What is the Best Way to Clean a Rug?

With World Water Day just past, we’re committed to getting the message across about water conservation, and how all of us can do our part to protect the environment. If we all use just a little less water, we can help maintain a suitable habitat for wildlife all around the world, and also reduce energy expenditure, minimising the greenhouse effect and helping the government to reach it’s sustainable energy goals. However, it’s also important that we maintain a clean and hygienic household that’s free from germs and bacteria, and this means doing the laundry and washing interior decor such as carpets, designer rugs, and curtains. The big question is – is it possible to conserve water AND keep a clean home?

Absolutely! Contrary to popular belief, we don’t need to use bucketfuls of water every time we decide to wash our clothes, our living rooms rugs, or our cushion covers, for example. National Geographic reports that a whopping 22 percent of all household water use is due to laundry and washing, and this is a percentage that’s just way too high. So how can we clean our sitting room rugs without wasting water?

rug cleaning

Use Your Washing Machine Wisely

If you’ve got washable rugs in your home, then there’s no reason why you shouldn’t simply pop them in your washing machine – that’s what they’re for! However, it’s important to use your washing machine wisely to make sure you’re not wasting water. If possible, put your washable rugs in with dirty clothing or towels so you’re washing a full load and making the most of the water, or alternatively set your machine to a half-load setting which uses much less water.

Suck It Up

If your rugs aren’t washable, such as sheepskin rugs, shaggy rugs, or intricate and delicate Persian rugs, for example, you might be able to get away with using no water at all. Unless there’s an obvious stain which needs steam cleaning, a thorough vacuum once a week should be enough to keep the rug clean and hygienic. Just remember to flip your rug and vacuum the underside, too, as germs and bacteria can hide in the fibres underneath.

Points to Remember

When cleaning your rugs, there are a few important points to remember to ensure they stay looking as good as new:

  • Never vacuum the tassels that you often find on traditional rugs and shaggy rugs – the tassels could get caught in the mechanisms. Simply give them a brush with a clean comb, and fluff them up a little with your hands.
  • We advise against using a commercial carpet or rug cleaner, especially if dealing with traditional rugs which are very delicate, or modern rugs which showcase bright and bold colours. While very good at cleaning, the harsh chemicals in some rug cleaners can damage the material, or encourage the dyes to run. If using a rug cleaner, always test on an inconspicuous area first.
Author: Stephen McElrone
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