Provided the proper care and maintenance is employed, area rugs can offer many years of beauty and enjoyment. If they are not properly cleaned and protected, their natural sheen gradually degrades and their beauty can begin to fade. Their durability cannot be prolonged unless certain required steps are followed towards their maintenance.
A rug of exceptional quality is an investment. You can protect that investment with a comprehensive care program:
New flooring represents a substantial investment. These proper steps assure that your carpet shall stay attractive for years to come.
Place walk-off mats at all entrances: Walk-off mats should be used at the exterior of all entrances to absorb the soil and moisture. They can help trap the excessive dirt, sand, grit, and other substances such as oil, asphalt, or driveway sealer that would otherwise be tracked into the home. Mats should also be cleaned on a regular basis so that they don't become sources of soil themselves.
Use a quality pad: You should always use a quality pad under your carpet, particularly on stairs. A good carpet pad not only provides better resilience and comfort underfoot, it extends the life of your carpet. As some carpets carry warranties with specific density and thickness requirements, one should be sure to review the warranty before purchasing the pad.
Occasionally move your heavy furniture: Move heavy furniture periodically in order to avoid excessive pile crushing. You should also use floor protectors designed for carpets under the legs of tables, chairs, and other furniture to help distribute the weight. Do not use chairs or appliances with rollers or casters without a chair pad designed specifically for carpet which otherwise can cause heavy damage. While moving heavy wheeled furniture (pianos, buffets, etc.), prevent damage by placing a protective barrier of heavy cardboard or plywood between the wheels and the carpet.
Clean your area rugs: If you use area rugs on top of wall-to-wall carpet, be sure to clean them regularly. Clean and restore the pile of the carpet underneath as well. Also, be sure to check area rugs for colorfastness before placing them on carpet because the color in some rugs may bleed through. After cleaning your carpet, allow it to dry completely before replacing rugs.
Reduce long period exposure to direct sunlight: Protect your carpet from prolonged exposure to direct sunlight with the help of blinds, shades, or awnings.
Carpet Care: Vacuuming - The most important step in caring your carpet.
Vacuum yours carpet thoroughly and frequently, particularly in high-traffic areas. Realize that walking on soiled carpet allows the soil particles to work their way below the surface of the pile where they are far more difficult to remove and can damage the carpet fibers. Frequent vacuuming remove these particles from the surface itself before they get trapped underneath.
For rooms with light traffic, vacuum the carpet traffic lanes twice weekly and the entire area once weekly. In areas with heavy traffic, vacuum the carpet traffic lanes daily and the entire area twice weekly. Up to three passes of the machine will suffice for light soiling, but five to seven passes are necessary for heavily soiled areas. Change the vacuuming direction occasionally to help stand the pile upright and reduce matting.
Check the quality of your vacuum: A good vacuum cleaner is vital for prolonged beauty and life of your carpet. An inexpensive machine can remove surface dirt but will not effectively remove the hidden dirt and particles embedded in the pile.
Select the best vacuum for your type of carpet: Jaipur Living recommends using vacuums with a rotating brush or combination beater/brush bar that agitates the carpet pile and mechanically loosens soil for removal. Carpet with thick loop pile construction, particularly wool and wool-blend styles, may be sensitive to brushing or rubbing of the pile surface and may become fuzzy. For these products, we recommend a suction-only vacuum or a vacuum with an adjustable brush lifted away from the carpet so that it does not agitate the pile. A vacuum with a beater/brush bar can be tested for excessive fuzzing in an inconspicuous location before regular use.
Pay attention to vacuum bags: Replaceable paper vacuum bags do a better job of trapping small particles than cloth bags. With cloth bags, the particles pass back into the room. High efficiency vacuum bags, also called micro filtration bags, trap even smaller microscopic particles (such as mold and mildew spores and dust mite byproducts) which are often found to be source of allergies. All vacuum bags should be checked often and replaced when half full.
Check the belt and the setting: Make sure the belt is in good condition and that the brush or beater bar rotates when in contact with the carpet. To adjust the vacuum to the correct height setting for the carpet, raise the beater/brush bar to the highest setting and then lower it until it is in enough contact with the pile to slightly vibrate the carpet several inches away from the machine. Do not lower it enough to cause significant slowing of the motor.
Change vacuuming directions: Change the vacuuming direction occasionally to help stand the pile upright and help reduce matting.
Vacuuming alone won't protect your carpet: Even though vacuuming can remove most soil, it is also necessary to clean your carpet on a regular basis to remove the oily, stickiness that vacuums cannot remove. These result from cooking vapors, air pollution, and tracked-in dirt from outside. The particles of oil and soil deposited on carpet fibers can cause gradual but significant dulling of colors. The color isn't lost, but is hidden under the film. If this type of oil layer is allowed to accumulate, it begins to attract and hold the dry soil in them. If carpet is cleaned before it becomes too unsightly, the cleaning chore is easier and more successful. Carpet in a typical household should be cleaned every 12 to 18 months, depending on the above factors.
Choosing the proper cleaning system is important. Some systems may leave residues which accelerates re-soiling and defeats the whole purpose of cleaning. The recommendations below if followed properly will help prolong the time between cleaning.
It is to your advantage to rely on the experience of a professional carpet cleaner when your rug is in need of a full cleaning. Their equipment has more extraction power than the rental units available to individuals which helps the carpet dry more quickly. Good professionals also know the usage of the equipment better, know the proper cleaning agents for the situation at hand, and recognize the differences in fibers and carpet construction.
Learn more about the care of your area rug by visiting the online Carpet & Rugs Encyclopedia: www.carpetandrugpedia.com