As with any flooring covering, rugs need special care. Just because it is soft and plush like carpet does not mean that the same carpet cleaning products and techniques should be used on a rug. Many rugs are delicate and require the care of a professional rug cleaner. Having your rug cleaned by a professional rug cleaner is always better than trying to clean it at your home. Here are some ways to care for your rug safely while protecting its beauty and value.
Smaller rugs, like bath mats, can be machine washed by following label directions on the back of the rug. However, most rugs should not be cleaned in your home or office, but rather at a rug cleaning plant. Did you know that a rug can hold nearly a pound of dry soil per square foot and still look clean? That means an 8×10 rug can hold nearly 80 pounds of dry soil.
To check and see whether or not your rug is full of soil, pick up a corner of the rug and while holding it with one hand, hit the back of the rug sharply with the other hand. If a cloud of soil flies out of the pile, the rug is soiled and needs to be cleaned.
You could also take a vacuum cleaner with a “beater bar” and (with the rug facing down on a hard surface) turn on the vacuum and leave it in one spot for 8-10 seconds. Then flip the rug back. If there is some soil on the floor, then it is time to clean the rug.
A professional rug cleaner will test the colors in a rug to prevent bleeding, remove the dry soil with specially designed rug dusting equipment, use the safest method available to properly clean the rug and the fringe, and insure the rug is properly dried after cleaning.
Since a wool rug can hold 30% of its weight in water, and still feel dry to the touch, it is important to make sure the rug is dry before putting it back on a wood floor or rolling it up to be stored.
Quick Note: Never let a carpet cleaner clean a rug in your home or office since it would be impractical to bring the “rug dusting” and “washing” equipment necessary to properly clean a rug into a home environment. While your favorite carpet cleaner might do a wonderful job cleaning your carpet, they simply cannot clean a rug properly with the same cleaning products and equipment used to clean your carpet.
And, many times it is necessary to test the colors in a rug for 24 hours to make sure they are stable. Cleaning products made for cleaning synthetic wall-to-wall carpeting could damage a natural fiber rug. A professional rug cleaner will use cleaning products that are safe for wool or other natural fibers.
So when your rugs need special attention make sure to take them to a professional rug cleaning plant, so your rug can be taken care of properly.