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How to Clean Specific Types of Rugs

Rugs add texture, depth and style to our homes, but they’re prone to attracting dirt especially when sitting in your dining or living spaces. With so many different materials and fabrics used for making the rugs, we understand that cleaning them can be quite the skill. Are there different techniques for removing stains from specific rug types? Can all rugs be vacuumed and avoid any damage? All your rug cleaning queries will be answered in this tips and advice article.

Before we start though, remember that all our rugs at Rugs Direct come from manufacturers that may provide their own instructions on cleaning and we recommend you visiting their respective websites. Do remember Rugs need care, using harsh or aggressive vacuum cleaners do great harm to you new possessions..

Pile rugs

Pile rugs are the most commonly used type of carpeting material in homes so it’s very likely you’ll have one to clean. But cleaning and maintaining your pile rug should simply follow a similar routine to how you would care for a wall-to-wall carpet.

First of all, keep up with vacuuming regularly (at least twice a week) to make sure all dust and dirt is removed. For all spills, you should deal with them instantly, according to the rug’s specifications, so there is no long-lasting damage (refer to our guide for stain removal for rugs for extra tips and tricks). Finally, we suggest a professional clean once a year will provide a deep clean and can help improve and extend the lifetime of your rug.

Flat Weave Rugs

Then onto the durable and long-lasting rig type – Flat weave rugs. Ideal for busy households as they are typically very low maintenance, and fantastic for allergy sufferers, Flat weave rugs are low maintenance especially when it comes to cleaning.

The main reason for this? The flat texture makes these rugs easily able to prevent dirt and dust from becoming trapped, whereas in higher pile rugs this a daily occurrence. They are also easier to wipe spills and if the rug is small enough it can easily be taken outside and any surface debris can be removed simply by shaking the rug. Do, however, always check the tag before cleaning flat weave rugs as some are dry clean only.

Oriental Rugs

There are rugs you can clean yourself, but to some rug types, this will be detrimental. For oriental rugs, we recommend you hire a professional instead. This is due to the fact oriental rugs have delicate fibres so therefore they have that beautiful and elegant look, but they need to be cared for in a way that compliments that.

Regular vacuuming will still help remove a lot of the dirt and debris, but it won’t do a thorough job. We advise a professional rug cleaning company as they will have the equipment and solutions to deal with both machine woven and handmade rugs.

Natural fibre Rugs

For that touch of warmth in a room most people head for the natural fibre rugs. Eco-friendly and beautiful at the same time, plant-based materials such as seagrass, sisal and jute fit this category, however, they are also sensitive to excess water and can be damaged by this.

Just like with all area rugs, vacuuming on a regular basis will remove surface dirt and dust before it is pushed too far into fibres. For natural fibre rugs, spills and stains should once again be treated immediately, so refer to the instructions on the rug for more information on that.

Wool Rug

At Rugs Direct, we really feel that wool rugs should be cleaned professionally, however, this can be expensive. For this reason, we’ll give you a few tips and advice on how to clean your wool rigs at home without damaging the fibres. It’s just a case of sticking to the rules and making sure you’re careful and thorough with all the cleaning techniques.

For all regular cleaning, the best things you can do is to vacuum your rug to eliminate surface dirt and debris. It may be that rugs in high-traffic areas require vacuuming more regularly, so just make that call based on an informed judgement call. Make sure you vacuum from side to side, not lengthwise, and do not use a main hover, especially one with a pet setting, rather use the attachments provided by your vacuum for example the nozzle and once a year, as a minimum, vacuum the reverse side of the rug as well. Like other natural fibre rugs, deal with any spills immediately.

On average, wool rugs need to be thoroughly cleaned every 12-18 months – you can get most of the cleaning advice you need from the care tags. Getting a professional to steam clean it can be an effective way; however, you can always do it at home.

Before cleaning your rug, take it outside and shake or beat all the loose dirt and vacuum both sides, then lay the rug on a dry surface and hose the rug. Mix up a solution of cold water and a wool laundry liquid, making sure it is more diluted than a normal mixture.

You then simply need to apply your solution to the rug bit by bit using only a clean sponge or sponge mop. Rinse the rug after and roll up in towels to squeeze out as much excess moisture as possible and leave to dry in a shaded place, be careful to make sure it isn’t in direct sunlight or heat as this can fade the colours. Usually, it can take about a day to dry fully.

Other top tips

Consistently care for all your rugs no matter the material you choose by regularly vacuuming them to remove the surface dirt and debris. It is also advised to rotate your rugs on a regular basis (every six months if your area allows) to prevent from unwanted uneven wear and flattening from high traffic.

If you have made a considerable investment into a rug for your home, we would always recommend a yearly professional clean to maintain the splendour of the material and to extend the lifetime of your rug.

Finally, before cleaning any rug, we always suggest checking the care labels for information, as some rugs may be imposters and may not be a wool rug at all, but an entirely synthetic rug which would then save you considerable amounts of time on cleaning.

This article is written as a suggestion to cleaning and caring and if you have a stain or problem with a rug, professional cleaning advice should be sort before any action is taken. We by no way suggest our ideas are perfect and do not warrant that these ideas will resolve your specific problem. Always feel free to contact us.