How to Protect Your Rug & Make Its Beauty Last

03/06/2013

How to Protect Your Rug |Day-to-Day Rug Cleaning |Professional Rug Cleaning

How to Protect Your Rug

All rugs – whether machine made, handmade, small rug or a large rug carpet – will last longer and retain value through the years if properly cleaned and cared for.

There are protective sprays on the market that protect a rug from soaking spills into the fibers. However, some rugs are prepped with these chemicals by the store or manufacturer, and some fibers and some sprays may not work well together. Ask your rug seller before taking this step.

In addition to preventing slippage, rug pads also help guard against wear and tear on your rug since rugs wear from the bottom up. Rug pads also allow the rug to “breathe.” There are several choices available on the market depending on the type of rug you have. Check with your rug seller, but most rug pads will not mar, stain or discolor the floor or carpeting. Because most underlay materials are stretchy, you don’t want it to be visible on the edges of your rug.

A rug pad should be trimmed one inch shorter than the edge of the rug.

All rug pads work with all types of rug constructions, such as hand knotted and machine made. However, it is important to choose a rug pad based on the type of floor the rug will sit atop.

On hard surfaces, use:

Rug Gripper Tape

Good for uniquely shaped rugs and small mats. Apply it only along the edges to keep rug from curling. This is applied to the rug (not the floor) and is safe to use on all types of hard surface flooring.

Non-Slip Cushion Rug Pad

Non-Slip Cushion is a thin underlay that covers the entire surface of the rug in order to keep it in place.

Premium Cushion Rug Pad

Premium Cushion is a thick pad that provides extra cushioning and prevents slippage. This rug pad is best for use under large area rugs.

Non-Slip Reversible Rug Pad

This rug pad is a double-sided adhesive that you trim to size and then peel off a plastic backing to apply to your rug. It is offered under many brand names.

Premium Reversible Rug Pad

Premium Reversible is one of the thickest underlays and is best suited for 8×10 rugs or larger. It is a good option if heavy furniture sits on your rug.

On carpet, use:

Non-Slip Reversible Rug Pad

This rug pad is a double-sided adhesive that you trim to size and then peel off a plastic backing to apply to your rug. It is offered under many brand names.

Premium Reversible Rug Pad

Premium Reversible is one of the thickest underlays and is best suited for 8×10 rugs or larger. It is a good option if heavy furniture sits on your rug.

Shop Rug Pads

Day-to-Day Rug Cleaning

When you first receive your rug, make sure to vacuum it and lay it flat. Since it has been rolled up for a while, you may need to let it breathe and relax before it looks its very best. Some shedding, mild odors and crinkling is normal when you first receive your rug. However, this should remedy itself within a few weeks with gravity and vacuuming. If you are not happy with the nap and wrinkles in the rug after this time, you should contact the company where you purchased it and consider an exchange or refund.

  • Sweep your hard surface floors often. This helps keep the dirt at bay that would eventually get caught deep in the rug’s fibers.
  • Vacuum the rug at least once per week to prevent dirt from being ground into the pile. Vacuum the back of the rug every other month. (Just use suction no beater brush.)
  • A good quality vacuum is important to provide cleanliness and helps to prevent the presence of dust mites, moths and carpet beetles. Look for a vacuum with a HEPA filter.
  • Change your air conditioner and furnace filters often to reduce the amount of dust in the air.
  • Leave shoes at the door. Shoes drag in the outdoor elements and help to crush down the fibers of the carpet faster.
  • In addition to children and pets there are three types of damage that you need to protect your rug from:

Sunlight

Direct sunlight can fade colors on your rug over time. To prevent uneven fading, remember to rotate your rug several times a year. You can also rotate rugs between rooms to give them equal exposure to the brightest rooms in the house.

Moths

Typically moths will nest in rugs that have been rolled up in storage areas. See the Textiles Museum’s tips to keep them at bay.

Carpet Beetles

These insects look like bed bugs and feed off of textile fibers. If an infestation is left for too long, they will actually weaken the fibers in the rug, making them brittle. Good housekeeping habits help infestations from occurring.

Professional Rug Cleaning

Every 4 to 5 years, a rug should be professionally cleaned.

When a rug states that it is 100% wool, that only refers to the yarn. The backing of a rug can be made of cotton, wool or synthetic fibers. Although wool is the best material for the rug pile, it is not the best material for the foundation of the rug (after washing, a wool foundation rug will not lie flat). Be sure to hire a professional cleaner who can identify the various fibers.

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