How To Care for Modern Rugs
Whether your tastes run classical or contemporary, a modern wool rug makes a beautiful addition to your home and offers many practical benefits as well. Wool is a renewable natural resource, making it environmentally friendly. It is naturally stain repellent due to the lanolin contained in the fibers, and it also deters dust mites and bacterial growth, so it is a healthier choice as long as no one in your family has allergies to wool.
Wool is fairly durable, and a modern rug made from this material should last for many years, maybe even decades. However, even a modern wool rug needs special handling to prevent wear and retain its beauty. Perhaps the most important thing you need to do to care for your modern rug is to have it cleaned professionally at least once a year. If you have pets in the house or the rug is in a high-traffic area, more frequent professional cleaning may be necessary.
However, your rug will need upkeep in between professional cleanings regardless of how often you have them. If your rug has a label with care instructions, they should take precedence over the tips given here. However, if there is no label, here are some general care instructions that should apply to your modern wool rug.
The traditional way to remove excess dirt from a rug is by beating it or, for rugs that are small enough, shaking it. Before you shake out a small rug, however, check the laws of your community, because some have instituted ordinances against this practice.
You should always take your rug outside to beat it. You can drape it over a clothesline or, if you don’t happen to have one, you can use sturdy outdoor furniture instead. You can use a broom or a tennis racket to vigorously beat the rug until the dirt is no longer evident. You may want to wear a face mask while you do this to prevent yourself from breathing in the dust, especially if you have allergies.
Pet dander and human hair can accumulate in rug fibers. This is difficult to remove by beating, and vacuuming may not be very effective either, although it may depend on the vacuum cleaner you use. If you are having trouble removing hair from your rug, you can try a utility brush or a clothing brush with stiff bristles.
Some rugs are too small for vacuuming, in which case you can skip this step. However, a medium-sized or large rug can benefit from it. You should vacuum your wool rug two to four times a month in between professional cleanings.
Wool rugs will shed fibers, especially when they are new. This is normal, but for this reason, you will have to vacuum the underside of the rug as well as the top, and sometimes the floor underneath as well. This may be a nuisance at first, but over time, your rug will likely shed less.
Opinions are mixed as to whether or not you should use a vacuum cleaner with a beater bar to clean a wool rug. Some say that this will give you a deeper clean, while others maintain that it is too harsh and will damage the wool fibers. If present, the care instruction label may provide you with some insight in this regard. When in doubt, however, it is probably a good idea to err on the side of caution and forgo the beater bar. In any case, you should not use a vacuum with a beater bar on a fringed rug. Instead, use an upholstery attachment or a separate handheld vacuum on the fringes.
Inevitably, your rug will encounter spills, muddy footprints, or other accidents that could cause staining. Start by trying to blot up the spill first rather than rubbing at it, as rubbing only serves to push the stain into the fibers.
Proper stain removal procedures vary depending on the cause. Whenever possible, however, use a stain remover made for use on wool, and check the care label for guidance if present. Always test a small, unnoticeable area first to be sure that the colors will not run.
To the extent possible, you want to avoid getting your wool rug wet. Otherwise, the fibers can absorb the water, and the rug will be difficult to dry thoroughly. Use as little water as necessary to address the stain.
There is more involved in caring for your wool rug that does not fit into the above categories. Here are some miscellaneous tips:
• Use a rug pad underneath. This helps to protect the rug from wear and prevent slipping or tripping.
• Do not pull on any loose fibers. If they stick up from the surface, snip them down with scissors.
• Rotate your rug every three months or so to prevent uneven wear and/or sun fading.
Here are some beautiful modern rugs to add to your collection:
If you found this blog interesting, you may want to explore some more of our rug care info here:
- How to handle moth infested rugs
- Antique rug maintenance at home
- Professional rug cleaning in NYC
- Professional rug repair & restoration in NYC