and adult dinner parties. So it’s no surprise when your rug starts to collect crumbs, dirt, or stains. While most experts recommend getting your rugs and carpets professionally deep cleaned once a year, we know that life happens, and you’ll probably want to refresh and invigorate your room more than once a year.
Here are 3 easy steps for keeping your rug looking its best.
1. Make your vacuuming count.
Vacuum away any dust, crumbs, or loose debris before starting any deep cleaning process. The first step here is to make sure to turn on all your lights. This helps to ensure that you see exactly what you are cleaning. Bring all your vacuuming attachments along, so that you can get into crevices and under the couch. Also don’t forget to vacuum underneath the rug for a real thorough clean.
2. Work on removing any stains.
Always test cleaning solutions in an inconspicuous spot before using to clean your entire area rug. Here are some easy, homemade solutions for your most popular stains. Remember to blot, not rub, the stain.
- For water based stains: Use a solution of 1 teaspoon liquid dish detergent, 1 quart of warm water, and ¼ teaspoon of white vinegar.
- For oil or fat based stains: Use a dry solvent spot carpet cleaner.
- For tomato sauce: Dab with cold water and sponge the same solution for water stains. Rinse with water and vinegar and blot until dry.
- For wax or gum: Put ice cubes in a bag to fully harden the stain and scrape away the wax or gum. Clean the rest with rubbing alcohol and vacuum up any remains.
3. Tackle the deep cleaning yourself.
The deep cleaning process for your rug will depend on the material and construction of your area rug. This information can often be found on the back label or tag or your rug. Again, don’t forget to test any solutions first.
Synthetic rugs can be steam cleaned. Renting a professional steam cleaner from your local hardware store is relatively inexpensive.
Hide rugs can be brushed with a wire brush and wiped down with a damp cloth.
Natural fiber rugs (like jute or sisal) should be kept as dry as possible and scrubbing should always be done in the same direction as the weave.