Rugs can add a lot of personality to a living space. However, they do require regular cleaning to keep them fresh and clean. Without regular cleaning, your rugs can become havens for germs, allergens, mould and insects. A dirty rug can affect air quality, give off bad smells and exacerbate the symptoms and severity of allergies and respiratory problems like asthma.
To help you keep your rugs hygienic and looking and smelling great, we have a few deep cleaning rug tips.
- Vacuum regularly
All rugs need to be vacuumed on a regular basis. Vacuuming removes loose dirt and debris before it has a chance to become embedded in the fibres. Once the surface is clear of loose dirt, it becomes much easier to clean stains and blemishes.
If you have children, regularly vacuuming will ensure that your rugs are safe to play on. Rugs and carpet can easily trap harmful compounds that have been brought from the outside. Any harmful bacteria will need to be removed from the surface before your children can safely use it.
Most vacuums should be suitable for cleaning rugs. Just be mindful of products that have harsh, abrasive heads. These can damage the surface of your rugs, especially if it has intricate designs and colours.
- Clean stains immediately
Dealing with spills can be tricky, but if you act fast you can mitigate the damage. Make sure to clean up a spill before it has a chance to dry.
The tricky part is knowing which cleaning product to use. Ironically, some rug cleaning solutions also contain chemicals that can cause skin and eye irritations. Be careful about the product that you use and make sure to check the ingredients before you purchase it. You should be cautious with products that use nonylphenols and antimicrobials. For more information on the dangers of unclean rugs and carpets, click here.
Depending on the substance that you’ve spilled, you’re going to need to use different solutions. Here is a short list of commonly spilled substances and the ideal cleaning solution for them.
- Alcohol and sodas: liquid soap, white vinegar and water
- Juices: club soda with a cleaning cloth
- Paint: cleaning detergent and rubbing alcohol
- Coffee: liquid soap, white vinegar and water
- Blood: cold water and a cleaning cloth
Be careful about the cleaning products that you use. Bleach, for example, will remove colour from a surface and whiten it. Thus, it’s best to avoid it if you have coloured rugs. On the other hand, some coloured cleaning solutions contain dyes that your light-coloured rug can absorb. Before using a particular product, make sure to test it on an old rug or on a small part of your current one to ensure that it won’t do damage.
- Consider high foot traffic areas
Your rugs are going to get stepped on a lot. Overtime, these steps will accumulate and damage the fibers of your rug. As a result, you need to be strategic when deciding where to place your rugs.
With rugs that are less durable, make sure you’re not placing them in high traffic areas. This includes entrances, hallways, kitchens and bathrooms. Instead, reserve them for your bedroom and the centre of your lounge.
More durable rugs can be used for high traffic areas. However, you have to be careful with allowing shoes on the surface. Not only does this invite harmful substances into your home, it can also damage your rugs.
If possible, ask your guests or household members to remove their shoes before they set foot into your home.
- Rotate your furniture
Human feet are not the only things that wreak havoc on your rugs. Your furniture can also put your rugs under constant stress. If you have heavy tables and sofas, the feet can begin to dig into the rug after a while. As such, it’s a good idea to change the lay out of your furniture to ensure that the same areas of your rugs aren’t being put under stress.
Additionally, strategically placing your furniture can prevent additional foot traffic from damaging your rug. For example, a rug under your coffee table will likely not get too much foot traffic.
- Get it professionally cleaned
Lastly, see if you can hire a reliable professional to clean your rugs for you. Professional assistance is particularly helpful if your rugs are in poor condition. You can count on cleaning specialists to bring industrial grade products and tools to clean your rugs for you. They should be able to clean stains that you can’t remove yourself.
Even if your rug isn’t in too bad of a condition, it’s still a good idea to get it professionally cleaned every year or so. This will ensure that your rug is properly cleaned and remains fresh for many years to come.
The tips we’ve given above should be able to help you maintain your beloved rugs. With a little bit of effort, you should be able to keep them beautiful and clean.