While rugs are beautiful and versatile, they may also be one of the more valuable pieces of furnishings you own. They can be a little trickier to clean than a fitted carpet, especially if they are hand-knotted or hand-tufted. A rule of thumb is that the more expensive and delicate they are, the more careful you need to be with them. Read below for some of our own rug maintenance tips.
Prevention is definitely better than cure, so a silk rug under a dining table may not be the best idea. If you have pets or a family, or entertain a lot, something easier to clean may be a smarter option as spillages are likely.
Equally, putting a rug in a high ‘foot traffic’ part of the house will mean much more wear and tear, and unless you ask people to remove their shoes when they come in, the rug is likely to get dirty pretty quickly.
However, looking after your rug isn’t difficult, and even the most delicate and expensive ones can be kept looking good without any fuss.
Use suction-type vacuum cleaners on hand-made and natural fibre rugs. You can use a beater-bar cleaning head on machine-made rugs, as they are more robust. Rugs will benefit from occasionally being turned over and vacuumed from the reverse side, as this releases dirt particles that have made their way to the base of the pile. Once clean, make sure the pile is combed back in the same direction as the rest of the rug.
If spillages occur on any rug, firstly scrape up as much as you can from the surface – a plastic spatula will do the trick. For liquids, blot and whatever the spillage is, never scrub. This will damage fibres and push dirt particles further in to the pile. You can buy specialist cleaning solutions, although make sure they don’t contain bleach or any abrasive chemicals. If you have doubts, better to err on the side of caution: many dry cleaners offer professional rug maintenance cleaning.