To remove dirt from large area rugs , vacuum them regularly, in the same way you’d vacuum carpets. Vacuum both sides of the rug , if it’s reversible, to ensure the complete removal of grit or dirt which could wear out the rug prematurely. But you should avoid vacuuming the fringe of your rug .
Shake small rugs
For small area rugs , vacuuming may not be very necessary. Just take them outside and shake them vigorously so as to remove dirt as well as grit. There are regulations in some areas about shaking of rugs outdoors, so be sure to check the local codes first.
Remove pet hair with a brush
Sometimes vacuuming alone may not remove some dirt such as pet hair. To remove this hair, brush the rug repeatedly toward the nap of the rug .
Turn rugs periodically
Generally, heavy traffic and sun may put extra stress on rugs , causing them to wear out fast. Turn them at least once or twice in a year for even wear.
Use detergent to remove stains
If your rug becomes stained, you should move fast to remove moisture from the spills as fast as possible. Most stains such as alcohol, soft drinks, coffee, tomato sauces and fat-based stains can be removed using a detergent mix. First mix some detergent with water, apply to the stain and then rinse. Do not rub the stain. Instead, blot till it completely comes out.
How to clean special types of Rugs
Some types of rugs require special cleaning and care. Here are several tips on how to clean some specialty rugs . Rug cleaning is easy if you know what you are doing.
Cleaning braided/woven rugs
Before starting to clean braided rugs , check whether there are any stitching breaks. Note that some small braided rugs aren’t washable so you need to check the labels first before attempting to wash them. If they are, place them properly in zippered pillowcases and wash them in cool water in a gentle cycle. Rinse thoroughly and tumble dry on a low setting.
For larger braided rugs , place a blanket (or any other material that is large enough) beneath them, or just place them on a vinyl floor. Apply commercial carpet-cleaning foam on the surface according to directions and rub it thoroughly. Rinse or vacuum. Be sure to dry the rugs before replacing them on the floor.
Cleaning natural fiber rugs
Rugs made from sisal, coir and grass come with an open weave which may allow dirt to sift down to the floor underneath. They need to be vacuumed frequently, and flipped (most natural fiber rugs are reversible) to ensure there’s even wear. Also remove the rug occasionally and vacuum the floor.
When cleaning stains on a regular natural-fiber rug , you don’t have to remove it. Place a towel and plastic drop cloth to protect the floor beneath. Dip a soft brush in soapy water and then gently scrub the spill. Rinse thoroughly with clear water and place a towel on the wet area. Be sure to blot the cleaned spot thoroughly. When drying, consider using a hair dryer or a portable fan to speed up the process. Water usually weakens fibers so try working quickly and ensure the rugs are completely dry to extend their life.
Some natural-fiber rugs may come constructed in many squares which are sewn together. Consider buying some extra squares which you’ll use to replace a square that becomes irrevocably stained. When replacing, hand-stitch the rug square into place with carpet thread.
Cleaning oriental rugs
New oriental rug should be vacuumed in the same way you vacuum carpet or wool area rugs . Be extra careful when dealing with delicate vintage and antique rugs . Place a nylon screen over the rugs to protect them and only vacuum over the screen. Alternatively, you can cut a piece of nylon mesh and tie it over the attachment of the vacuum. Change the mesh as soon as dirt accumulates.
Oriental rugs should be professionally cleaned at least once a year and rugs rotated regularly to ensure they wear evenly (they will fade if exposed direct to the sun). When buying the antique rugs , you may want to ask the seller for tips on how to care for them.