Area rugs can be a great addition to any room in your house, but they can also be a pain to clean. Whether you have one in your home office or the kitchen, you need to clean it properly. If you don't know how to clean an area rug, you could end up doing more harm than good. Below, we will discuss some DIY tips for cleaning an area rug.
Use salt to clean red wine stains
Red wine is one of the worst substances you can spill on a rug, but its stains aren't impossible to take care of. Salt is a surprisingly good cleaning agent when it comes to wine stains.
All you need to do is pour a generous amount of salt over the stain and let it sit for a few minutes. The salt will absorb the wine and make it much easier to clean.
Aerate the rug
After you've cleaned the rug, it's crucial to aerate it. It will help to remove any residual moisture and will also help to prevent mildew and mould growth. You can do this by hanging the rug over a clothesline or placing it in a well-ventilated area.
Let the rug air dry for at least 24 hours after you've completed a thorough cleaning. It's going to help the rug look and smell fresh.
Use shaving cream
If you don't want to use regular foaming carpet cleaners, shaving cream is a wonderful alternative. It's gentle enough to not damage the rug, but it's also effective at lifting dirt and stains. Simply apply the shaving cream to the affected areas and let it sit for a few minutes before wiping it away with a damp cloth. It will take care of most minor stains and freshen up your carpet quite a bit.
Make sure that you use undyed shaving cream that doesn’t contain any harsh chemicals or intense aromas. You don’t want the carpet to smell like shaving cream after you clean it.
One of the best ways to protect your area rug is to vacuum it regularly. It will help remove any dirt, dust, or debris that could damage the rug. Use strong suction settings to get debris out of those difficult-to-reach crevices.
Vacuuming also helps to keep the rug looking its best. Try to vacuum at least once a week, or more if necessary. Make sure that you pay extra attention to the rug when vacuuming, as it may need more coverage than most floors.
Hose it off
For more thorough rug cleaning, a garden hose can come in handy. This method is best used on rugs that are made of natural materials like wool or cotton. You should take the rug outside and hose it down. Use a mild soap to take care of minor stains and unpleasant smells if necessary.
Let the rug air dry completely before bringing it back inside. It will prevent mould and mildew issues.
Consider steam cleaning
Steam cleaning is a practical way to deep clean an area rug. You can either rent a steam cleaner or buy one, but they are relatively affordable. Make sure to choose a model that is specifically designed for carpets and rugs.
Before steam cleaning, it's crucial to vacuum the rug thoroughly. It will help remove any large particles or dirt that could cause damage to the steam cleaning device. If the rug is really dirty, you may want to consider treating any tough stains with a detergent or stain remover before steam cleaning.
If the stains are too strong for a steam cleaner to take care of, you might want to get the rug cleaned professionally. Most people call Crystal Maids to take care of stubborn area rug stains, as they specialise in thorough cleaning.
Use baking powder
Baking powder is another great cleaning agent that can be used on area rugs. It's especially effective at removing stains and odours from tough-to-clean surfaces and materials. Not only is it non-toxic, but it’s also incredibly easy to use.
Simply sprinkle the baking powder over the affected areas and let it sit for a few hours before vacuuming it up. Afterwards, your rug will feel and smell as fresh as ever.
Use vinegar for unpleasant odours
Anything that spends time on the floor is going to accumulate some unpleasant smells. Area rugs are no exception. If your rug is starting to smell a bit too musty, vinegar can help you take care of the issue.
Simply mix equal parts of water and vinegar in a spray bottle and spritz it on the affected areas. Allow for a few minutes for the mixture to settle before blotting it with a clean cloth. The vinegar will absorb the unpleasant odours, and your rug will be back to normal in no time.
There are a few things you can do to protect your area rug from dirt, dust, and spills. As we've mentioned, try to vacuum it regularly. It will help remove any potential hazards before they have a chance to cause damage.
You can also place a mat or runner in high-traffic areas to help protect the rug from wear and tear. Finally, make sure to blot up any spills as soon as possible. Consider some of the cleaning methods we’ve covered as well. The sooner you address the problem, the less likely it is to cause permanent damage. By following these tips, you should be able to keep your area rug clean and in good condition for years to come.
Alison Pearson is an interior design student. She is a writer and designer, and her ultimate passion is art and architecture. She is also a bibliophile and her favourite book is "The Sound and the Fury" by William Faulkner. Follow her on Twitter.