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RUG MAINTENANCE 101: Tips & tricks for cleaning, and maintaining your new rug

So you’ve bought a new rug – congrats. To ensure it’ll be with you for a long time, it’s worth showing it a little TLC. Not sure where to start? No drama, here’s our lowdown on looking after your rug, whether it’s of the hand-knotted or hand-tufted variety, natural jute or a man-made synthetic style.

Cleaning and caring for WOOLLEN RUGS

Vacuum

Ok so it might not be your favourite job, but it’s definitely worthwhile in the case of woollen rugs. While weekly vacuuming on an ongoing basis should be enough to get rid of dust and dirt, when you first bring your rug home it might benefit from a daily once over with the vacuum to minimise fluff. Pay attention to the head of your vacuum cleaner too, choosing a rotating brush for low-pile styles and going without the brush for loop-pile rugs so you don’t create unnecessary ‘fuzzing’.

Regular rotation

It’s worth popping a recurring note in your calendar to rotate your rug on an annual basis to promote even wear. If your rug is beneath heavy furniture or table legs, rotate it every six months if possible to help prevent damage or dents in particular spots.

Skip the sun

Harsh sunlight is not your friend – nor your rugs. If you’re not a fan of the faded look, try to position your rug out of the line of direct sunlight, or at least where it won’t be exposed for hours and hours every day.

The great stain debate – cleaning your woollen rug

Like with any surface, the key to successful stain removal is in a speedy response. If you’re lucky (or savvy) enough to have snagged a woollen rug, you’ll find it’s naturally pretty stain resistant thanks to the lanolin-rich content of its fibres.

If you’ve spilled something where a simple blot with a damp cloth won’t do – think dreaded wine, tea, or coffee – first blot with a soft sponge, then gently wipe with a damp cloth – without rubbing. Next, make a simple solution of wool detergent (one teaspoon) and white vinegar (one teaspoon) diluted in a litre of water and test in an inconspicuous spot. Once you’re good to go, use the solution on a soft cloth and gently rub (in the direction of the pile). To dry, use the beloved blotting technique, or point a fan in the direction of the wet patch.

Call the professionals

To keep your rug in top-notch nick, have it professionally cleaned every year or two. It will help prolong its life and keep it as hygienic as possible, but be sure to use a professional operator, and go with someone whose been recommended to you or is a rug cleaning specialist rather than a broader cleaning service.

 

Cleaning and caring for SYNTHETIC RUGS

Contrast Navy rug
  1. Brush

 Synthetic rugs cling onto pet hair and other grit and grim more tightly than woollen rugs – so they often benefit from brushing with a stiff broom before vacuuming.

  1. Vacuum

If you’re bought a synthetic rug, you’ll need to make firm friends with your vacuum cleaner, and ensure you invest in a good one to keep your rug looking schmick. Cleaners specifically made for removing pet hair are best.

  1. Regular rotation

It’s worth popping a recurring note in your calendar to rotate your rug on an annual basis to promote even wear. If your rug is beneath heavy furniture or table legs, rotate it every six months if possible to help prevent damage or dents in particular spots – although synthetic rugs don’t have the same ‘spring’ as woollen rugs so they won’t bounce back to the same extent.

 

Skip the sun

Harsh sunlight is not your friend – nor your rugs. If you’re not a fan of the faded look, try to position your rug out of the line of direct sunlight, or at least where it won’t be exposed for hours and hours every day

Stains and spot cleaning

Like with any surface, the key to successful stain removal is in a speedy response. For spot cleaning, spray with a solution made from one pat vinegar, one part water, let it sit for 15 minutes, blot dry and continue repeating until the stain lifts. For grease stains, it’s advisable to purchase a dedicated grease stain remover made for synthetic carpets. Do not use regular laundry detergent or oily solvents to clean synthetic rugs.

For a whole rug clean, steam carpet cleaners work well so it might be worth buying one if you have several synthetic rugs or carpets, otherwise they’re available to hire. Polypropylene rugs can also be hosed in the driveway or backyard and cleaned with a very small amount of mild detergent mixed with cold water. If you take this tack, be sure to rinse thoroughly and leave to fully dry in a sunny spot on a day that’s not too humid.

Call the professionals

To keep your rug in top-notch nick, have it professionally cleaned every year or two. It will help prolong its life and keep it as hygienic as possible, but be sure to use a professional operator, and go with someone whose been recommended to you or is a rug cleaning specialist rather than a broader cleaning service.

 

Zirka Patterned Rug

Cleaning and caring for JUTE rugs

To clean jute rugs, start by shaking outside, then vacuum, then use a small-bristled wet brush to gently scrub all over. Once dry, sprinkle the rug with a dedicated dry-cleaning powder which you can rub in using a dry brush. Shake off any excess powder – and you’re done.

For spot cleaning, brush with a damp soft-bristled brush, then gently blot with a dry towel.

 

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