When cleaning your rug, keep in mind that you should do so based on its size and material. Large area rugs can be treated as wall-to-wall carpet. It’s recommended to vacuum large rugs on a regular basis and both sides of reversible ones. Remember to be careful in not vacuuming the fringe of your rug. Brush out pet hair. Vacuums don’t always do the trick – use a stiff brush to remove the hair, brushing in the direction of the nap of the rug. Turn rugs once or twice every year to even out the wear from the constant foot traffic. Ruffle small area rugs. With small rugs, take it outside and shake or beat it to remove dirt.
Specialty rugs require special cleaning care. Keeping care tags on the rug can prevent costly mistakes.
Woven & Braided Rugs
Check for loose stitching before and after cleaning. Check labels to ensure that these rugs are washable. If so, place them in a zippered pillowcase or mesh laundry bag. Wash in cool water on a gentle cycle. Tumble dry on a low setting. Place large braided rugs on a vinyl or concrete floor. Sponge commercial carpet-cleaning foam over the surface and rub it in according to the product directions. Finish by rinsing or vacuuming. Dry thoroughly.
Handmade, Hand-knotted, Antique, & Oriental Rugs
Vacuum a new Oriental rug as you would carpet. Use special care with delicate vintage or antique rugs. Have these rugs professionally cleaned once a year and rotate them to even the wear. When buying antique rugs, learn from the seller about their fiber content and construction.
Coir, Sisal, Rush, & Grass Rugs
Vacuum frequently; many of these rugs are reversible. To clean stains or discolorations on a natural-fiber rug, leave it in place. Protect the floor with a plastic drop cloth and towel. Scrub the stains with a soft brush dipped in soapy water and rinse with clear water. Place a towel over the wet area. Dry the spot as much as possible. Use a portable fan or hair dryer to speed drying. Water weakens the fibers, so work quickly and dry thoroughly.
Fur, Sheepskin, & Hair-on Hides
Shake unscented talcum powder on these rug types and leave on for several hours. Brush the talcum powder through the hair, then shake it out. Repeat several times, depending on the fur length. To clean the back of the rug, use a clean cotton cloth dipped in lukewarm soapy water. Wipe off any dirt or stains. Rinse with a cloth dipped in clean water and allow to dry completely.