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How to clean a rug

How to clean a rug

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Rugs are a great way to add warmth, colour, and texture to any room. But over time, they can accumulate dirt, dust, and stains, which can make them look worn out and dirty. Cleaning your rugs regularly will not only keep them looking new, but it will also improve the air quality in your home by removing allergens and dust mites.

In this guide, we will go through the steps on how to clean a rug effectively, including washing, deep cleaning, and drying a rug, as well as how to remove certain stains for your rugs using tried and tested techniques.

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Top tips on how to clean a rug

Cleaning a rug is a lot like cleaning a carpet – you’ll find a lot of the steps in this guide are really similar to our carpet cleaning guide! The best part about cleaning a rug compared to a carpet is that you can wash and dry a rug without worrying about your subfloors.

The first step in cleaning your rug is to vacuum it thoroughly. Use a vacuum cleaner with a beater bar to remove any loose dirt and dust from the rug's surface. If your rug has fringes, be careful not to vacuum over them as it may damage them. Next, take your rug outside if you can and give it a good shake to remove any remaining dirt or debris. If there’s still dirt or stains on your rug, you might need to clean a little deeper by washing your rug.

How to wash a rug

Once you've removed as much dirt as possible, you can start washing your rug. Fill a large basin or bathtub with cold water and add a small amount of mild detergent. Avoid using harsh detergents or bleach as they can damage the fibres of your rug. Wearing gloves, submerge your rug in the water and gently agitate it with your hands to work the soap into the fibres.

After a few minutes, drain the soapy water and rinse your rug with clean water until all the soap is removed. Avoid wringing or twisting your rug as this can cause damage to the fibres. Instead, gently press out the excess water by rolling your rug in a clean towel.

How to dry a rug

Once you've washed or deep cleaned your rug, it's important to dry it completely before using it again. Hanging your rug outside in the sun is an excellent way to dry it quickly and naturally. If you don't have a place to hang your rug outside, you can also dry it indoors by laying it flat on a clean, dry surface and using a fan to circulate air over it.

Avoid placing your rug in direct sunlight or using a heater to dry it, as this can cause the colours to fade and the fibres to shrink. It's also important to ensure that your rug is completely dry before putting it back in your room, as dampness can cause mould and mildew to grow.

How to deep clean a rug

If your rug is heavily soiled or has deep-set stains, you may need to deep clean it. Deep cleaning involves using a steam cleaner or hiring a professional rug cleaning service. A steam cleaner uses hot water and steam to loosen dirt and grime from your rug's fibres, while a professional cleaning service uses specialised equipment to remove even the most stubborn stains.

If you're using a steam cleaner, be sure to follow the manufacturer's instructions carefully. Start by vacuuming your rug thoroughly to remove any loose dirt and dust. Then, fill the steam cleaner with water and a small amount of detergent, and run it over your rug. Be sure to move the steam cleaner slowly and in a straight line to avoid damaging the fibres. After you've cleaned your entire rug, allow it to air dry completely before placing it back in your room.

We have a whole guide to the best carpet cleaning products you can also use on your rugs, since they have similar fibres. In fact, you can even make rugs out of your favourite carpets here at Tapi, by using our carpet whipping service!

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How to care for your rugs

There are some basic steps you can take to keep your rugs looking great, without having to resort to washing them! There are a few preventative measures you can take to stop your rugs from shedding their fibres, and if your rug fibres are looking a little flat and tangled, you can untangle them following the steps below:

How to stop a rug from shedding

Some rugs, especially new ones, may shed fibres for the first few weeks after you bring them home. While this is normal, excessive shedding can be frustrating and may leave your rug looking thin and worn out. To minimize shedding, try the following tips:

  • Vacuum your rug regularly using a vacuum cleaner with a beater bar. This will help to remove any loose fibres and prevent them from shedding.
  • Avoid using a vacuum cleaner with a high-powered suction, as this can damage the fibres and cause shedding.
  • Rotate your rug regularly to distribute the wear and tear evenly. This will help to prevent excessive shedding in high-traffic areas.
  • If your rug is still shedding excessively, you may want to consider returning it or contacting the manufacturer for advice.

 

How to unmat a rug

Over time, rugs can become matted, especially in high-traffic areas. To unmat your rug, start by vacuuming it thoroughly to remove any loose dirt and debris.

  • Next, brush the rug in the direction of the fibres using a stiff-bristled brush. This will help to lift the fibres and restore the rug's texture.
  • If your rug is still matted, you can try using a rug rake to loosen the fibres. A rug rake is a specialised tool that looks similar to a garden rake but has softer, more flexible tines or prongs. Use the rug rake to gently rake the rug in the direction of the fibres, working in small sections. Be sure to avoid using too much pressure, as this can damage the fibres.
  • Another option is to use a steam cleaner to unmat your rug. The hot water and steam will help to loosen the fibres and restore the rug's texture. Follow the manufacturer's instructions carefully and be sure to allow your rug to dry completely before using it again.

How to remove stains from a rug

Even with regular cleaning, your rug may still get stained from spills or accidents. Our guide on how to remove stains from your carpet covers a lot of different types of stains and how to remove them from carpet fibres, so if there are any particular stains you’re looking for advice on, check there for more information. Here are some tips on how to remove common stains from your rug, including how to get a pee stain out of a rug and how to remove coffee stains from a rug:

Removing coffee stains on a rug

  • Act fast and blot the coffee stain immediately with a clean, dry cloth to remove as much liquid as possible.
  • Create a solution by mixing one tablespoon of white vinegar, one tablespoon of liquid dish soap, and two cups of warm water.
  • Using a clean cloth, gently dab the solution onto the stain and work it into the fibres.
  • Rinse the area with clean water and blot dry with a clean towel.

 

Removing make-up stains from a rug

  • Quickly blot the stain with a clean, dry cloth to remove any excess makeup.
  • Mix one teaspoon of liquid dish soap with one cup of warm water to create a cleaning solution.
  • Gently dab the cleaning solution onto the stain with a clean cloth, and work it into the fibres.
  • Rinse the area with clean water and blot dry with a clean towel.

 

Removing urine stains

  • Blot the urine stain immediately with a clean, dry cloth to remove as much liquid as possible.
  • Mix one cup of white vinegar with one cup of warm water to create a cleaning solution.
  • Gently dab the cleaning solution onto the stain with a clean cloth and work it into the fibres.
  • Rinse the area with clean water and blot dry with a clean towel. If the odour persists, sprinkle baking soda over the area and vacuum it up after a few hours.

 

Removing wine stains from a rug

  • Act quickly and blot the wine stain with a clean, dry cloth to remove as much liquid as possible.
  • Mix one tablespoon of white vinegar, one tablespoon of liquid dish soap, and two cups of warm water to create a cleaning solution.
  • Gently dab the cleaning solution onto the stain with a clean cloth and work it into the fibres.
  • Rinse the area with clean water and blot dry with a clean towel.
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Cleaning your rug regularly is an essential part of keeping your home clean and healthy. By following these simple steps, you can keep your rug looking new and beautiful for years to come. Remember to vacuum your rug regularly, wash it when necessary, and remove stains promptly to prevent them from setting in. With a little bit of effort, you can enjoy a clean, fresh-smelling rug that adds warmth and style to your home.

If you’re interested in purchasing a rug or carpet from Tapi, why not check out our collections online, pop into your local Tapi store, or arrange a home visit for one of our floorologists to come to your home and help you decide on the perfect flooring for your home! Alternatively, for more rug inspiration, head on over to our Ideas Hub where you'll find plenty of guides, including how to hang a rug on the wall, and how to stop your rug from slipping.

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Published: 20-04-2023