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How to Clean a Rug Without Any Damage
Published on Wednesday, 26 September 2012

One of the essential parts of keeping your home clean and presentable is cleaning the rugs and carpets. Whether it is the small mat in the kids room, a retro shag rug in the bedroom, or the expensive antique carpet in the study - all of these need to be taken proper care of, so that they are clean, free of any hairs - from pets or otherwise. However, you also have to make sure that the cleaning process is gentle enough, so that your rugs do not shed or fade - this applies double when dealing with an antique rug, because age tends to make the fabrics more brittle and easy to damage. So, here are some basic steps that you should take to make sure that you get to keep your rugs and carpets in perfect condition.

The first step is choosing whether to do the job yourself, or to hand it over to a professional. While getting the carpets professionally cleaned might end up being quite costly, be aware that it only needs to be done once in a while - usually, a thorough enough hovering is enough. A carpet that is only walked on barefoot really needs to be washed about once every three months. This is why, if your carpets are big, expensive or antique and delicate, paying for a professional cleaning may be the way to go.

This alternative will save you a lot of time and work - washing and drying such big pieces can be not only time consuming but extremely difficult in terms of workload and space - the carpet has to be hung to dry after all and this will probably take more than a day, depending on its size. A professional cleaner will solve all of these problems - for a fee, you can save yourself a lot of time and effort, while getting a better result than you ever could at home.

You may however, decide that you still want to take care of your carpets, rugs and mats at home. This could be for any number of reasons - whether you think a professional cleaning service is too expensive, or you believe you can handle the task; or maybe your rugs and mats are small and easy to clean. Here are some steps and things you should know when you go about the cleaning project.

Before you begin washing the carpet, it should be completely free of dirt and dust. This means that you should take care to vacuum and pat away any dust before proceeding to shampoo the carpet.

The shampoo should also be selected carefully. If there are any stubborn stains that you need to take care of, get a heavy duty stain remover, but only use it on those particular spots. For the rest of your carpet or rug, use a mild shampoo. If you're not entirely sure what to get, ask for help from a shop assistant, or look up good detergents online. This is particularly important if your carpet or rug has vibrant colors. A heavy duty carpet shampoo would damage and fade those, if not from the first time, then certainly with repeated use. After you select the appropriate product, use according to package directions. Usually this means that you have to lather up the carpet or rug, then hang it up and rinse, using a hose, but do be careful of how much shampoo you use. Lastly, always remember to wear rubber gloves when working with cleaning products. The shampoo might be mild when it comes to carpets, but any cleaning product can be damaging to the skin, so don't forget to protect yourself.

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