Area Rug Cleaning: From Daily Maintenance to Deep Cleaning

December 13, 2023

mother and son sit on area rugKeeping your area rug looking its very best is a must if you pride yourself on maintaining a clean and attractive home. In many cases, rugs represent the visual focal point of the room and offer a punch of color and style, as well as a warm and cozy feel. However, they can be a bit tricky to clean and maintain depending on the specific types of textiles they’re made with. Below, we’re offering some daily area rug cleaning and maintenance tips, as well as our advice on deep cleaning your favorite rugs.

Daily Maintenance and Basic Area Rug Cleaning

Your area rug performs the crucial job of trapping dust, dander, and soil while also making the floor more comfortable for bare feet. Recurring cleaning and maintenance are a must to prevent wear and tear from the daily accumulation of gritty dust and dirt that rub against the rug’s delicate fibers. 

Steps that you can take on your own for basic area rug cleaning include:

  • Vacuuming. Most rugs benefit from frequent vacuuming, which will remove surface dust and dirt and help prevent stubborn spots from taking hold. Keep in mind that certain types of rugs, such as oriental rugs, may need extra protection during vacuuming in the form of a nylon screen placed on top of the rug or nylon mesh placed over the vacuum attachment.
  • Brushing. While vacuuming is an ideal method for regular maintenance, it often does a poor job of getting rid of pet hair. If you have pets that shed frequently, you may also need to consider brushing their fur out of the rug using a stiff brush. Be sure to brush in the same direction as the nap of the rug to prevent damage. 
  • Turning. Another step that can help prevent premature damage and allow for more even wear is to turn rugs once or twice each year. This will ensure sunlight exposure and foot traffic are more evenly distributed across the rug to make aging less obvious. 
  • Shaking. Smaller area rugs can be shaken out to get rid of dirt and grit prior to vacuuming. This helps make vacuuming more effective and also gets rid of some of the dirt that has gathered near the backing of the rug. 

Here are a few other tips for area rug cleaning based on rug type and textile composition:

  • Woven or braided rugs. In some cases, small woven or braided rugs can be washed in the laundry machine. Simply check the rug’s label to determine whether this is an option. Be sure to place it in a mesh laundry bag to prevent stitching breaks and only wash in cool water.
  • Rugs made with natural fibers. Natural fibers used for rug making include coir, rush, sisal, and grass, among others. If stains appear on these types of fibers, you can gently scrub them with a soft brush moistened with soapy water. Afterward, rinse the area with clean water and be sure to dry thoroughly, as moisture can weaken the fibers over time.
  • Hair on hide, sheepskin, or other fur rugs. Rugs made from animal skin can sometimes be cleaned with the help of talcum powder. When applied to the fur, the talcum powder will absorb oils that would otherwise damage the rug. After brushing the powder through the fur and allowing it to sit for several hours, shake it out to reveal a cleaner, fluffier rug.

The Safest Approach to Deep Area Rug Cleaning 

While you can take certain steps on your own for basic rug maintenance, deep cleaning for area rugs should be left to a professional team. One of the many reasons that you’ll want to have experienced technicians take on this task is that each type of rug has specific needs when it comes to deep cleaning. Some can be damaged when conventional methods are applied, and others only respond well to certain types of cleansers. Because oriental rugs are often heirlooms or precious souvenirs, these types of rugs in particular should only be handled by professionals.

To ensure you’re taking all the right steps to care for your rug, we recommend reaching out to our skilled team at Chem-Dry for deep area rug cleaning. We have experience with area rug cleaning for all types of materials, from delicate handwoven textiles to expensive silks and more common synthetics. 

Our specialists are trained in the use of professional tools and equipment and can conduct an in-home rug analysis to determine the safest and most effective technique for deep cleaning your rug. In some cases, we may suggest a rug bath conducted off-site to ensure best results. We will also take a close look at stains and spots to remedy these problems and restore the rug’s original beauty while preserving its lifespan. 

Get started with area rug cleaning specialists you can trust. Your local Chem-Dry is just a call away at (800) CHEM-DRY!