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How to Clean (All) Area Rugs

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Area Rugs,flooring

Creating a fun, fast article about cleaning one area rug is too easy, so instead we wanted to summarize – for your convenience – how to clean all the area rugs.

Below you’ll find simple cleaning suggestions based on rug material followed by some general tips that apply to all area rugs. NOTE: These rug types are organized from most to least delicate.

Natural Fiber Rugs

Natural rugs are a beautiful and often eco-friendly choice, but stains may require professional care. These fiber rugs include materials like sisal, hemp and jute. Before calling a pro for these rugs, you can:

- Test an organic cleaning agent in an inconspicuous space and, if it doesn’t harm the fiber, use it after blotting to try and remove the stain. If it’s a no-go, use lukewarm water only and blot.

Wool Rugs

Wool rugs are also natural rugs and so share some of the delicate characteristics of fiber rugs. Even so, they are receptive to the same kind of spot cleaning as all other types of rugs, which is:

- Blot the stained area with a clean towel or paper towel to absorb as much of the stain/spill as possible. Then use a mixture of dish soap and cold water with a clean sponge to remove the stain. Also, wool rugs tend to bleed, so it’s important to have them professionally cleaned at least once a year.

Synthetic Rugs

Synthetic rugs – often made of nylon, olefin, polyester or polypropylene – are on the tough end of the rug scale. In most cases:

- Synthetic rugs can be cleaned with a soap and water mix, and if that doesn’t work they will withstand chemical solvents of the type you may use to clean your carpet. Even so, you should always test an area first.

When to Call a Pro Cleaning Service 

More often than not, the type of spill is going to force a call faster than the type of rug material. Grease and oil are bad juju. Juices aren’t much better. Trust your gut. If it drops out from underneath you when you see the stain, that’s a good sign you should pick up the phone.

General Tips for Cleaning Area Rugs

These are easy tricks to remember that apply to cleaning all types of area rugs:

- Never rub a rug stain. Always blot.
- Clean water and clean towels/paper towels are a must. Otherwise, there’s a good chance you’ll simply trade one stain for another.
- Think twice about trying to handle a serious stain on a handmade rug; the cost of a cleaner is usually worth the investment.
- Never let a stain sit. Even if you can’t get it out, blot it and use cold water and soap to treat it until a pro cleaner can weave some carpet magic.
- Try to avoid vacuuming your area rugs. It’s not good for ‘em.

Follow these tips and your area rugs should last longer and need less pro cleaning in the long run. If you’ve got any home remedies for area rugs we’ve missed, please don’t hesitate to share!

The nuLOOM "Modella" breaks all the rug rules with hand-carved edges in a 100% wool design. 

United Weavers toys with a fleur-de-lis design in this Turkish-made rug that combines a durable synthetic olefin weave with a natural jute backing. 

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