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         Rug Care 101

Rug care is an important aspect of maintaining the beauty and longevity of your rugs. Here are some basic tips to keep your rugs looking great.

  1. Regular Vacuuming: Vacuum your rugs regularly to remove dirt, dust, and debris that accumulate on the surface. Vacuum at least once a week and more frequently in high-traffic areas.

  2. Spot Cleaning: Address spills and stains as soon as possible to prevent them from setting in. Blot the affected area with a clean, absorbent cloth, and avoid rubbing or scrubbing, which may spread the stain. Use a gentle cleaner or vinegar and water solution for most stains.

  3. Professional Cleaning: Have your rugs professionally cleaned every 1-3 years depending on usage and the manufacturer's recommendations. Professional cleaning can remove deep-seated dirt, bacteria, and allergens that cannot be removed by vacuuming alone.

  4. Rotate Regularly: To prevent uneven wear and fading, rotate your rugs every 6 months to a year. This is particularly important in areas that receive direct sunlight.

  5. Protect from Sunlight: Avoid placing your rugs in direct sunlight as this can cause fading and damage to the fibers. Use blinds or curtains to protect your rugs from direct sunlight.

  6. Avoid Moisture: Keep your rugs away from moisture to prevent mold and mildew. Avoid placing them in damp areas and use a dehumidifier to control humidity levels if necessary.

By following these basic tips, you can extend the life of your rugs and keep them looking beautiful for years to come.

Rug being vacuumed

Does Vacuuming Damage My Rug? 

Vacuuming your area rugs is essential; it helps to remove soils that can build soils that work their way into the foundation. These embedded soils accelerate wear and deterioration, so vacuuming helps extend the life of your fine oriental rugs. 
That said, vacuums can damage your rugs too. For example, the rotating beater bar on an upright vacuum can suck the fringe ends of a carpet and rip them off. Care should be taken when vacuuming rugs to minimize the risk of damage to your rugs. 

Antique carpets are often more susceptible due to heavy wear, damage, low pile, or already compromised areas can be further damaged with vacuuming. 

Thin rugs like Kilims or old worn Persian rugs can be pulled into a beater bar-style vacuum, so they should be vacuumed with suction-only canister-style vacuum, and if small, they can be taken outside and gently shaken by hand.
If you want to vacuum your rug, take it outside on a nice day and vacuum the back very slowly with a beater bar-style vacuum. In the trade, we call this "dusting" a rug, and it's an essential prewashing step.

 5 minutes of vacuuming this rug from the back yielded this nearly full dustpan of loose dry soil. It's this soil that settles into the foundation of oriental rugs that is destructive. routine vacuuming of your rug reduces the buildup of these soils and extends out cleaning intervals 

Dirt from a rug vacuumed from the back

Are Rental Rug Cleaners Good

Carpet cleaner rental can be a good option for some situations but there are some pros and cons to consider:


Benefits Of Carpet Cleaner Rental:
  1. Cost-effective: Renting a rug cleaner can be cheaper than hiring a professional carpet cleaning service, especially if you only need to clean small areas occasionally.

  2. Convenient: Rental rug cleaners are usually available at grocery stores like Fred Meyers and home improvement centers like Home Depot or Lowes, making them easily accessible. Allowing you to clean your rugs on your schedule and at your convenience without relying on external service providers.

  3. Immediate use: You can start cleaning your rugs as soon as you pick up the rental, which can be handy for handling unexpected spills or accidents.

Cons Of Rental Rug And Carpet Cleaners:
  1. Learning curve: rug cleaning requires some skill and knowledge of fibers, dyes, cleaning chemistry, and Psychrometry, or the science of drying.

  2.  If not used properly, rug rental machines can lead to over-wetting or improper cleaning, potentially damaging valuable oriental rugs. This is a common issue with lower-power (suction) carpet rental machines such as a rug doctor used on a thick all-wool oriental rug.

  3. Limited performance: As stated above, rental rug cleaners are less powerful and less effective than commercial machines used by professional carpet cleaning. Even commercial carpet cleaning equipment can't match the deep cleaning effectiveness of in-plant rug cleaning.

  4. Properly executed rug cleaning is laborious and time-consuming, especially if you have a large area rug or carpeted area to clean. Renting a machine and going through the process yourself is labor-intensive with inappropriate equipment; chemistry results in, at best mediocre results. 

  5. Potential risks and issues: Cleaning a rug at home often results in inadequate cleaning and stalled drying, (Poor Psychrometry), resulting in colors running/ bleeding and microbial growth such as mold, mildew, and bacteria. 


No single answer is right but before deciding to use a rental rug cleaner, it's essential to consider the condition of your rugs, the type of stains or dirt you're dealing with, and your cleaning capabilities and limitations.

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