It’s a question we receive from our clients on a daily basis…”how do I clean my newly purchased Fibre Designs rug?”
Rugs can be beautiful additions to your home, but they can be expensive and sometimes delicate. It’s important to know how to clean and maintain them to protect your investment. These few tips can keep your rugs looking new for as long as possible. There are a few very common mistakes that people make when it comes to cleaning area rugs. These mistakes can end up subtracting years from the life of your rugs, and they can easily be avoided.
Care of Karoo Wool Tugella Flatweave Rugs :
- Remember : our Tugella flat-weave rugs are reversible
- For maximum benefit, turn the rug over every few months to wear both sides equally.
- Vacuum regularly with suction only, as brushes and beaters tend to roughen up the wool fibres. Should the rugs have a “fluffy appearance initially, this is known as “shedding” and is caused by the loose fibres that have worked themselves out of the weft. This is a normal occurrence in any pure wool rug, and these fibres can be safely pulled off or cut away. Thereafter, the rug will “settle” and should no longer shed fibres.
- Spot-remove stains immediately as they occur. (Consult a stain removal expert, refer to the stain removal chart on our website or simply bring your rug into our restorations studio & we will help as best we can).
- Never steam-clean a hand-woven wool rug, as hot water or steam can damage the wool fibre and cause wool to shrink. Rather clean by gentle washing with a mild detergent or consult a reputable carpet cleaner (that’s us!).
- Washing can be done at home (small rugs in the washing machine on the wool cycle) larger rugs in a bath tub or spread out on a patio, lawn or drive-way, sprinkled with mild detergent and sprayed with the hose pipe. Care must be taken to rinse out all traces of detergent, as soap residue can harm and dis-colour natural fibres. Try and choose a dry, sunny and windy day for washing, to aid the drying and prevent the rug from staying wet/damp for too long. Dry rug preferably out of direct sunlight, as sunlight may “burn” and dis-colour lighter shades of wool and cotton.
Care of Cut Pile Wool Rugs:
An area rug receives a lot of abuse from dirt, sand, dust, various spills and foot traffic. Vacuuming area rugs with a quality machine will go a long way towards prolonging the appearance and life of your carpet.
Our hand-tufted wool area rugs are well constructed and durable. A vacuum with a rotating beater bar to agitate the area rug pile and strong suction to remove loose particles is well tolerated by the area rug. If your vacuum does not have a beater bar, it may remove surface dirt well but may leave embedded soil that can damage the area rug through abrasion. Remember, vacuuming is the best tip for cleaning wool rugs.
- Make sure that the beater bar is actually rotating when in contact with the area rug. A worn belt will reduce rotation when the bar contacts the area rug.
- Adjust the height of the beater bar so that it lightly vibrates the area rug, but will not cause the motor to slow.
- Check the vacuum bag regularly. A vacuum will become less efficient if the debris bag becomes too full (over half full for most machines).
- Vacuum across both directions of the traffic pattern to prevent matting.
Vacuuming removes most dry soil, but street grime, oily soils, and air pollution can build up eventually and your area rug may require cleaning. The accumulation of these particles can cause gradual dulling. A professional clean is most definitley recommended every few years.
Dry Foam and Absorbent Pad :
This is our recommended method. It uses little water to create a light detergent foam that is worked into the pile, then vacuumed out when dry.
Steam Cleaning :
This method is most effective when performed by a professional, although many rug cleaning machines may be purchased or rented. The dangers of performing this method on your own involve using too much detergent or water. Some cleaning agents available with rented units leave a heavier residue, so use care or the advice of a professional when choosing a product. Test the product on a small area to check for residue or a sticky feel. Do not use if a residue exists, or if in doubt about a product. Finally, do not use laundry detergents to clean your area rug to avoid possible chemical brighteners.
Dry Powder :
We do not recommend using dry powders with plush or deep pile area rugs, as the cleaning residue may be difficult to remove. Powder cleaners and deodorizers can cause “Pilling”. If the area rug is heavily soiled, we recommend a different procedure or using a professional.
Area Rug Stain Removal :
If an area rug becomes spotted or stained, work quickly. When possible, scoop up solids and blot liquids immediately after a spill occurs. Absorb as much liquid as possible with a white cloth or paper towel without scrubbing the area to prevent matting or fuzzing.
Care of Hemp Grass Rugs :
Natural fiber floor coverings, like the rich Hemp grass weave are relatively easy to maintain because dirt does not cling to the hard fibers, but rests loosely in the weave. Natural fibers do not show dirt readily.
Regular Vacuuming is the best care you can do to keep the fresh appearance of your mountain grass flooring. Visible and loose dirt should be vacuumed with a strong brush-suction vacuum. Vacuum the carpet from different directions, making several passes over the area.
Although the need may not be visible, this frequent and regular vacuuming will increase carpet life by preventing soil build-up, and will help eliminate stains caused when spilled liquids dissolve soil accumulations.
Vacuuming Bound Rugs :
When vacuuming bound area rugs, take special care with the binding border. Do not let the vacuum sit on top of the binding or catch the corner of the rug as it could damage the binding. Also, vacuum in the direction that the binding is sewn so as not to pull up the binding from the rug.
Overall Cleaning :
It is important to control the amount of moisture during cleaning. NEVER steam clean, wet shampoo or any other method that involves water saturation on a natural fiber rug. It is recommended that a dry cleaning process be used.
Spot Cleaning :
Immediately remove any spills by blotting (blot do not rub) liquids with a white cloth or scrape up solids with a dull knife or nail file. Never rub the area of the spill. Rubbing can work the liquid deeper into the fibers, making the spill more likely to stain the carpet. It can also spread the liquid to a larger area of the rug. For red wine and tomato sauce, dab with a white cloth dampened with soda water to neutralize the spill and remove any possible stain. Let dry. Many times the stain disappears. If not, try cleaning with a cloth dampened with mild soap and leave to dry.
Care of Silk, Bamboo and Viscose
Silk should be cleaned using a dry cleaning process. These fibers may be damaged by natural and synthetic acids (e.g. lemon juice), and sunlight.
Cleaning Silk, Bamboo and Viscose products should normally be left to a professional carpet cleaner, however, there are times when a quick response is needed and you need to clean the carpet yourself.
Silk, Bamboo and Viscose Carpets are known for their unique characteristics; therefore need extra care when cleaning which will help to keep it looking luxurious and shiny.
Most people assume that there are two kinds of fibres: natural ones, like cotton,wool and silk; and artificial ones synthesised out of petrochemicals like nylon and polyester. Viscose falls somewhere in between. The raw material for viscose is cellulose wish is broken down either mechanically or chemically and reformed as fibres. Trees are 50% cellulose, cotton is 90% cellulose, so viscose is more accurately described as a natural, or recovered, fibre.
Rayon Viscose is typically made from a combination of natural fibres. Cotton viscose is made largely from cotton cellulose and bamboo viscose is made from bamboo cellulose. All these “viscose” yarns are cleaned and maintained in the same way
We recommend that vacuuming is carried out with a Cylinder Vacuum Cleaner without a beater bar. The brushes should be raised away from the surface of the pile and suction reduced to the minimum amount needed to remove the dust and dirt build up. To get the best results vacuum in the direction of the pile, this is to avoid pushing the dirt back into the fibres of the carpet.
Our recommendation would be that the carpet should be vacuumed twice a month to remove dirt; however vacuuming frequency should match traffic and soil conditions. The chart below suggests a vacuuming routine relative to 3 types of traffic conditions.
Stain Removal Techniques :
**Pre-test a hidden area, act quickly, treat spots quickly to prevent permanent stains.
DO NOT scrub Silk, Bamboo or Viscose rugs it could warp the pile. Gently blot the soiled area, beginning from the edge and working your way in, using a white cloth or paper-towel to absorb liquids from spills. Dyes and Inks in coloured fabrics and papers can run and further damage your carpet.
Do-it-yourself cleaning tips for Silk, Bamboo and Viscose :
WATER: Blot away with absorbent white paper towels until dry to the touch. Avoid walking on the area until it is bone dry.
Food and Beverages, Cosmetic Powders, Modelling Clay, Potting Soil and Skin Ointments :
Vacuum dry spills thoroughly. On wet spills use a teaspoon of mild liquid detergents for each cup of lukewarm water. Use a rounded spoon to lift semi-solid foods off the silk carpet; blot the spot until it has disappeared.
We do hope this has been helpful with the maintenance of your rug, please do not hesitate to contact us should you have any further queries at all.
Pierre & Lea