Wondering how to clean your beloved wool rug yourself? You’re not the only one. This thought has passed any rug owner’s mind at least once!
As rug-owners and lovers, our wool rugs hold a special place in our hearts. And for good reason! Rugs are the perfect solution for decorating and defining areas in an open space or adding a bold statement to a room. And wool rugs are a must-have! They provide warmth, comfort, and hold on to colors beautifully making them the perfect heirloom rug to be passed on to the next generation.
Wool, as a material, provides great benefits for the rug. This high-quality material coupled with the impressive work of artisans produces delightful wool rugs that you can only admire. Because of this, cleaning and maintaining them to ensure their durability is a must.
But instead of resorting to a professional cleaner straight away, you can take some simple rules to maintain and clean your rug yourself, at home. And we are here to guide you to do exactly that!
First, let’s look closer at why wool rugs are easy to clean and maintain. Then, we’ll dive into the main ways you can maintain your rug. Finally, we’ll explore some specific steps when cleaning stains and pet urine out of wool rugs and share when to call a professional cleaner.
Why wool rugs are easy to clean and maintain
If you are deciding between different materials for your area rug, wool should be on top of your list! Rugs made of wool are high-quality products that can be placed almost anywhere in your home. Let us explain why.
1. Wool rugs are liquid and dirt resistant
Wool is a natural material that comes from sheep and comes with a coat of natural oil called lanolin. Because of this, wool rugs repel liquid and dirt. They hold on to the dirt on their surface making it easy to clean with a vacuum cleaner when the time comes.
2. Wool rugs are springy
Another reason why we believe wool rugs are great choices for longevity is that they are springy. Wool rugs go back to their original form quickly after being crushed, stretched, or walked on. In fact, a wool rug can be stretched up to 35% and still come back to its original shape! This makes it ideal for going under furniture or in high traffic zones.
3. Wool rugs are fire-resistant
Did you know that wool rugs don’t catch on fire? Yes! Wool, as a material, does not burn. Instead, it will char and eventually extinguish itself. And this will only happen at extremely high temperatures. So you don’t need to worry when placing your wool rug in places where the temperatures tend to get high really fast like in front of your fireplace or in the kitchen.
General day-to-day wool rug maintenance
So now that you know why we love wool rugs so much, here are some ways you can take care of these precious products. First, let’s look at some simple things you can do for day-to-day maintenance.
1. Have a no-shoe policy
As simple as it sounds, having a no-shoe policy will do wonders for maintaining your wool rug! Have everyone remove their shoes at the entryway before they enter your home. You can also show off your hosting skills by offering some comfy slippers to your guests! Not only have you saved your rug from soil and dirt from outdoors, but you also provided a warm welcome no one will forget.
2. Rotate your rug (or move your furniture around)
By rotating your rug, you are ensuring that each section is getting an even distribution of wear. If you feel that one side of your rug ends up being walked on a lot, simply rotate it to give that side a break. The same applies to furniture: rotate your rug so that the furniture is not always crushing the same areas. Or, if you feel like a complete makeover, move your furniture around and create an entirely new look in your room!
3. Flip your rug over
Similar to rotating your rug, also consider flipping your rug over altogether! Not only are you ensuring that your rug will even out wear this way but also, all the dust and dirt that has sunk into your rug will come out. Our favorite rug to flip over in the felt ball rug! This playful rug is also functional as it looks exactly the same on both sides. Enjoy your flipping!
4. Block out the sunlight
We always advise not to put your area rug in direct sunlight, especially if you have an oriental rug. Sunlight can cause the colors of your rug to fade over time. So to avoid premature fading, do not place your rug in areas where sunlight will hit your rug, use blinds and drapes when possible, and rotate your rug often so that the same area is not being exposed for too long.
5. Consider getting a rug pad
A rug pad is a great investment for rug owners! Essentially, a rug pad will extend the life of your rug and acts as a buffer between the rug and the floor that will help it last longer. Not only that, but a rug pad also adds slipping (think kitchen or bathroom) and provides more cushioning.
6. Vacuum your rug regularly
It goes without saying that you should vacuum your rug often. But there are a few things to consider while doing so. For instance, make sure that you are vacuuming at the lowest intensity. Avoid using the spinning brush and set the beater bar high for minimal abrasion. You want to be as delicate as possible to keep your rug happy.
7. Use a rug beater
Did you know that rug beater are still a great way to clean your rug of dust? At Sukhi, we often tell our customers to use a rug beater once or twice a year to get rid of dirt or anything unpleasant that has sunk into the rug. Simply hang your rug up (outside is preferable) and beat the dust out of it. If you don’t have a rug beater, just use the clean end of a broom.
8. Take care of your fringes
Those beautiful rug fringes, that we love, deserve our full attention too! We can easily forget about them and, without realizing it, end up discolored and damaged ones if we are not careful. And this often happens when we are mopping the floors with chemicals! These chemicals end up being absorbed by the fringes causing damage. So, next time you mop, make sure to tuck those fringes in and move your rug away from the area you’re cleaning.
9. Air it out
Last but not least, give your rug some fresh air! Hang your rug out once or twice a year to air it out. This helps your rug “breathe” and prevents mildew or mold from building up. This is also recommended when your rug has been in contact with moisture. When hanging your rug outside, make sure that your rug is not in direct sunlight. A place with a lot of shade should do the trick!
How to remove spills and stains
Although wool rugs are liquid-resistant, some spills and stains can be rather stubborn to get rid of. The first rule is to deal with the accident as soon as it happens. Prompt cleaning of spills will greatly reduce the risk of stains on your wool rug. This way, you are catching them while they are still on the very surface and won’t have regrets later!
Here’s our mantra when it comes to cleaning stains: blot, don’t rub. So first, dab the stain with a dry cloth or white paper towel to absorb all the excess liquid. Then, take some lukewarm water and blot the stain. Show your rug some love and be patient. In case of more stubborn stains like wine, tea, or beer, consider mild detergents such as James Stain Wonder. We recommend using this product as a “leave-in” stain remover as it may take up to 12 hours to see the results.
If these steps are not fixing the problem, it’s time to call a professional carpet cleaner for advice. Do not use harsh chemicals or put your rug in the washing machine. This will definitely damage your wool rug and end up costing more in repairs or replacement.
How to maintain rug with pets
Opposite to popular belief, pets and rugs can co-exist happily if you take the right measures! While we love our furry babies to bits, it’s important to recognize any tendencies that can damage your rug. For instance, if your dog likes to chew a lot, it’s best to get a rug without fringes. Not only will they chew and tear these fringes out, but also, these can be a serious health hazard for your pet. If your pet urinates or vomits on your wool rug, deal with the situation as soon as possible. Blot the excess liquid and use mild detergents to disinfect and get rid of bad odors. Vacuum your rug often to get rid of pet hair.
When to get a professional cleaner for your wool rug
A that concludes our list of tips for maintaining your rug at home! We hope that these tips were useful and can now deal with any mishaps without worrying! Although daily maintenance can be easily achieved at home, there comes a time to get your rug cleaned professionally. In fact, Lisa Wagner, an expert rug cleaner and restorer, recommends getting your rug cleaned by a professional every 2 to 3 years. Taking this step, and all the others we shared above, will allow your rug to last for even longer!