Area rugs are great for adding warmth and comfort to hard flooring or protecting floors from wear and tear in high-traffic areas. To keep your area rugs looking their best, you’ll need to do a bit more than vacuum now and then. Here’s how to maintain your area rugs to help them last for years while maintaining their soft pile and bright color.

Vacuum Frequently
Regular vacuuming is important to remove dust, dirt, and debris from your carpet fibers. The longer the debris remains on the rug, the deeper it will be worked into the material. Vacuuming isn’t just important for removing dirt. It also removes grit and debris at the base of the carpet fibers. Grit can fray fibers over time. Vacuum rugs in high-traffic areas such as hallways twice a week to reduce wear.

Address Spills Immediately
No matter how careful you are, you’ll probably find yourself cleaning up a spill on your area rug at some point. It’s important to take action immediately to reduce the risk of a stain. Start by blotting up the stain with paper towels or a clean cloth. Don’t rub the rug to remove the liquid, as this spreads the liquid to the base and results in a larger stain. Treating the stain left behind requires a tailored approach, depending on what you spilled. For soft drinks and alcohol, treat with a solution of 1/4 teaspoon white vinegar and 1 teaspoon liquid dish soap mixed with 1 quart of warm water. For tea or coffee, use a spot carpet cleaner. Fat-based stains can be treated with a dry solvent carpet cleaner.

Rotate Every Six Months
There’s a good chance part of your area rug gets more foot traffic than other areas, especially if it’s placed under furniture. While it will take some time, eventually these wear patterns will emerge. No matter what material the floor underneath is made of—hardwood, bamboo, vinyl, engineered, or carpet, Carlsbad residents should rotate their area rugs every six months to make them wear more evenly. Rotation also helps the rug fade evenly by ensuring all areas receive the same amount of sunlight from windows in the room.

Shampoo Synthetic Rugs Yearly
Every 12 to 18 months, it’s safe to give your synthetic rugs a deep shampoo to restore the color and address stains and dirt. Before you get started, test out the carpet shampoo on a small corner and let it sit for a few hours to check for fiber or color damage. To shampoo your rug, take it outside and set it up on a sturdy bench, fence, or hard surface. Rinse with water and apply the shampoo, using a sturdy brush to work the shampoo into the carpet fibers. Leave the shampoo on the rug for the amount of time indicated, then rinse thoroughly to remove all residue. Wring out the rug and allow it to air dry completely, which may take one or two days. Give the rug a good vacuuming to restore the proper appearance to the carpet fibers.

Have Oriental and Antique Rugs Professionally Cleaned
You may be comfortable cleaning a synthetic or woven area rug, but it’s best to let a professional handle an antique, Oriental, or hand-knotted rug to avoid damage and running dye. Most commercial carpet cleaning products are too harsh for these delicate rugs. Professional cleaning is usually recommended every 12 to 18 months to keep rugs looking their best.

Area rugs are a great addition to any décor, and if you follow the suggestions listed above, you can plan on enjoying yours for many years to come. Updating your floors with area rugs can instantly make your home warmer and more welcoming. For advice on taking care of your rugs or any other flooring issues—from cleaning products to floor installation—Carlsbad residents should drop by our showroom or give us a call at 760-454-1436.