It is no wonder that you love your wool rug. Not only is it a beautiful addition to your home, but it also has a soft, warm quality that synthetic carpets cannot possibly match. Because you love it so much and want it to be as attractive as it was on the day you bought it, make the small commitment to keeping your rug clean. Doing so involves a combination of easy regular attention and the occasional total bath. As with virtually every other item in your home, taking time to care for and maintain it will enhance its beauty and increase its longevity. Here is what you will need to know if you want to keep your wool rug looking beautiful and vibrant for years to come.

First, take a look at the manufacturer’s tag. Often, your rug will come with precise maintenance instructions. In these cases, the rug maker has done a lot of the work for you, and following them can minimize the likelihood of making a costly cleaning mistake. In most cases, you can clean your rug at home, with the exception of some delicate Oriental carpets. If you do decide to take on this task, there are some valuable tips that bear remembering. Avoid the temptation to vigorously scrub your rug when a stain occurs. Doing so will distort the pile.

Instead, take a small amount of mild wool-safe detergent and test a tiny area of your rug to be sure the product will do no further harm before using. If you realize that you have just spilled something on your rug, attending to the spot right away can remove the stain and save you from having to clean the entire thing.

Sooner or later, however, you will need to do more than just take care of a spot here or there. Although regular vacuuming or shaking of your rug can remove dirt and keep it from becoming ground into the fibers, your wool carpet should be thoroughly cleaned—either by you or professionally—every twelve to eighteen months. When the time comes to clean your rug, spot clean any dirty areas with a mild wool-safe stain remover. If you would prefer a more natural home-made cleaner, add a teaspoon of white vinegar and a teaspoon of detergent to two quarts of water. Next, take your rug outside to a porch or patio and thoroughly wet it with a hose.

Using mild detergent, scrub any dirty or stained parts of your rug. When you’re finished, thoroughly rinse all of the soap out. Then drain excess water by rolling the rug in clean dry towels. Or you can speed up the drying process by using a wet/dry vacuum. Avoid spreading out the rug to dry in the sun, as solar rays will cause shrinkage or fading. In addition, it is important to get out as much moisture as possible to avoid the growth of bacteria in your rug.

If all of this sounds like more than you want to take on, you can always bring your rug to a professional carpet cleaner once a year or so. Although doing so is costly, it saves you a lot of time and aggravation. Plus, you will have the assurance of knowing the job has been done correctly.

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