Have you every experienced cleaning an ultra-luxurious item, only to have it destroyed during the cleaning process? One of the most frustrating tasks in maintaining rugs is cleaning them, because some rugs are very delicate. One wrong move in cleaning them, and it will alter the very fabric of its elegance and style.

I have been asked many times how rugs should be cleaned. To be honest, I cannot give a cookie-cutter answer because cleaning a rug involves many considerations before starting to do one. The most important thing to consider is perhaps the kind of rug that you have. Different rugs have their correct methods of cleaning and maintenance — Persian rugs are maintained differently compared to wool rugs.

However, to give everyone an idea of how rugs — of any type — should be cleaned, I have listed a few tips that I urge you to follow, before soaking that piece of fine rug in a vat of harsh soap solution.

1. The safest way to clean a rug is by vacuuming its backside.

It is not advisable to vacuum the front of fibrous or furry rugs, because you might end up tearing away the fibers. Start with the back first; if the dirt still remains, then that’s the only time that you should consider vacuuming the front. On that note, you should never vacuum rug tassles or fringes, because the fibers might get entangled in the vacuum and cause the device to malfunction.

2. Do not use carpet shampoo for wool rugs!

Before you buy a carpet shampoo, check the label for compatibility with your rug. Most shampoos can ruin the fibers of furry rugs or result to discoloration.

3. Clean any spills immediately.

You may not be able to avoid spilling your colored drinks over your rugs, but you can prevent the spill from becoming permanent. As soon as you discover the stain, dab it immediately with a dry white 100%-cotton towel and press hard on the spill. Then wipe off any remaining stain with straight strokes (and not in a circular motion).

Never use sharp objects to scrape off solid residue in the rug. Using a knife to remove hardened residue is a definite no-no, because you might tear the base of the rug.

4. If you own a silk rug (or any kind of rug that’s not common), it’s best to send it to professional rug cleaners.

They know what cleaning methods and implements should be used in specific rug types, so you’ll be more confident that they will not damage your rug investment.

[ Photo credit: Jim Champion via Flickr ]

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