How to Clean an Area Rug and Carpet

How to Clean an Area Rug and Carpet

Are you thinking of putting down new carpeting or buying a new area rug for your home? Or do you just find yourself wondering what the best way to take care of your current floor treatments might be? No matter why you’re thinking of cleaning your rug or carpeting, if it’s time for a clean, you need to be sure you’re taking care of your floors the right way. In this article, we’ll show you a step-by-step guide to help you clean your area rug and carpet no matter what type of materials they’re mad out of. You’ll learn how to clean synthetic fibers, wool, and other natural materials as well. This way, when the next time to clean your floors rolls around, you’ll be more prepared and ready to complete this task as efficiently as possible. Read on to find out more!

Wool Rugs and Carpets

Wool is one of the most common materials for area rugs. It’s not as common in carpeting, but it’s still possible to have wool carpets in your home. Check out these tips to help you learn a little bit more about how to take care of wool fiber floor treatments:

  • The first and most important step in ensuring that your wool rugs and carpets don’t get too dirty is to encourage your family and friends to avoid walking on them in dirty shoes. Wool rugs are capable of holding up to a lot of wear and tear, but the less dirt they have to come into contact with, the longer they’ll last.
  • Every couple of weeks at least, vacuum your wool rug using the gentlest setting on your vacuum cleaner. Choose a vacuum head attachment that doesn’t have a beater, otherwise it may damage the wool fibers.
  • Most stains and ground-in dirt or other substances can be cleaned with a mild, unscented dish detergent, warm (but not hot) water, and a clean cloth. You may need to add some white vinegar for stains that cause a strong odor, like pet stains.
  • Some stubborn or deep stains may require a carpet cleaner. Be sure to purchase a carpet cleaner designed for real wool rugs, otherwise you may end up stripping the color out of your fibers.
  • Don’t forget to take your wool area rug outside once a year and clean it thoroughly using an appropriate rug cleaner for wool fibers. If your carpets are wool and you can’t take them outside, give them a thorough cleaning with carpet cleaner—including underneath your furniture—once a year instead.
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Synthetic Rugs and Carpets

It’s common to find synthetic fibers in both area rugs and carpeting. Different types of synthetic blends and materials require different cleaning methods, but they can all be broken down into more or less the same concepts. Here are some tips to keep in mind:

  • Cleaning a synthetic rug is generally much easier than taking care of natural fibers, but there are a few differences you should keep in mind, too. Synthetic fibers usually can’t stand heat as well as natural ones can, and you risk melting the fibers in your rug if you clean it with anything that is too hot.
  • Small enough area rugs that are made of synthetic fibers can almost always be put in your washing machine on a delicate cycle. However, make sure to read the information on the rug’s tag to determine whether or not this is true of your rug.
  • If you can’t put your rug in the washing machine or if it’s too large to fit, you can soak it in the bath tub with a mild dish detergent, warm (but not hot) water, and white vinegar. If the rug is too large even for this, or if you need to clean a synthetic carpet with this mixture, you’ll need to spray it on using a spray bottle and scrub it with a clean rag or sponge.
  • Always vacuum your rug before cleaning it. This will help get rid of any loose particles that may make scrubbing more difficult.
  • Don’t forget to let all rugs and carpets dry completely before going back to using them normally. This will prevent mildew.
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Natural, Non-Wool Rugs and Carpets

There are other types of natural fibers out there besides just wool. These may include silk, bamboo, chenille, cotton, jute, sisal, and a variety of others. These types of fibers are usually a little more fragile than others, so they require some special cleaning. However, it’s not hard to learn how to take care of even the most delicate of rugs, so read on to find out some tips to help you get started:

  • Vacuum your natural fiber rugs regularly, even if they are outside rugs. Sometimes people forget to vacuum their outdoor rugs, but this is a crucial step in ensuring your rug lasts a long time, no matter what its purpose might be.
  • You cannot wash most natural fiber rugs with regular cleaners and mixtures, as they will absorb the water and may become damaged beyond repair. Instead, mix a teaspoon of white vinegar with a teaspoon of mild dish detergent and then stir this into very slightly warm water.
  • Do not saturate the rug with this solution! Do not spray it and do not submerge it. Simply use this solution for blotting out stains with a clean rug. It may take some time, but the mixture should make the stains lift soon.
  • Wrap the rug in a clean, dry towel and carefully squeeze and blot it dry. This will prevent the rug from sustaining any long-term water damage.

Did you learn a little something about how to take care of your rugs and carpets? No matter what type of material you may have on your floor, there’s a way to clean it. And it’s important to remember to keep your flooring clean, since this will help extend the lifespan of your carpeting and area rugs both. With the right cleaning plan, you’ll be able to enjoy your favorite floor treatments for a long time to come.