Cleaning various types of Area Rugs

Area rugs can substantially change the interior of any home. They can be made from various materials starting from wool, coir, fur, cotton to silk. They can be woven, handmade or machine made.  Just like the varied materials and types the cleaning process of these rugs can vary largely. Following are the methods of cleaning various types of area rugs.


Wool rugs

Wool rugs need special care while cleaning. To prevent damaging the wool rug only cool water should be used. To clean a wool rug at home it should first be vacuumed in both side and shaken so that the dirt becomes loose. To wash the rug it should be laid down in a flat surface and cleansed with a mild cleansing solution which can be rubbed using a washcloth gently over the rug. It needs to be rolled up to press the water out and then laid flat to dry up. The rug should be left on hard floor until it completely dries.

Oriental or antique rugs

These delicate rugs need to be cleansed with special care. They should be vacuumed first.  A screen needs to be laid over them before vacuuming to protect the fibres. They should be rotated once every six months to even out the wearing. For deep cleaning, professional cleaners may be hired once a year. They should be kept away from direct sunlight to prevent fading.

Silk Area Rugs

These rugs should only be vacuumed using suction only vacuum or a broom to prevent damage. They should not be exposed to detergents or water because they have delicate natural fibres.  It is better to leave the cleaning in the hands of professionals. Normal dust brush should be used to get rid of the dust.

 Fur, sheepskin, and hair-on hides

Dip cotton cloth in soapy water and clean the backside of the rugs. For rugs made especially of fur, shake some talcum powder over it and brush into the fur. Then shake out the powder. Repeat the process and the fur will be cleaned. Let the rugs dry completely before laying them out.

Synthetic Area Rugs

Small synthetic rugs can be cleansed in a washing machine. Larger ones can be washed in buckets or bathtubs. In both cases use cool water and mild detergent. It is safe to have them air dried, rather than in a dryer. But they need to be kept away from direct sunlight to prevent discolouring.

Coir, sisal, rush, and grass rugs

These rugs are made from natural fibers and they accumulate dirt through the open weave. They need to be flipped frequently. Vacuuming them once a week is good to keep them clean and dirt free. They should be rinsed in cold water using mild detergents with a cotton cloth. The surface area should also be cleaned because these rugs pass dirt through the open weave.  They should be air dried and not exposed to direct sunlight. Fans or dryers could be used to speed drying.

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