Thursday, April 29, 2010

Area Rug Maintenance – Do's and Don'ts

Smart, regular care and upkeep will keep your area rugs looking great, and your home looking as beautiful, stylish and unique as ever. Check out the following advice and be a little smarter about smart and stylish, colorful and captivating, area rugs.

If the rug is to be stored for a long time in a place without exposure to light or air, first vacuum or broom it.Then use mothballs (sometimes tobacco is also used) in order to protect it against insect damage. It is best to put the mothballs in the middle of the rug and roll the rug reasonably tight against its nap (against the direction the pile faces) so that it looks like a cylinder. Then store the rug in a dry location.

When considering repairing a rug, factor in the cost of repair in comparison to the value of the rug. Repairing a handmade rug, similar to weaving, is very time consuming and labor intensive; as a result, repair can sometimes be costly.Sometimes, it is better if collectible items remain in their original state and not be repaired because their value might actually decrease by any change, even if the change appears good. Getting the opinion of a professional is always a good idea.Most reputable handmade rug retailers offer you repair services.


  • Rotate your rug 180 degrees every few months, or every year, depending on traffic patterns. Rotation is necessary for two reasons. First, all parts of your rug should be exposed to light equally so that the colors fade evenly. When colors are exposed to the sun evenly, they become harmonious and the rug ages nicely, but if different parts of the rug receive unequal amounts of sun exposure, over time, one side might look over faded and one side too bright. Second, is traffic. All parts of the rug should be exposed to an equal amount of traffic so that the pile wears evenly.
  • A water spill should be dried immediately with a hairdryer set on a warm temperature. Try to dry both sides of your rug if possible. In case of a soft drink or alcohol spill, apply salt or baking soda to the spot for a few minutes to absorb the color of the drink. Then vacuum off the salt or baking soda. After vacuuming, use a wet towel to gently wipe the stain in the direction of the nap(the direction the pile faces). You can wet the towel with regular or carbonated water. Be gentle; For old stains,take the rug to a professional handmade rug retailer.
  • Have your rug washed by a professional every 2 to 5 years depending on the amount of traffic on the rug. It is important to have it washed professionally because, as the rug is used, dust, dirt and broken fiber get into the foundation.Professionals dust the rug with special equipment to get all of these elements out of the foundation before washing the rug.Then, they usually wash the rug by hand using natural soap. They will also make sure the rug is dried from the surface to the foundation before it is used again. Most handmade rug dealers and retailers offer appropriate cleaning services.
  • Consult with your retailer about the proper padding to be placed under your rug. Padding is an important element and will both stabilize and protect your rug. Good padding also makes it safer to walk on your rug and will protect its value and appearance.

  • Don’t avoid walking on your area rugs! Avoiding walking on your new area rug is like keeping a new car locked up in the garage undriven. With usage, as the top layers of pile (in most cases wool) break, the pile looks shinier and smoother, and with light exposure the colors look more harmonious. In fact, with proper use, handmade rugs generally become more valuable.
  • Do not scrub your area rug. You can wet the towel with regular or carbonated water. Be gentle;
  • Do not try to clean old stains yourself. For old stains, take the rug to a professional handmade rug retailer.
  • Do not take your rug to general carpet-cleaning companies because the techniques and chemicals they use for wall-to-wall carpets may not be appropriate for handmade rugs.
This article was taken directly from Floor Talk ( Also, please visit my websites at and for all your flooring needs.

Americarpet sells this type area rugs among many others. Go to to see our online inventory of area rugs. Alternatively you can come to the store to find hundreds of area rug samples.

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