Rug Care

Rugs warm and add color, pattern, and texture to a room. You can easily change a room's look and feel from one season to another by replacing the rug. Follow these tips for cleaning various types of rugs.
Basic Rug Care

Rug care is determined by size, construction, and material.

Outlined below are care tips for several common types of area rugs. If you have a fine oriental rug or a rug with unusual materials, be sure to check the Special Cases guidelines listed on the next page.

Find basic care tips below.

Basic Care Tips

Tip #1: Storing When storing a rug (especially a heavy winter one), have it professionally cleaned and wrapped before storing in a climate-controlled area to avoid damage.

Tip #2: Care Tags When you purchase a new rug, keep the care tag intact, or file it with your household maintenance and furnishings file for later reference.

Tip #3: Large Rugs Care for large size room rugs as you would wall-to-wall carpet. Fine Oriental rugs and other unusual materials, however, require special care.

Tip #4: Small Rugs Small rugs, such as those used at entrances, are difficult to vacuum. Take them outside and shake them vigorously until dust and dirt are no longer evident. (Some cities have ordinances against this once common practice.) You can also hang rugs over a clothesline or sturdy outdoor furniture and beat them with a broom to remove dust and dirt.

Tip #5: Dry Cleaning Always consult care labels for small rugs, determining whether they should be dry-cleaned, spot-cleaned, or laundered. If a rug, even a cotton one that appears washable, is labeled dry-clean only, it may not be colorfast. Imported rugs tend to require dry cleaning; colors may bleed otherwise. Test before spot cleaning.

Tip #6: Washing When you determine a rug is washable, machine wash on delicate. To lessen the problem of long rug fringe becoming tangled and knotted in the washer, divide the fringe into several hanks, wrapping each hank with white string. Place the rug in a mesh laundry bag or zippered pillowcase and wash in cold water cold water.

Tip #7: Drying Wet Rugs Hang wet rugs over a clothes-drying rack, a slatted picnic table, or several bricks stacked on a porch, patio, or breezeway. Hanging a wet rug over a single clothesline will distort the shape of the rug as it dries. Small rugs that are made from synthetic fibers similar to carpeting can be laid to dry on a small worktable or counter that is protected by a drop cloth, old sheets, or towels.

Tip #8: Pet Concerns When pet hair accumulates in a rug, brush the rug vigorously with a stiff clothes brush or utility brush. Brush with the nap until dirt and hair cease to come out. Attack pet stains with a commercial enzymatic cleaner to help break down stain and odor.

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