Many friends ask me how best to keep their rugs clean in their homes or offices. The reality is that keeping your rugs clean really takes basic maintenance and care and your rugs will remain in healthy condition for a lifetime.
Here are a few simple things to remember to keeping your rugs clean:
Vacuuming: Be sure to vacuum your rugs as you would with any other carpet on a regular basis. Typically it's best to vacuum 2-3 times a week. Try to avoid using a beater brush vacuum and instead, opt for a suction vacuum. The beater brush may start to undo the knots of the wool.
Protecting From Spills: Accidents happen where a little wine might spill on your rug, or you might have dropped some liquid or sauce from your plate. Not to worry! You can immediately attempt to remove the stain yourself by using a cup of warm water and pour the water over the stain and dab with a towel. Continue to pour the water and dab until you see the towel is unable to pick up anymore color. In some cases where the stain is too large or too prominent this method might not work for you. In this case it's best to bring your rug in to have a professional remove it by hand washing for you. One thing that is important to remember: household carpet cleaners have chemicals and ingredients such as bleach that can further harm and discolor your rug, therefore do not attempt to clean the stain using these! You can further damage your rug and it could cost you much more than having a professional clean it for you to begin with.
Protecting From Pets: Let's say Fido got a little too excited to see you back home from work or your travels and had an accident on your rug. You can use the method above to get the pet urine out of your rug as best you can, but in this case and the nature of handwoven rugs, it's best to bring it in to have a professional hand wash for you. There are many great organic and safe products to use on your rug to eliminate the pet urine color and odor, but are only available for commercial use. It's best for your wallet and your ease of mind to let the pros take care of it for you.
Protecting From Sun: In order to minimize any sun damage from your rugs, it's best to rotate your rugs at 180 degrees every 6 months. Similarly to how you would rotate your car tires, this allows the rug to receive both even sunlight and foot traffic so that you can prevent unevenness throughout your rug.
Protecting From Furniture: Just as it's important to rotate your rugs for sunlight and foot traffic, you should also rotate your furniture once in a while to prevent causing breaking and holes in your rug. Rotating your furniture while also using a flat surface barrier between any pointy furniture and your rugs will help prevent this type of damage. Also, don't forget that in order to prevent your rug from slipping and sliding, you will want to use a rug pad underneath the rug to keep it in place.
Keeping Your Rugs Lasting Longer: A good wash can really help with almost anything! Similarly to how you would get your car detailed or deep clean the interior of your house, or even power wash the exterior of your house, a good rug cleaning can really help with the longevity of your rug. Not only does cleaning your rug bring our its vibrancy by eliminating the dirt and dust deep in the weaves of the rug, but it also allows the wool to soften and makes for a much nicer experience walking on them. It's recommended to have your rugs cleaned every 5-7 years, depending on how much foot traffic your rug is used to. For heavier traffic, every 5 years is recommended. For those rugs that aren't placed in heavily trafficked areas, every 7 years is preferred.
With these tips to keep in mind, you are looking at keeping your rugs alive and healthy for a lifetime and generations to come!