A rug is not a simple product composed of any one material, but a complex assembly of different fiber pieces of varying compositions and orientation. In order to clean your rug properly, you need to be aware of the rug’s constituent materials and how to wash them without causing damage.
Planning the operation:
First, you need to understand what kind of rug you own. Is it a rug or a carpet? Is it made of wool or some kind of synthetic polymer? Does it contain symmetric knotting or asymmetric knotting? Is it made of woven material or needle felts?
Once you understand your rug’s composition, you can prepare to clean it properly. Gather the supplies of beating stick, dusters, cleaning solution, wash clothes, aprons, gloves and old clothes. Set aside at least an hour’s worth of time for properly cleaning your rug.
Executing the Plan:
- Hang the rug on a clothes line and beat it with a stick. The stick should not be too hard or have edges that can catch on the rug surface and result in tearing. This work should be done outside the house, preferably in the backyard, or some other place so that the dust does not settle on any other articles around the house.
- Scrape out any hardened blot or stains that are present on the surface of the rug. This can be done using small brushes or scrapers. Take care not to inflict damage on the rug surface while scraping. Comb through the rug carefully in order to spot the easy to miss blots hidden away in deep crevasses which are normally visible. Blow on the scraped hard dust particles to dislodge them from their places on the rug and bring them out into the open where they can be disposed of.
- Vacuum all the dust and dirt particles off the rug. Make use of the various heads available for the vacuum and choose the vacuum head that suits the composition of your rug. Clean the filter at intervals to avoid buildup or blockage of dust. Make sure the hairs on the rug are not bent or twisted, and no clogging occurs within the vacuuming machine from the collecting of hair inside.
- There are many kinds of Rug Stains, and each kind needs special attention –
- Water Soluble Stains – Use a basic cleaning solution composed of a diluted non-bleach cleaning agent.
- Stronger Water Soluble Stains – These can range from blood, chocolate, wine to coffee and mustard. Take a small amount of ammonia and mix it in a cup of water. Use the solution to treat the stain.
- Oily Stains – These can be composed of organic or non-organic oil products, and need a stronger method of removal. Place a clean paper towel over the stain and iron on a warm setting. This should cause the stain to stick to the towel.
- Cigarette Burns – Rub the pile of burns with the edge of a hard, flat surface such as a knife.
- Gum – You can apply ice to the gum in order to freeze it, and then shatter it with a blunt instrument before scraping away the pieces.
- Nail Polish – Use nail polish remover to blot the area using a rag.
- Urine – Soak up the urine with paper towels, and then blot the rug surface with a damp, cool cloth. Use a solution of vinegar and water for further blotting. Finally, apply a solution of non-bleach detergent mixed with water, before rinsing and blotting the area.
- Steam Cleaning – In some cases, spot cleaning the rug is not enough. In such cases, a steam cleaner should be used. Renting the machine is a better fiscal option than buying the machine since steam cleaning does not need to be performed regularly. Soak the carpet and then dry it using the two buttons on the machine. Perform this operation several times. After the work is done, make sure you find an appropriate place to dispose of the dirtied water where it will not cause harm.
- Brushing – Use a large, stiff brush with fine hairs for cleaning the surface of the rug. Perform the brushing operation in a regular pattern, brushing in the direction of the nap of the rug.
- Dry the rug in the sun when the rays are not too bright or intense since that can end up harming the rug and cause discoloration.
Some Useful Tips:
- Vacuum your rug at regular intervals to avoid buildup of grime in the crevasses. See the recommended vacuums.
- Rotate the rug regularly so that every part of it is worn down evenly from use.
- Use a diluted solution of white vinegar for blotting over the rug to give it a shiny finish.
- Sprinkling a light amount of Borax over the rug can help contain insect infestations.
- While beating the rug, take care not to let any of the floating dust particles enter your eyes or any other orifices.
- Make sure any chemical cleaning fluids you use do not cause damage to the rug or result in discoloration or fraying.
- When the rug is drying in the sun, turn it back to front at intervals to ensure the sun rays reach every spot on the rug.
- Don’t leave the rug out in the sun for too long, since this could lead to bleaching of the color of the rug. If sun rays are too harsh, dry the rug with an electric fan.
- Don’t beat the rug so hard that you end up damaging it.