Have a rug? Read this blog to understand how to maintain your carpet or rug. It can save you fortune.
Whether you walk on it or hang it from the wall as a focal piece, handmade rugs show dirt time to time from dust, mud, pet dander, or accidental spills. Even if the handmade rug is a small runner or a large area rug, care and cleaning routines are roughly the same. The key is to clean the rug on a regular schedule and to attend to spills from liquids or deep dirt like mud immediately. Learning about the different cleaning methods that are safe for the fibers in your handmade rug helps you keep the rug looking like new.
Necessary Equipment and Supplies
Since handmade rugs are very delicate, using the right types of cleaning equipment and supplies allows you to keep the fibers intact. Before you begin cleaning the rug, you need to remove any dirt debris. Invest in a vacuum that has a bare floor setting as well as hand tools to spot vacuum. You can also use a hard-bristle brush or broom to sweep dirt off of the rug. Avoid using a vacuum that has a rotating bar as this can catch and create snags on the surface of your rug.
When washing is necessary, choose a mild detergent or a low pH rug shampoo. Other supplies to gather for rug washing include a bucket, soft-bristle brush, and white vinegar.
Examine the rug to determine if it needs a quick vacuum or sweeping, or if it needs deep cleaning. One test you can perform is by running your hand across the fibers. If the fibers feel stiff rather than lose, your rug needs a deep clean. Remove the rug from your home and vacuum, shake it, or beat it with the end of a broom handle to remove loose dirt. Then, lay the rug on a flat surface. Before you mix a large bucket of warm water, vinegar, and cleaning solution or soap, perform a colorfast test by applying a small amount of cleaning mixture with a soft-bristle brush to the corner of the rug. Allow this spot to dry so that you may examine the rug to make sure the cleaning solution does not discolor the handmade rug.
If you need to perform any repairs to your rug, complete them before you wash the entire rug. Snags and pulls are removable with a pair of sharp scissors. When an area of your rug has severe damage, you can opt to sew in new fibers or take the rug to a certified restoration specialist.
When you are ready to clean the rug entirely, create a solution that contains one part vinegar to five parts warm water to two parts cleaning solution or soap. Mix thoroughly to dissolve the cleaning solution or soap. Dip the soft-bristle brush in the solution and gently brush the rug in even vertical strokes. Avoid vigorous brushing as this damages the rug.
Taking care of stains is an important part of keeping your handmade rug looking its best. In an ideal situation, you should gently blot any liquid when a spill occurs. Use an absorbent cloth, such as microfiber to suck up all the liquid. The type of stain you have also determine the proper method to remove it from the handmade rug.
Prior to using any solvent or cleaning solution, do a spot test to check if it alters your handmade rugs fibers. You can also look for solvents that are specifically for handmade rugs.
Drying the Rug
Air drying is the safest and most convenient method that handmade rug manufacturers recommend you use after a thorough cleaning. Keep the rug on a flat surface such as a concrete driveway. If the rug is small enough to hang from a clothesline, pin it up. To speed up the drying time you can place fans around the rug to circulate the air. Whatever you do, always avoid the temptation of throwing a handmade rug in the dry. This can ruin the rug and cause it to shrink, warp, or lose fibers.