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  • How Do You Clean An Area Rug?

    March 16, 2023



    Area rugs are an attractive addition to a room, but can become dull and dingy over time. Keeping area rugs clean is important for maintaining their appearance and preserving their lifespan. We’ll explain the best ways to clean area rugs, so they look new again.

    The first step in cleaning area rugs is to vacuum them regularly. Vacuuming removes dirt and dust that accumulates on the rug’s surface and prevents it from becoming embedded in the fibers. For heavily soiled or stained rugs, it may be necessary to use a carpet cleaner or steam cleaner. Carpet cleaning equipment is designed specifically for deep cleaning carpets and can be rented or purchased at home improvement stores. Steam cleaners generate hot water which helps loosen embedded dirt in the fibers of the rug.

    Finally, spot treatments can be used on stubborn stains. These treatments are composed of various cleaning agents and should always be tested on a small section of the rug first before being applied over larger areas. With regular vacuuming, deep cleaning, and spot treatments combined, area rugs will stay looking fresher, longer.


    Vacuuming The Rug

    Vacuuming is a necessary part of regular rug maintenance. It should be done at least once a week, or more frequently if the area rug is subject to heavy foot traffic.

    When vacuuming an area rug, there are several steps which should be followed:

    * Use the appropriate attachment for the job:

    * For larger rugs, use the wide-head attachment to ensure that the entire surface is vacuumed.

    * For smaller rugs and delicate fabrics, use a narrow crevice tool with soft bristles to avoid damage.

    * Move slowly when vacuuming, using overlapping strokes for even coverage.

    * Vacuum both sides of the rug if possible. This will ensure that all dirt and debris has been removed from deep within the pile.

    * Be sure to avoid pulling on tassels or fringes when vacuuming as this could cause them to become loose or unravel.

    Finally, always empty the canister or bag after each use and clean any filters in accordance with your vacuum’s manual instructions. Doing so will help maintain optimal suction power and extend the life of your vacuum cleaner.


    Pre-Treating Any Stains

    Before cleaning an area rug, it is important to pre-treat any stains. This can be done by using a mild detergent or a carpet stain remover that is specific to the type of stain. When applying a cleaner, it should be tested in an inconspicuous spot first to ensure it does not damage the fabric. If using a detergent, mix one teaspoon of detergent with one cup of warm water and use a soft cloth or sponge to apply the solution to the stained area.

    Once applied, blot with a dry cloth until the stain has been removed. If the stain persists, repeat the process until it is completely gone. For more stubborn stains like oil or grease, a professional-strength carpet cleaner may be necessary.


    Spot Cleaning With Soap And Water

    Spot cleaning involves targeting specific areas of the rug that are soiled or stained and applying a mixture of soap and water to them. This technique can be used for both fresh and set-in stains. The following steps should be taken when spot cleaning an area rug:

    * Prepare a solution of mild detergent and warm water.

    * Test it on a small, inconspicuous part of the rug to make sure it does not cause any discoloration.

    * Dip a clean cloth into the solution and gently dab at the stain.

    * Rinse off with cool water and blot dry with a clean towel.

    * Repeat as needed until all residue is removed from the area rug.

    Spot cleaning is effective at removing stains from area rugs, however, it should be done carefully with gentle strokes so as not to damage the fibers of the rug further. It is important to remember that this method should only be used on small stains; larger spots may require professional attention.



    Shampooing The Rug

    Shampooing an area rug is the most popular form of cleaning. First, vacuum the rug to remove dirt and debris. Using a handheld vacuum or a vacuum with an upholstery attachment makes this process easier. Be sure to use a gentle setting on the vacuum cleaner as some rugs may be delicate.

    The next step is to prepare the shampoo solution by mixing it with warm water according to package directions. Apply the solution using a garden sprayer and work it in gently with your hands. Allow the shampoo to sit on the rug for approximately 15 minutes before proceeding with rinsing. Rinse thoroughly using a wet-vacuum cleaner or garden hose. Remove excess water by blotting with towels. Hang up the rug outdoors and allow it to dry completely before returning indoors. Once dry, lightly brush or comb out any remaining dirt particles that may have been missed during cleaning.


    Drying The Rug

    Once the rug has been shampooed, it should be rinsed with warm water. It is important to use a soft-bristled brush and cold water to thoroughly rinse out all the soap from the rug. It is also important to rinse until no soapy residue remains. After this, it is necessary to carefully squeeze out any excess moisture from the rug and then allow it to dry in an open space that has good air circulation.

    When drying an area rug, it is essential to keep it away from direct sunlight or artificial heat sources. This can cause the rug fibers to weaken and break down over time. The best way to ensure that your rug dries properly is by placing a fan nearby and directing airflow across the entire surface of the rug. This will help speed up the drying process while also preventing any mildew or mold buildup on the fibers. Additionally, you should consider flipping your rug over once in a while during the drying process so that all areas are evenly dried.

    Finally, once your area rug has completely dried, you may want to vacuum it one last time before putting it back into place. Vacuuming will help remove any dust particles or dirt left behind after washing and drying which can prevent any future damage or staining of your area rug’s fibers.


    Professional Cleaning Services

    Professional cleaning services offer a variety of options for area rug cleaning. Hot water extraction or steam cleaning is the most common method used to clean area rugs, as it can reach deep into the fibers and remove dirt, dust and other debris. This method typically involves pre-treating the rug with a detergent solution and then using a machine to agitate and rinse the rug. It is important to note that this process may cause some fading or color loss in certain rugs.

    Dry cleaning is another option for area rugs that cannot be washed with hot water extraction. This method uses dry compounds such as foam, granules or powder to penetrate deep into the fibers of the rug and absorb dirt, dust and debris before they are vacuumed up. This process can be less damaging to certain rugs than steam cleaning but may not be as effective at removing ground-in dirt and stains.

    Lastly, hand washing is an option for those who have delicate or antique rugs that cannot withstand dry cleaning or hot water extraction processes. Hand washing requires gentle scrubbing with a mild detergent solution followed by careful drying techniques such as air drying or placing the rug on a flat surface in direct sunlight. All three methods of area rug cleaning are effective but require special attention depending upon the type of rug being cleaned.


    Alternative Natural Solutions

    In contrast to professional cleaning services, there are alternative natural solutions to clean an area rug. These options may be more cost-effective and allow for a greater degree of control over the cleaning process. The first step is to vacuum the rug thoroughly using a vacuum cleaner with a good suction power, preferably one that has an adjustable brush or beater bar. This will help remove dirt and debris that can cause staining and discoloration.

    The next step is to use a natural cleaning solution, such as white vinegar or baking soda, on the rug. It is important to read the instructions carefully before beginning this procedure and to test the solution in an inconspicuous area first. Applying the solution with a soft cloth or sponge in small circular motions can help loosen embedded dirt particles and provide deep cleaning action. Afterward, it is important to rinse off any remaining residue with cold water and blot dry using another cloth or towel.

    Finally, allowing the rug to air dry completely before placing furniture on top of it can help prevent discoloration from occurring due to moisture being trapped beneath heavy furniture pieces.


    Machine Washing Synthetic Rugs

    Machine washing synthetic rugs is a relatively straightforward process. First, vacuum the rug to remove any dirt or debris. Next, set the washing machine to the gentle cycle and select cold water. For larger area rugs, it may be necessary to visit a laundromat with large-capacity machines. Before adding detergent, place the rug in the machine and fill with warm water until it is submerged. Add detergent according to manufacturer’s instructions and let run for 15 minutes or so. After washing is complete, rinse the rug twice in cold water for about five minutes each time. Finally, allow the rug to air dry by hanging outside or over a clothesline if possible. If using a dryer, use low heat setting and check periodically for signs of wear or damage from excessive heat.


    Steam Cleaning Rugs

    Steam cleaning is a popular method for safely and effectively cleaning area rugs. This type of cleaning requires a steam cleaner, or a rug doctor-type machine, which uses hot water mixed with a detergent solution to deep clean and sanitize the rug. It is important to use the proper amount of detergent in the water, as too much can leave residue on the fibers that can attract dirt. The steam cleaner should be used going with the nap of the rug for best results.

    When steam cleaning an area rug, it is important to make sure that you allow enough time for the carpet to dry completely before walking on it again. This can take up to 24 hours depending on how thick the pile of your rug is. If your rug is particularly thick, it may be best to take it outside and lay it flat in direct sunlight so that it will dry faster.

    When drying an area rug after steam cleaning, avoid using fans or other air flow devices as this could cause damage to its delicate fibers. Additionally, try not to move or rearrange the furniture until after your rug has had time to fully dry out in order to prevent any staining from occurring. Doing this will help ensure that your area rug looks fresh and stays clean for many years to come.


    Chemically Treating Rugs

    This process typically involves applying a specialized detergent to loosen dirt and debris, followed by a rinse solution to remove the cleaning agent. Depending on the fabric and construction of the rug, this can be done with either hot or cold water. For heavily soiled rugs, a heated extraction machine can be used to force the solution deeper into the fibers of the rug. The use of chemicals should always be done with extreme caution as they can cause discoloration or other damage if not applied correctly.

    The type of chemical used will depend on the specific material that makes up a rug’s construction and the level of soiling that needs to be addressed. Natural fibers such as silk, wool, or cotton require gentle cleaning solutions because they are vulnerable to harsh chemicals and dye runoff. Synthetic materials such as polyester or nylon are less delicate, but still need to be treated carefully with appropriate cleaning agents in order to avoid damage from over-drying or bleaching out colors.

    When chemically treating an area rug, it is important to make sure that all directions are followed precisely. The safest option is usually to have a professional cleaner handle this job in order to ensure proper application and no damage is caused during treatment.


    Maintaining Your Area Rug

    Maintaining an area rug can be a simple process, with regular cleaning and proper care. Regular vacuuming helps remove dirt, dust and other particles from the surface of the rug that can cause damage over time. Vacuum both sides of the rug weekly to maintain its appearance and quality. Additionally, it is important to clean up any spills or messes as soon as possible to avoid staining or long-term damage. Blotting spills with a damp cloth will help keep them from seeping into the fibers of the rug.

    For more thorough cleaning, a professional carpet cleaner can be used once or twice a year for deep cleaning. This should be done by experienced professionals who specialize in area rugs and are experienced in using the appropriate equipment for various types of rugs. Professional cleaners can use gentle detergents that won’t cause damage to the fabric or color of your rug.

    If possible, move your area rugs away from direct sunlight and high traffic areas regularly to decrease wear and tear on them over time. Additionally, rotating them periodically will prevent uneven fading or discoloration due to sun exposure on one side of the rug more than another.


    How To Prevent Damage To Your Area Rug

    To prevent damage to your area rug, there are several steps you can take. First, vacuum your rug regularly to remove dirt, dust and debris that can wear down the fibers. Second, rotate your rug every few months to ensure even wear on both sides. Third, use a pad underneath the rug for extra protection and cushioning. Fourth, use coasters or furniture gliders when placing furniture on top of the rug to reduce friction and wear. Finally, be sure to spot clean any spills as soon as possible with a mild detergent or spot cleaner.

    Here are five tips for preventing damage to your area rug:

    * Vacuum regularly

    * Rotate every few months

    * Place a pad underneath

    * Use coasters/gliders when placing furniture

    * Spot clean spills immediately


    Common Mistakes When Cleaning An Area Rug

    When cleaning an area rug, it is important to be aware of potential mistakes that can damage the rug. Improper cleaning techniques or using the wrong products on a rug can cause irreversible damage and reduce the lifespan of the rug. The following are common mistakes to avoid when cleaning an area rug.

    First, never use a vacuum cleaner with a beater bar attachment as this may cause snags, pulls, and tears in the fabric. This is especially true for delicate rugs like silk rugs. It is also important to ensure that the vacuum cleaner has been emptied recently and that it does not contain any debris that could scratch or damage your area rug. Secondly, do not use harsh chemicals or detergents when cleaning your area rug as these can discolor and degrade the fibers of your rug over time. If you must use a chemical solution, opt for one specifically designed for area rugs as this will be less abrasive and more effective at removing dirt and stains without damaging the fibers of your rug.

    Additionally, it’s important to note that some rugs may shrink if they are exposed to too much moisture while being cleaned or stored improperly so always check manufacturer’s instructions before attempting any type of cleaning process yourself.


    Let Safe-Dry Clean Your Rug!

    The proper cleaning of an area rug requires knowledge, skill, and patience. It is important to take the time to properly clean and maintain a rug in order to preserve its value, beauty, and integrity.

    Safe-Dry’s team of experts can clean any kind of rug, safely. Reach out and schedule an appointment today!

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