How to Care for Your Area Rug

Area rug cleaning and care

As hardwood floors have risen to equal popularity as home carpeting, area rug cleaning has become a more common need.  We all know to vacuum our carpets but what should we do to keep our area rugs clean?  Some are old, and made of finer materials than carpets.  Others utilize newer materials that have special cleaning requirements.

Always read the manufacturers cleaning requirements.  Following those guidelines will usually put you on the right track. If you don’t have instructions or can’t adhere to them, here are some tips for cleaning area rugs.


Oriental Rugs

Oriental rugs, especially traditional ones, are usually handmade, older, and need careful care.  A normal vacuum’s brushes are generally too harsh and can damage these rugs.  You can use an older vacuum with a beater bar and work with the vacuum attachments to avoid sucking up the fringes of the rug.  A common practice is to use a covering over the hose attachment to prevent sucking it up.  Nylon hosiery or a sheer cloth is usually the best type.


Alternatively, if your area rug is on the smaller side, you could utilize an old fashioned but effective method: hanging it outdoors and using a soft brush to clean it off.  Even if you do this, we recommend running a vacuum over the back of the rug as it can gather debris, and won’t be damaged by the vacuum.  It is recommended that you have the rug professionally cleaned annually, or every year and a half if it’s in a low traffic area.


Flat-Woven Rugs

These area rugs are usually very similar to carpeting.  It’s recommended that you clean the rug as often as you would vacuum other areas of your home.  You can hang it outdoors and clean it with a soft brush for smaller rugs, or even shake the dust outside if the rug is small enough.  A select few types of flat-woven rugs can be washed.  Read the manufacturer’s instructions, some may require you to hand wash them or put them in a bag when using a washing machine. It’s important to professionally clean flat-woven area rugs approximately annually or depending on the traffic volume.


Pile Rugs

If a pile rug is made of wool, then wet cleaning is preferred.  If your area rug is made of silk, then it should be washed with a dry method.  A simple technique to check if you’ll lose color while cleaning is to take a damp cloth and run it gently over the area rug.  If color transfers to the cloth then you know the area rug will lose color if you wet-clean it.


Shag Rugs

If you have a shag area rug then a canister vacuum works best.  Traditional upright vacuums will likely damage the shag loops.  Another effective tool for maintaining these area rugs is a carpet rake, as it could help detangle them.


Diablo Carpet and Floor Restoration has been keeping Bay Area home flooring professionally clean and in beautiful condition. Please contact us today if you have any questions or would like us to professionally clean your area rug anywhere in San Ramon, Danville, Blackhawk, Alamo, Dublin, Pleasanton, or Walnut Creek.