When it comes time to clean an area rug, particularly an oriental or antique one, can your carpet cleaner do the job? The answer is probably not. Here are the key differences between carpet and area rug care.
Area rug and carpet differences
More than 90 percent of wall-to-wall carpet is made of nylon fibers. Nylon is a man-made product that can withstand strong chemical treatment when cleaning. Commercial carpet cleaning companies are mostly trained in standard care for these fibers, using cleaners, hot water, and strong suction to extract dirt.
Common household area rugs may also be made of nylon or other man-made fibers and can be cleaned like carpet. When having an area rug made of synthetic fibers cleaned, remove it to a separate place such as a patio or driveway to protect the floor beneath.
An oriental rug is in a class by itself. These require special handling because unlike carpet, oriental rugs are usually made by hand with wool and dyes. These are masterpieces of artistry that cannot be cleaned by commercial carpet cleaning methods. Wool is a natural fiber and that cannot take the strong chemicals that nylon and other man-made fibers can.
The same special handling applies to antique rugs made of wool.
Oriental and rugs should be cleaned by those who specialize in that line of work. Rather than cleaning the rug in your home on your floor, an oriental rug cleaning specialist will pick up your rug and take it to a cleaning facility. The rug will be cleaned of dust, pretreated, then dipped in a special bath. Afterward, the rug is dried quickly.
Common area rugs can enjoy a longer life if you have them treated with a penetrating fabric protectant. This repels dirt and stains and makes cleaning easier.
To vacuum your area rugs, use a floor attachment on a hose rather than the motorized rotating brush and beater bar of the vacuum’s main floor head. The beater bar will shorten the life of the area rug.
If a portion of an area rug is exposed to sunlight from a window, you should periodically rotate it to protect one section from fading over the years. An even better solution is to apply ultraviolet blocking film to the window glass or install energy-efficient replacement windows with UV protection.
Related – 7 Tips on How to Clean Your Carpets