For many, a rug is not just a beautiful addition to the home, but a sizeable financial investment. So it should be looked after in accordance with its special status. here are some ways to keep your rug looking as pristine as the day you brought it home.
Treat large rugs as you would a wall-to-wall carpet, removing your shoes when walking on it to prolong its life and taking care not to drop anything on it to stain it. If the rug has tassels, check and straighten them from time to time. If your rug is going to be washed or dry cleaned, divide the tassels into small sections and tie them with white string to avoid tangles. Keep your rug vacuumed regularly, making sure the settings are low enough to prevent any damage to the fibres from too rigorous a cleaning regime.
Smaller rugs can come in for more wear and tear as they are often placed at harder wearing spots, such as door entrances or in front of working fireplaces. They can benefit hugely from regular shaking or beating outdoors to get rid of dust, crumbs etc. Vacuum them as above and again take care to follow the cleaning instructions to prevent damage to the fibres.
Cleaning and drying
Rugs of all shapes and sizes can be dry cleaned, or you can apply carpet cleaner and lukewarm water and wash them yourself. Always check the label if you are using any cleaning fluids and insist on an inconspicuous area being tested for colour runs first. Pour unscented talcum powder into sheepskins and rugs with longer piles and shake out a few hours later. You may need to enlist more specialist help to move and clean larger, or more valuable rugs. If in doubt, call in the rug cleaning experts. Avoid hanging wet rugs over a thin clothes line as this will distort the shape of the rug underneath. Use a table, countertop, bench or chair to dry them instead.
Working with children and animals
Pets are a wonderful addition to the home, but their discarded dander and fur can play havoc with the look of a rug, as can any toileting accidents or sickness. Use a stiff clothes brush rugs to remove fur and buy a vacuum with a special pet fur setting for optimum results. Follow expert advice on cleaning up after any pert-related accidents. Teach children to respect the rug and to not bring food or drink into the room. Provide them with a safe area to do colouring and crafts to avoid droping paints, glue or glitter on the rug.
Always have your rug professionally cleaned and checked for moths, carpet beetles and other pests before putting it away in storage. Add some cedar wood or moth balls to protect it from being eaten. Roll the rug into a cylinder from ‘bottom to top’, i.e. find the direction of the rug’s nap and roll it in the same direction. Then, wrap it in acid-free craft paper and cover it with something like a large, clean sheet to keep it clean. Store the rug off the floor, standing up in a climate-controlled space to prevent it from becoming wet in a flood and the nap from getting squashed if laid lengthways.