If you have a nice (probably expensive) area rug that is the centerpiece of a room in your home, you’ll want to keep it in nice condition at all times. To do that, you’ll have to understand how to maintain and clean it.
Can You Vacuum an Area Rug?
This is an extremely common question and concern for area rug owners. The answer is yes, you can (and should) vacuum your area rug, gently. Vacuuming is good for area rugs because it not only removes dirt, it also massages the fibers to help clean them. The vibration from the vacuum will also break up dirt and bring it to the surface.
There is a caveat with vacuuming area rugs, and that’s the type of vacuum you use. Do not use a shop vac or any other industrial-type vacuum as they are quite powerful. The best type of vacuum to use is a light canister vacuum. You can also buy a carpet sweeper and use that as well.
How Often Should An Area Rug Be Vacuumed?
Once a week is all that is necessary, although more frequent cleaning may be required if the area rug is located in a heavy traffic area of your house. You should also flip the rug over and vacuum the backside every few weeks. This will help loosen dirt that is deeply embedded in the rug. It will also allows you to clean the floor under the rug before laying it back down.
The best way to vacuum an area rug is side to side, not end to end. This is because you want to avoid sucking up the fringe on the end of the rug. Also, do not rigorously run the vacuum back and forth. Gentle vacuuming is all that is needed to clean the rug without damaging it.
How to Clean Spots and Stains
Whether left by a glass of wine, a careless child (or adult for that matter) or a confused pet, stains happen. The best way to clean a stain out of an area rug is with a microfiber cloth. Dab gently on the spot to remove most of the excess spill. If you choose to use a cleaner, avoid using carpet cleaners. The chemicals within these cleaners are made for carpets, not wool, silk, oriental, etc. rugs. It will be safe to use water and some mild hand or dish soap to saturate the spot before using the microfiber cloth to clean it up again.
If you run into a stain that you can’t get out, it’s not worth it to ruin your rug trying home remedies on your own. There are professional area rug cleaning services you can use. These certified professionals will know how to deal with stains.
Even if you never spill anything on your rug, or if it never looks dirty, it’s still a good idea to have it professionally cleaned every other year (or every year if it’s in a high traffic area). You’ll be surprised how much dirt and dust can become caught deep in your area rug. A good tip: if you life the rug, swat it, and see dust fly out of it, it likely needs to be professionally cleaned. Professional cleaners will submerge the entire area rug in cleaner to give it a nice, deep clean before completely drying it.
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