How much you’ll pay for a new rug depends on what it’s made from, the quality of the materials and its size. The cost of a decent rug can start at around a few hundred pounds, but more specialist varieties can command an eye watering price tag of several thousand pounds or more!
However much you’ve paid for a rug, one thing’s for sure: when you’ve gone to the effort of sourcing the perfect rug for your space, you’ll want to enjoy its presence for a long time to come. And the way to achieve this is to look after it. Here are some top tips to help add years to a rug’s life, so you can enjoy it for a long time to come.
Rugs should be vacuumed regularly, especially those that sit in high-traffic areas. Different types of rugs have various materials and pile lengths, so check that your particular type of vacuum cleaner is able to clean them, and adjust any settings on the machine if necessary to take different pile lengths into account.
Regular vacuuming of rugs can help to remove surface dust and debris, so that it’s less likely to get trodden deep down into the rug’s pile.
When vacuuming a rug, most people focus on the surface of the rug, but it’s important to tackle what’s going on underneath the rug, too. Therefore, it’s worth getting into the habit of rolling up a rug and cleaning the surface beneath it, to remove dust and debris that could damage the rug backing if not removed. While you’re at it, vacuum the underneath of the rug and check the backing to make sure it’s in good condition. Keep your eyes open for any insect infestations, as moth larvae, in particular, often eat underneath a rug first before targeting the top of a rug.
2. Professional cleaning
Vacuuming alone won’t keep your rugs 100% clean, so professional deep cleaning is recommended once or twice per year to ensure your rugs remain in tip-top condition.
Around 80% of dirt is removed when a rug is vacuumed, which leaves 20% left lingering in a rug, becoming trapped in rug fibres and sinking to the bottom of the pile. This can eventually cause abrasion to the rug, as well as discolouration, matting and even patches that become threadbare. Therefore, if you want to make sure a rug is properly cleaned from top to bottom, regular cleaning from professionals who use high-tech equipment is the way forward.
In particular, if you have a rug that has fringes, trying to clean these with a hoover might damage them, so for the safety and care of a rug, call in the professionals who will know how to clean rug fringing safely.
3. Move rugs around
You can help to extend the lifespan of your rugs by moving them around every so often, especially those that are located in areas that receive a lot of sunlight, potentially causing fabric colours to fade. Rotate rugs situated in high-traffic areas 180 degrees, so that one part of the rug gets a break from constant use. Plus, if you have any reversible rugs, turn them upside down now and again to prevent one side from becoming more worn than the other.
4. Tackle spills immediately
Spillages on a favourite rug are bound to happen, no matter how hard you try to keep a rug clean. So, when the inevitable does occur, it’s crucial that you get on the case immediately. This is because rug fibres work like a wick, pulling spills up the rug’s surface. Exposure to air will dry the spillage, making a permanent stain more likely to occur.
Therefore, to prevent a spillage turning into a permanent stain, the first thing you need to do is blot the area with an absorbent towel to remove as much of the moisture as possible. Because different types of spills need to be treated in various different ways, it’s preferable to call out a professional rug cleaning company to then remove the spillage fully. They will know how to treat different spills, using the most effective solutions.
By removing it properly, a professional rug cleaning company will also make sure there won’t be any residues left from the spillage, which can happen if you try to remove it yourself. Residues from a spillage could make a rug become smelly over time, and even damage its fabrics.
5. Place a pad underneath a rug
Whatever kind of surface you have underneath a rug, such as a hard surface like wood or tiles, or a carpet, it’s a good idea to place a pad underneath a rug, for several reasons.
Pads act as cushioning between the rug and the floor, helping to protect a rug’s structure and preventing fibres from being stretched. In particular, rugs on carpets can become wrinkled if they move about, without protective padding, which can damage a rug, possibly causing fabrics to rip. Similarly, rugs placed over tiles can sink into grout lines, weakening the rug foundation and encouraging tears in the material. Thus, placing padding underneath can prevent this from happening.
Pads also reduce the air space between a rug and the floor, which can help to discourage insects from breeding and infesting a rug.
Crucially, having a protective pad underneath a rug can prevent slipping, making accidents less likely to occur.
6. Right rug, right place
You can also add years to a rug’s life by carefully considering where to place it once you’ve bought it. A precious rug that has a lot of sentimental or financial value shouldn’t be situated in an area that is destined to get a lot of use, such as by entrance areas. Instead, it might be better somewhere where it can be seen, but not necessarily walked over a lot. Rugs will also stay cleaner for longer, and thus could enjoy an extended lifespan, if they aren’t walked over with outdoor footwear.
For well-used areas, it might be worth considering using a tough, budget-friendly outdoor rug, which is stain resistant, durable and easy to clean.
7. Mindful rug choices
When you’re buying a new rug, it’s worth trying to think practically and realistically before making any purchases. You might like the idea of a lovely cream shaggy pile, but if you’ve got young kids and pets at home, spills and stains are more likely to happen, potentially reducing a rug’s longevity. In which case, it might be worth considering buying a rug that has forgiving patterns and colours, so that if hard-to-remove stains and spills occur, they might not be as evident, so you won’t need to rush out and buy a new rug.