The Do’s and Don’ts of Cleaning Your Area Rug

Area rugs can be a beautiful addition to any home decorating idea.  They add a personal touch to the rooms, making them warm and inviting.  But they can be hard to maintain taking into account how much dirt they attract. Starting from dirt, mud, spills to pet accidents – the list of stuff that can wear out an area rug can go on. So it is very important to regularly clean them in order to preserve them from wearing out and therefore extend the lifespan. To ease out the process of cleaning an area rug here are some do’s and don’ts.

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  1. Turn the rug once a month. Flipping it upside down will help it to wear evenly. Also vacuum both the sides when cleaning it so that it will help getting out the dirt trapped at the back of the rug.
  2. Regularly vacuum the rug. Regular cleaning of the rug will take away the dust and will not let them embed too deeply into the fibre. But care should be taken not to vacuum the fringes or tassels.
  3. Clean up the spill or stain as soon as possible. Blot the spills as soon as they occur. The more time you wait to clean it out, chances are they will become more permanent. Though professional cleaners may be able to take them out, there might still be residues that will ruin the rug.
  4. Shake the small area rugs on the outdoors to remove grit and dirt. They may also be often sun dried in order to get rid of any allergens or fungus. Use brushes to remove pet hair because vacuum cleaners may often leave them behind.
  5. Try to use a pad under your rug. It may help in preventing wearing of the rugs. Also, it will save the surface from any possible discoloration. Also applying a carpet protector on the carpet can prevent it from wearing.


  1. Don’t wait too long to get your area rug cleaned. There is a common misconception that one should wait as long as possible before getting the rug cleaned. But the amount of dirt that regularly accumulates in the rug can wear it out like sandpaper. Vacuuming the carpet weekly does take out a portion of the dirt but it does not take out the fungus that gathers in the rug and therefore may cause allergy, asthma and other health problems. So it is recommended to deep clean it every 12-18 months.
  2. Never use bleach to clean an area rug. It will dissolve the wool or any other natural fibre.
  3. Don’t use store bought carpet cleaners and shampoos for cleaning rugs. They are too abrasive and made for cleaning wall to wall synthetic fibre carpets. They can damage natural fibre rugs. Delicate area rugs need to be cleaned as per their materials.
  4. Don’t try to rub out stain or spill from the rug. It will only push the spill inside the fibres. Blot the spill using a clean towel or pad of paper towels. Keep blotting with dry towels until the liquid is absorbed. A bit of club soda can be used to loosen the stain.
  5. Do not lay down the rug without properly drying it. A heavy area rug may take 24-48 hours to /properly dry. If not given enough time to dry it may become a breeding ground for mould and bacteria. Also, if it’s not properly dried it will damage the surface area below from the dampness and humidity.
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