Having area rugs in your home can bring many benefits, like adding aesthetic appeal, defining a space, retaining heat in a room, and providing traction on slippery floors. However, these rugs can become stained over time (especially in high-traffic areas of your home), so you should know how to clean area rugs to keep them looking their best.

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Basic Cleaning 101

First, you should know the material of your rug. This will let you know which cleaning agents or methods you should use to maintain the integrity of the rug. Typically, you can find the material listed on the manufacturer’s label. If this tag has worn off, you may also be able to check online with the manufacturer.

For daily cleaning, you can vacuum a large area rug the same way you vacuum your carpet. It’s important to vacuum your area rugs regularly to keep dirt and debris from building up in them. Remember to vacuum both sides of the area rug if it is reversible. Smaller area rugs can be shaken outside to remove dirt.

You can also keep your rugs looking great by brushing out any pet hair from them. Sometimes vacuums don’t pick up all the pet hair on the rug. A stiff brush can lift the hair from the rug fibers. Be sure to brush in the same direction as the nap of the area rug, which is the part of the rug you walk on.

Delicate or antique rugs should be handled with special care and sometimes should not be vacuumed like typical carpets. You may want to keep the rugs out of direct sunlight to prevent fading. Use a gentle vacuum setting and vacuum in the direction of the fabric, not against it. When in doubt, contact a local carpet or rug cleaner to do the job correctly for you.

Tips for a Deeper Clean

When you have stains, spills, or other stuck-on debris, a deeper clean is in order. Check the tags on your rug to see if it is machine-washable. If the rug is washing machine safe, wash it in cool water on a gentle cycle. If it is not machine-washable but the material is not delicate, there are a few DIY home remedies that may do just the trick.

To clean a non-machine-washable area rug, start with a gentle method first. You can try spot cleaning with a mixture of white vinegar, mild dish soap, and warm water. Blot the stain with a clean cloth or rag until it is lifted from the fabric, sponge the area with cool water to rinse, and blot again to remove. Tougher stains like wine or toxic stains like animal waste will need proper stain removing products.

If you have a tough stain, an expensive area rug, or are simply unsure about how to care for the rugs in your home, you can also opt to have them professionally cleaned. Reach out to a local carpet cleaning company in your area today for a quote.