Rugs are a great decorative item to add to any room of your house, but they need proper care and maintenance to keep looking beautiful year after year. An easy way to tell if your rug needs to be cleaned is to take a white towel or hand towel and dampen it, then lightly rub the surface of your rug. If the towel comes up dirty, it’s time to clean the rug. Another way to test it is to lift one corner of your rug up off the floor and hit it with the back of your hand. If dirt puffs up when you hit it, your rug needs cleaning.

If you have decided to clean your rug, what you should do is decide how thoroughly it needs to be cleaned. If it’s been a while since your rug has been cleaned and it gets a lot of daily wear, you may need to purchase or rent a steam cleaner to really eliminate old stains and dirt. If you own a particularly valuable or fragile type of rug, consider using a professional carpet cleaning company to ensure that your rug is cleaned properly and completely. However, if your rug is not very dirty and only has a few spots that need a good cleaning, you should be fine with a simple carpet cleaner solution, a broom, and a vacuum.

The first thing you should do when you decide to clean your rug is to sweep it. This step will loosen any dirt particles and get surface dirt off the top of the rug. Some experts recommend to sweep and vacuum only in the direction of the carpet fibers, and others recommend that sweeping and vacuuming both ways is most effective.

Secondly, vacuum. Avoid vacuuming fringe, if your rug has it – the fringe can get sucked up into the vacuum and will start to loosen and fray. Make sure the level of the vacuum is set to where it will reach down into the fibers to get dirt that is worn down into the rug, but not so low that it can grab the fibers and suck them into the vacuum’s beater bar.

The third option depends on how dirty the rug really is, or the color of the rug. With a white or light-colored rug that stains easily, consider purchasing or renting a steam cleaner that offers stain protection – after eliminating stains, it will continue to protect the carpet against other stains. There is a list and reviews of popular steam cleaners at the following website: Home Parents. If you have a darker rug or one that is not particularly dirty, eliminating spots and slight staining is easily attained with a carpet cleaning solution, available at any drugstore or general store. Be sure to follow all instructions for carpet cleaner use – too much solution or too much soaking can damage your rug, and not enough will not clean it completely.

After cleaning, be sure to let the rug dry completely before allowing use. How long will depend on the thickness of your rug, usually overnight.

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