Spot Cleaning

We can’t stress it enough – vacuum, vacuum, vacuum!

Rugs receive a lot of abuse from dirt, various spills and foot traffic.

Vacuuming an area rug with a good machine will go a long way towards proloning the appearance and life of your carpet. Vacuuming is the primary defense against dry soils that can quickly build on rugs.

Cut pile area rugs:

The cut pile area rugs are well constructed and durable. A vacuum with a rotating beater bar to agitate the area rug pile and strong suction to remove loose particles is well tlierated by our area rugs. If your vacuum does not have a beater bar, it may remove surface dirt well but may leave imbedded soil that can damage area rugs through abrasion.
Area rugs with looped textures:

To avoid damaging the loops, vacuum regularly with suction and avoid using the beater bar.

Vacuum Tips:

  • Make sure that the beater bar is actually rotating when in contact with the carpet. A worn belt will reduce rotation when the bar contacts the carpet.
  • Adjust the height of the beater bar so that it lightly vibrates the carpet.
  • Check the vacuum bag regularly. A vacuum will become less efficient if the soil bag becomes too full (over half full for most machines).
  • Vacuum across both directions of the traffic pattern to prevent matting.
  • Vacuuming removes most dry soil, but street grime, oily soils, and air pollution can build up eventually and your rug may require cleaning. The accumulation of these particles can cause gradual dulling and some loss of color.

Area Rug Cleaning Methods:

“Oxy” Cleaners

There are many oxygen cleaners on the market that are environmentally safe and work well for spot cleaning various stains on synthetic fiber area rugs. Most of these cleaners are biodegradable and form oxygen, hydrogen peroxide and soda ash when mixed with water. Soda ash is sodium carbonate and has alkaline properties, so do not use this cleaning method on wool or silk and avoid prolonged skin contact. Carefully follow the usage and dilution guidelines for all oxygen cleaning products, rinse the cleansed area well, and be sure to test for colorfastness.

Dry Powder

We do not recommend using dry powders with plush or deep pile area rugs, as the cleaning residue may be difficult to remove.

For surface stains on low pile area rugs, use a dry powder to absorb dirt particles and then remove by vacuum. This is a relatively simple method that uses no water and is easy to perform without a professional. If the area rug is heavily soiled, we recommend a different procedure or using a professional.

Dry Foam and Absorbent Pad

Another method that uses little water is light detergent foam that is worked into the pile, then vacuumed out once dry. Use care on looped area rugs that may not tolerate heavy beater bar use or brushing.

Steam Cleaning

This method is most effective when performed by a professional. Although many rug cleaning machines may be purchased or rented. The dangers of performing this method on your own are using too much detergent or water. Some cleaning agents available with rented units leave a heavier residue, so use care or the advice of a professional when choosing a product. Test the product on a small area to check for residue or a sticky feel. Do not use if a residue exists, or if in doubt about a product. Finally, do not use laundry detergents to clean your area rug to avoid possible optical brighteners.

Area Rug Stain Removal

Accidents happen. If an area rug becomes spotted or stained, work quickly. When possible, scoop up solids and blot liquids immediately after a spill occurs. Absorb as much liquid as possible with a white cloth or paper towel without scrubbing the area to prevent matting or fuzzing.

Methods of Cleaning Various Area Rug Fibers.

The type of fiber in your area rug should be the primary consideration in selecting a cleaning method. The majority of area rugs manufactured with synthetic fibers such as polypropylene, nylon and acrylic and may be cleaned with most cleaning methods, but we have listed three accepted methods for cleaning synthetic fiber area rugs.

Follow the area rug manufacturer’s recommendations. When choosing any cleaning method, follow the directions for dilution and application.
Never use laundry detergent, automatic dishwasher detergent, or any strong cleaning products.
For dried or soil stains, thoroughly vacuum the area to be cleaned before applying a cleaning method. In some cases, you may want to use a preconditioning solution prior to cleaning to begin loosening soil.

Natural fibers may require additional consideration before cleaning. Do not use oxygen cleaners on wool or silk.

Wool

Excessive agitation and heat should be avoided, but generally wool fibers may be cleaned with most cleaning methods. Wool should be cleaned with neutral detergents and dried quickly. Use special care around household cleaning products, as bleaches and other alkaline products such as bathroom cleaners easily damage wool.

Cotton/Rayon

Cotton and rayon are cellulose fibers and may be cleaned using all cleaning methods. To avoid shrinking and possible browning, avoid excessive drying and agitation. As with wool, take care with alkaline products.

Silk

Silk should be cleaned using a dry cleaning process. These fibers may be damaged by natural and synthetic acids (e.g. lemon juice), and sunlight. Consult a rug cleaning specialist for additional information about cleaning silk.

Sisal and Other Plant Fibers

Plant fibers such as sisal, jute, coconut (coir), ramie, and hemp have characteristics similar to cotton. It is generally safe to clean these fibers with all cleaning methods. As with any fiber, dry the area rug as quickly as possible.