How To Care For Your Area Rug

A good area rug brings rooms together by adding homieness and personalization. By keeping it well-maintained, its beauty won’t fade quickly.

Most likely, your regular chores already include typical rug care tips you’ll hear! With occasional DIY-deep cleaning, you’ll keep your rug in even better condition.

Taking your rug in for professional area rug care every couple years, at least, will keep it looking practically as new as when you got it. Make sure the professional you choose is experienced with your type of rug and its care, continue the good work taking care of your rug at home, and enjoy your rug for many more years to come.

Area rug cleaning comparison. Dirty v.s. clean

How do I clean my area rug?

Shake Out

For small rugs you can easily pick up, you can literally shake them out, ideally some place outside where the dirt won’t get trapped back in the rug fibers or inside your home. For a larger rug, hanging it over a balcony, clothesline, chair backs, or a similar item and beating it with a rug beater or broom achieves the same goal.

Vacuum Cleaner

Vacuuming at least once a week – or more often, if at all possible – is an easy, effective cleaning method for area rugs. Vacuuming the underside, as well as vacuuming or sweeping the floor beneath the rug, removes dirt settled into the rug pad or ground beneath it.

Clean Stains

Stain removal works best when you clean the spot as soon as possible. Do this by using a clean cloth or paper towels to dab or blot the spot and pull up as much liquid as possible. Following directions for your cleaner, dab or blot the stain from the outside in with a new cloth. Once it’s clean, rinse out the rest of the cleaner with clean water, leaving as little excess water as you can.

My area rug is very dirty. How can I restore an area rug?

To restore a very dirty area rug, it’s best to bring it to a professional. They’ll have powerful cleaning solutions and equipment, and they’ll know what works for the type of rug you have, the type of dirt or grime in it, and more.

How do I remove pet hair from my area rug?

If your vacuum is good quality, then vacuuming slowly and in multiple directions, including diagonally, will do an excellent job removing pet hair from your area rug. Using a rubber squeegee or brush also works because it attracts pet fur from deep in the fibers of the rug and allows you to push it into one easy-to-vacuum pile.

Do certain types of area rugs need special treatment when being cleaned?

Certain types of area rugs need special treatment when being cleaned, and you can easily ruin a good rug by mistreating it. Before you treat an area rug yourself, check for a tag with washing instructions. Always follow those instructions as closely as possible.

If you have an antique rug, shag rug, wool rug, persian or oriental rug, or some other delicate kind of rug, it’s best to only take it to a professional rug cleaner. These kinds of rugs generally need very special treatment to be safely deep cleaned.

Should I turn my area rugs?

Experts recommend rotating your area rug 180 degrees about every six months, especially if your rug is in direct sunlight or a high traffic area. This gives your rug even wear and improves its lifespan.

If your rug is reversible, flipping it to its opposite side every six months is also recommended.

How often should I get my area rug professionally cleaned?

How often you should get your area rug professionally cleaned depends largely on how much foot traffic or other wear it receives. If it’s in a dim room with few visitors, you might only need to take it in every three years. If it’s in the living room near the front door, you’ll want to take it in every one or two years, at least.

Not all carpet cleaning services will accept rugs, even if the care of carpets and rugs is similar. This is just one reason it’s important to research heavily before deciding who you take your rug to. As you decide on a rug cleaner, find out what other people are saying about them. At Whitehall Carpet Cleaners, we have 4.9 stars on Google out of over 300 reviews!

Professional deep cleaning is necessary, but regular area rug maintenance is crucial to the life of your rug

There are many rug cleaning tips you can use to keep your rug gorgeous and fresh all the time. Many of them aren’t huge tasks, either, which makes them easy to incorporate into a busy schedule.

Some of the most important (and generally low effort) regular care for your rug includes:

  • Regular vacuuming, moving slowly and going in multiple directions.
    • Keep your vacuum bag or dust collector less than ⅓ or half full before you start vacuuming. If it’s completely empty, even better! The emptier your bag or collector, the better your vacuum will work.
    • Adjust your vacuum’s beater bar to the height of your carpet pile, if you can. Using the wrong height can easily fray or wear down your rug.
    • If you can control the suction of your vacuum, it’s a good idea to adjust this to the style of rug and depth of cleaning you’re doing, too!
  • Cleaning spills and messes as quickly as possible to the best of your ability.
  • Using rug cleaning products as directed.
  • Cleaning rugs as directed by its tag or by its style.
  • Rotating or flipping your rug every six months or so for even wear and tear.

On a more irregular basis, shaking out or beating your rug outside can help you deeply clean the fibers. The larger your area rug, the more of a task this is, so recruit a cleaning partner to help!

Antique area rug being professionally cleaned by Whitehall Carpet Cleaners

Finally, the best way – and lowest effort, in terms of the physical exertion you’re putting out – to keep your area rug in great condition is to have it professionally cleaned. Ideally, this would be every year, but every two or three years is generally acceptable, too!

Whitehall Carpet Cleaners has served the Midlands for almost 40 years. We’re proud to be involved in our community and our neighbors’ home care. Not everyone is in the same position, so we do our best to work with you. Our pricing is always up front, with no unexpected fees once you get the bill.

We do good work, and the evidence is in the hundreds of reviews our clients have left and the results of our work. Learn more about our rug cleaning services at this link. Or, if you have specific questions, feel free to contact us – we’re happy to answer any questions or concerns you have as soon as possible!