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Care & Cleaning


No matter the size, shape, style or make, proper care and maintenance is the best way to ensure that your area rug will stand the test of time. Below you will find tips on maintaining your area rugs.

Routine maintenance is essential to prolong the life of your rug and keep it looking its best for years to come. Rugs need special attention and the right kind of pad to insure a longer life. Like any investment, if you want it to last you must take care of it properly.

The best way to keep your area rug clean is to keep it from getting dirty in the first place. Exercise preventative maintenance by placing absorbent mats (i.e. welcome mats) at the most frequently used entrances to your home. This will help prevent dirt from being tracked onto your area rugs in other parts of the home. It is also a good idea to change or launder these mats when they become dirty. Additionally, removing shoes prior to entering your home will cut down on the amount of outside dirt that is brought in.

Frequent vacuuming

Frequent vacuuming is a rugs best friend and is necessary to remove dirt, dust and animal hair. Accumulated dirt can break down the fibers in your rug and make it look dull and dirty. Vacuum the surface at least once a week and the back monthly. Be cautious around the fringe and edge of the rug, as they can get caught in the beater bar and unravel. If your carpet is made of one of the newer soft fibers, you’ll want to adjust the head height on your vacuum cleaner to the highest setting.

Although an upright vacuum with a beater bar/brush is the best type for cut pile rugs, a suction-only vacuum may be required for a loop pile rug to prevent excessive fuzzing. To cut down on excessive dust, filters in your heating and air conditioning systems should be changed regularly.

While vacuuming is very important to maintain your area rug you also need to be aware that the most damaging effect on rugs can be caused by improper vacuuming. Extra care must be taken when vacuuming your rug. High-powered vacuums will pull threads out of the back of tugs and cause sprouts. These include the bagless Dyson and Oreck. If a vacuum can pick up a bowling ball imagine what it can do to a rug.

Solution: Use the handheld attachment to vacuum your rug.

A beater bar will pull fibers from the face of the rug or they can cause the face of your rug to fuzz.

Solution: Turn the beater bar off on your vacuum, or if it cannot be turned off have it on the highest setting.

The surging on the edges of rugs is very sensitive. Running the vacuum over the edges will cause the surging to deteriorate and fibers will come loose around the edges.

Solution: Carefully place your vacuum on the edge of the rug.

The fringes on the ends of rugs will be destroyed by all vacuums.

Solution: Use the handheld attachment to clean fringes.

Brooms and sweepers are a great, gentle way to clean your rug. Canister vacuums without beater bars are the most effective.

Avoid uneven fading and wear

by rotating your rug periodically. This will prevent discoloration from UV rays and high traffic areas and indentations from furniture.

Buy the right kind of rug pad.

The right pad will reduce wear and tear on your rug because rugs tend to wear from the bottom up. They also allow your rug to “breathe” and protect the floor underneath.

Use rug protectors

under furniture legs and heavy items. A potted plant may look great; but if it’s crushing your pile, or worse, leaking onto the rug, you may never be able to move it because of the indentation or stain it leaves behind.

Snip snags or pulls when they happen

or they will increase in size. If it’s just a small pull it may be a sprouting, something that happens occasionally when a fiber loses its elasticity, and a snip can put a stop to it. For larger pulls, professional repair may be necessary.

Minimize spills

and you minimize the possibility for stains. It’s great to think if you’re careful you won’t get spills on the rug. Spills can and do happen. When they do, here are a few tips to removing the spill:

  • Blot as much liquid as possible with a white cloth as quickly as you can.
  • Do NOT rub – it will only push the stain into the fibers.
  • Rinse the area with warm water and then blot again with a white cloth. Absorb as much of the water as possible, and allow the area to dry undisturbed.
  • Don’t step on the wet area or replace furniture until it is completely dry because it can distort the pile. Also, a wet rug will attract stains so it’s best to avoid the area completely.
  • You may use a hairdryer or fan to speed up the drying process.
  • When it is dry, vacuum to fluff up the nap.
  • If the stain persists, use a spot cleaner that is safe for your carpet.

Expert cleaning.

Never underestimate the power of a good professional cleaning. Not only will your rug look better, it will last longer too. Periodic cleaning will prolong the life of your rug.

Read and heed the manufacturer’s instructions.

Your best source for information about your area rug is available from its manufacturer. Different fibers, styles and finishes require different care. If you follow their instructions, chances are you’ll be happy with the outcome. With routine maintenance your area rug can provide you with years of wear and enhance your home.

Rug Repair

Rugs that have been damaged can be restored.

Professional repair is recommended for:

  • Worn fringes
  • Holes and/or torn areas
  • Moth damage
  • Pile wear
  • Unraveling and snags
  • Selvage wear
  • Mold/mildew remediation
  • Dry rot repair
  • Stain and pet damage

In many cases, restoration can make your rug look like new. Heirloom rugs can often be rejuvenated and returned to their classic appearance.

Rug Storage

If you are planning to store your rug, there are a few steps to take to minimize the potential for damage and keep it good shape for when you’re ready to use it again.

  • Have it cleaned before storing. This eliminates the potential for infestation, and can keep spots and stains from worsening with storage.
  • Don’t store the rug until it is completely dry.
  • Roll your rug into a tight roll. If it is silk or wool with pile, leave the pile facing out to reduce stress on the backing.
  • Wrap your rug in paper, not plastic. Plastic does not allow the rug to breathe and it can become musty or mildewed.
  • Lay your rug on a shelf – not on the floor. Don’t store it upright, this can cause warping and damage the rug.
  • Check on your rug periodically. If you are storing it for a short time, this is probably unnecessary, but for extended storage you’ll want to ensure that it hasn’t become wet or dry rotted.

Clean traffic lanes and in front of frequently used chairs periodically with an absorbent powder such as Capture. Do not apply stain repellent treatments, which contain any silicone because they tend to accelerate carpet soiling. As a matter of fact, some manufacturers do not accept responsibility for complaints where such treatments have been used. Keep absorbent cloth or paper towels and cleaning solutions on hand for quick response to spills and accidents.

Cleaning Agents for Spot Removal

Detergent Solution – Mix one teaspoon of clear dishwashing liquid or detergent powder (containing no bleaches or strong alkali’s) with a cup or warm (not hot) water.

Ammonia Solution – Mix one tablespoon of clear household ammonia (3% solution) with ½ cup water.

Solvent – A dry-cleaning solvent (available at grocery, drug and hardware stores) such as Carbona, Energine, or K2R, (Chemically 1.1.1. Trichloroethane preferred).

Absorbent Cleaners – Capture.

Click Here to See Our Spot Removal Chart

*These instructions are to be used as a reference only. Greater Tennessee Flooring is not responsible for any damage, fading, and or change in your rugs due to following these instructions. Please call a professional for assistance prior to using these instructions. By using this reference, it is understood that Greater Tennessee Flooring relinquishes all responsibility.

Need any other information about maintaining your area rug?

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