We all have that favorite rug in our home or apartment. It could be the long runner in the hallway or the Persian one in the living room or den. We all have that one rug where we flinch as someone spills their drink on it. Unfortunately, no amount of love for our rugs can prevent every accident, and there are always bound to be some. So, if eventually, our favorite carpet suffers from a spill of some kind, how are we supposed to take care of it? The answer involves knowing how to properly clean it without causing any damage. We cover all the steps necessary to clean your rug safely below.
Always Start By Checking The Tag.
Every rug or carpet is made from different materials, and as such, each needs treatment dependent upon the type of material used to make it. The tags that come attached to your rug or carpet will offer detailed instructions on what materials are used but also if they are any special care requirements like “air dry only.” Whatever the spill or dirt on the rug, you should always start by checking the attached tag to gather the necessary knowledge for taking the appropriate next steps.
Shake Or Vacuum The Rug.
Regardless of the type of material used to make the rug or carpet, this stage is universal to the cleaning process. If you are doing routine cleaning of your rugs, take them outside and shake them to remove as much dirt, hair, and dust as possible. If you are cleaning because of a specific spill, make sure you towel dry the spill area before shaking it. Once the rugs are thoroughly shaken, bring them back inside for the next step.
If you do not want to shake them outside or are not able to because of weather, a vacuum is a suitable alternative to remove the surface level dirt, dust, and hair.
Shampoo the rug: Wool and Cotton/Synthetic.
Once the surface-level dirt is removed, you can begin shampooing the rug or carpet. However, this step looks different depending on the material used to make your rug. If you forgot to check the attached tag to learn more about the material in your carpet, now is the time to go back and check.
Wool Rugs & Carpets: With wool rugs, you first want to run your hand over them. Make sure you do this before getting it wet or adding shampoo. When you are running your hand across the carpet, you will find one direction feels softer compared to the other. Wash it in the softer direction. You can use a damp sponge and run it in the same direction. Make sure you do not drench the rug fibers, or you can damage them.
Use a bucket to mix cold water and a tablespoon of detergent made specifically for wool! You cannot use regular laundry detergent. It needs to be specially made for wool. Any other kind of detergent will damage the carpet fibers. Once your mixture is ready, dampen your sponge and test a small area of the rug. You want to see if the colors bleed. If they do, do not get any other part of the rug wet and take it to a rug cleaner. If it does not bleed, go ahead and wet the rest of the carpet with the mixture.
Cotton and Synthetic Rugs & Carpets: Synthetic and cotton rugs are much easier to clean compared to other rugs. For example, if it is small enough, you can put it into the washing machine. If it is too large to put into a washing machine, you’ll need to wash it by hand. You will still need carpet shampoo but not a specifically designed one. The easiest way to clean these rugs is by following the instructions on the shampoo label. Mixture the required solution in a bucket, some shampoos specify warm or cold water, then take the bucket and rug outside.
Once outside, lay the rug face up and wet it using a hose. Before using the shampoo mixture, spot test one spot of the rug to see if the colors bleed. If they do, take it to a professional cleaner. Once you know the colors won’t bleed, you can add the shampoo mixture to the rest of the rug. Let it sit for roughly five to seven minutes, then rinse using the hose.
Dry the rugs (Check the label again).
Your rugs may be small enough to put in the dryer but always check the label for special instructions on the drying process. If your rugs require air drying, the process is simple. Grab some towels and soak up any extra moisture on them. Once all the excess water is gone, let it air dry outside, basement, or garage. It may take more than 24 hours for it to fully dry. Once it is completely dry, place it back where you want it in your home and vacuum it one more time.
Properly cleaning rugs is a long process. Why not save time and hire a professional?
We never said cleaning your rugs the right way would be an easier process. When you look at the proper process, it is labor-intensive and time-consuming. If you do not have the time to wash them the right way, why not hire a professional? Professional cleaners will take care of the whole process without damaging your rug or wasting your time.
At S & S Rug Cleaners, we have 30 years of experience cleaning and handling specialty and oriental rugs. So, we can take care of all your cleaning needs. If you want to save your time and be sure that the job is done correctly, call us today at 404-355-2126.