Your Oriental rugs and area rugs play an important role in your home décor. They help anchor a space to create a more unified look while adding texture and color. Rugs also often create a focal point in rooms with a more monotone color palette. They offer comfort underfoot and a place to sit and play for children and pets. Many area rugs, especially Oriental rugs, are an actual investment. They require special care to keep them looking their best. If you want to extend the life of your Oriental and area rugs you can use these tips to add years of enjoyment.
Vacuum At Least Once A Month
Area rugs collect tiny particles of dust and debris tracked into your home. These particles settle into area rugs and as people walk on the rug, the particles rub against the delicate fibers. This causes the integrity of the fibers to become frayed, which slowly damages your rug over time. The more foot traffic your area rug gets, the more debris is captured and the more damage that debris can cause. To extend the life of Oriental and area rugs be sure to vacuum at least once a month. If you have pets, you should increase your vacuuming to weekly.
Keep Out Of Direct Sunlight
Direct sunlight has harmful UV rays that will fade natural dyes and fibers, especially for delicate Oriental rugs. Ideally, you should lay your Oriental rug out of direct sunlight or keep blinds or curtains drawn during the peak of the sun’s exposure in the room.
Rotate Your Rug For Consistent Wear
The position of your rug impacts the level of wear. This includes not only foot traffic but also exposure to the sun, as mentioned above. By continuously rotating your rug, you help maintain even wear across the entire surface. This provides a more uniform look to the fibers which become padded down with excess traffic.
The colors also fade more slowly because they are not exposed to constant sunshine. If your area rug is partially shaded by something like a coffee or dining room table, the faded areas become even more distinct. So be sure you rotate rugs in this position more often. By rotating your rug regularly, the rug’s colors and fibers will fade and wear evenly.
Professional area rug care adds another level of clean that helps remove stains and deep-down debris not caught up by your vacuum. The deep-cleaning process is gentle on rug fibers and backing but removes the type of embedded dirt that damages your rug. It should be performed once every one to three years.
However, if you experience staining, it is best to call in the professionals as soon as possible to have them remove the stain before it causes permanent damage. Professional area rug cleaning offers many benefits.
Rinse Stains Immediately
If something is spilled on your area rug, rinse the stain immediately. A safe, effective cleaning method is to use a soft cloth with warm water to dab away at the spill immediately. White vinegar can be used with the water for darker stains. For oriental rug care, never rub the rug as this damages the fibers. For any area rug care, rubbing pushes the stain around and as a result, deeper into the rug.
Have A ‘Shoes Off’ Policy
When wondering how to extend the life of area rugs, a simple solution is to have a ‘shoes off’ policy. This reduces the amount of dirt tracked into your home. Bare or stockinged feet are also gentler on area rugs than heels or treads.
Keep Pets Away
This can be a hard line to take, but if you have a valuable Oriental rug, it’s important to remember they are made from very delicate fabrics such as wool, silk, and cotton. Pet stains will completely ruin an Oriental or area rug, so a no-pets policy for expensive rugs is probably your safest bet. If this seems too cruel, make sure you follow our advice to vacuum weekly, and for stains, call for professional Oriental rug care immediately.
Treat Rugs To Resist Moths
Because of the natural fibers used in Oriental rugs and many higher quality area rugs, they actually attract pesky, very damaging moths. The safest way to protect your rugs from a moth infestation is to vacuum weekly to keep pests away. This also removes moth larvae and eggs. Avoid mothballs because not only do they smell bad, but they also have chemicals that are harmful to humans and pets. This is especially important if you are pregnant.
Use An Area Rug Pad
Rug pads help manage wear caused by irregular foot traffic while holding your rug more securely in place. This can help extend the life of your rugs. Be sure to choose a high-quality rug pad designed specifically for Oriental rugs as they don’t have as many chemicals as the cheaper pads. If you can’t find an Oriental rug pad, look for pads designed to reduce slipping and wrinkling.
Apply A Carpet Protector Treatment
Carpet treatments such as DuPont Teflon Protector are designed to resist soil, stains, and spills, keeping your area rugs looking newer for longer. Speak to a professional rug cleaner to discuss the treatments available that are suitable for delicate natural fibers of high-end area rugs. The protector not only resists stains but even helps resist particles that can get caught in the fibers.
Store Rugs Carefully
When looking at how to properly care for Oriental rugs (although most of the time your Oriental rug is meant to be admired), if there is an occasion where your rug must be stored, do so carefully. Be sure it is rolled loosely to allow for even air circulation. Also, keep your Oriental rug in a dry, cool, dark place. If stored for an extended period, be sure you check it for signs of moths or damage from moisture.
Avoid Heavy Furniture
Most area rugs sit under furniture at least partially. However, when considering how to care for area rugs properly, keep in mind heavy furniture can cause serious damage to the pile of the rug. The pressure from the weight of the furniture presses down on the fibers leaving noticeable indentations. Rotating the rug frequently can help avoid damage, but overall, it’s best not to place rugs under very heavy items such as dresser drawers, chests, etc.
Remember, Oriental rugs are expected to age, and minimal wear and tear does not interfere with their value or beauty. However, you can reduce damage and extend the life of any area rug using these helpful tips.