Rug Maintenance 101: How to Take Care of Your Rugs

Rug Maintenance 101: How to Take Care of Your Rugs

Posted On January 25, 2023

Handmade rugs are like art pieces meant to be displayed and maintained correctly to last a long time. These rugs and carpets can elevate the appearance of your interior while still being functional home decor.

Proper rug maintenance is key in making your one-of-a-kind carpets and handmade rugs vibrant and beautiful. These exquisite pieces will require specific rug cleaning processes if you want them to last for decades without fading and succumbing to wear and tear.

Cleaning rugs at home: What you need to know

Getting dirt and spills on rugs is inevitable, especially those put outdoors and in areas with high foot traffic. This is why regularly dusting and cleaning your rug is important if you always want them looking fresh and new. However, keeping your rugs spotless isn’t enough since washing them without considering their material or structure can do more harm than good. These are just some of the factors you should consider if you want to extend the lifespan of your precious rugs.


The materials for making rugs have changed a lot over the years. From traditional rugs being made of natural fibers and dyes to modern carpets being constructed from synthetic materials like polyester and nylon, these pieces all require specific solutions and treatment methods. For example, unlike wool rugs which are durable and low maintenance, silk carpets are much more tedious to maintain due to their delicate fibers. 

Before you start cleaning your rugs at home, check the material of your carpets and see what they require. This will ensure that you don’t ruin your rugs in the process, especially if you’re going to clean luxury carpets on your own.

Weaving method

You should also consider how your rug was made before dusting, washing, and scrubbing away. Some carpets have intricate patterns and fragile structures that can unravel if cleaned nonchalantly. For example, you should vacuum tufted or woven rugs across the direction of the pile to avoid stressing out their fibers. This is a better way of removing the dust and debris from the carpet than beating it.

For textured shag carpets, also avoid using the beater bar of your vacuum regardless if the rug has a low or high pile. Regular brush attachments are enough for flat-woven carpets as well. Following these distinct rug cleaning processes for different rugs is vital if you want your carpets to look new and last long without ruining them.

Different Types of Rugs and How to Clean Them

To help you clean your rug at home, we’ve listed five popular rug types and their respective guidelines. 

Wool carpets

Wool is one of the most popular materials used in creating handmade rugs. The fabric is soft and durable, making them the perfect choice for many weavers. Besides this, they also hold dyes better than other materials.

Though wool rugs don’t require much maintenance, you should still be careful when vacuuming new wool rugs. New wool carpets tend to shed, especially if they’re made of pure wool. Always be on the lookout for loose threads when cleaning your wool rug at home

Another reason why wool fabrics are popular is that they’re resistant to stains, dust, and water damage. They absorb these substances more quickly compared to other materials. If your wool carpets become stained, vacuum them before washing them, and ensure that you use wool laundry liquid when treating wool rugs.

Cotton rugs

Cotton is another popular material used for making rugs due to its durability and versatility. This low-maintenance fabric can take on many colors to create intricate designs. Additionally, collectors can easily throw them into the washing machine or hose them down. One downside of cotton rugs is that they stain easily and fade quicker than other carpets. You’ll notice severe discoloration once you’ve washed them after a few times.

Vacuum both sides of your cotton carpets first before you wash them with a gentle laundry detergent. You can use a soft-bristled brush to work the powder into its fibers without over-scrubbing it.

Jute carpets

Cleaning jute rugs at home can be challenging due to their stiff fibers. They stain easily and require more meticulous dusting and treating compared to wool and cotton rugs. Make sure your vacuum is at a low setting to prevent damaging its stiff threads.

It would help if you also took care of spills immediately to prevent them from staining these luxurious rugs permanently. You must vacuum your jute rugs regularly, as the material collects dust particles much faster than other fibers.

Shag rugs

It can be challenging to vacuum shag carpets without damaging the piles. This is why you need to turn off your vacuum beater bar before sweeping the top of the shag carpeting. Use an attachment that prevents the metal part of your vacuum head from touching the pile. You can also use the beater bar of your vacuum for the underside of your shag carpet and vacuum it in different directions for a more thorough result.

Synthetic carpets

Textiles like nylon and polyester are artificial materials used in most mass-produced carpets for better durability. This is why many interior designers use them for outdoor spaces since they can withstand the elements better. 

When cleaning synthetic rugs at home, you can steam them or hose them down without any worry. Shake and beat the rugs to get rid of any loose dust and dirt before spraying them with water. You can then use a gentle detergent and a soft-bristled brush to work the soap into the fibers of the rug for a deep clean.

Even if they’re made to last, you must follow the direction of the fibers of your synthetic carpet to prevent loose threads. Remove as much water as possible from the washing before laying the rugs out to dry.

Rug Cleaning Mistakes You Should Avoid

Most rug owners commit common rug cleaning mistakes that end up ruining their carpets, regardless of what these pieces are made of. Here are a few carpet cleaning missteps that you should avoid.


When your carpet retains too much moisture or water, it won’t be able to dry itself properly. Moist or damp rugs can cause mold growth and become a health hazard. Oversaturation can also lead to color bleeds in certain materials like silk, ruining the rug in the process.

Over Scrubbing

Working the fibers of your carpet too much will start to unravel its fibers and piles. While scrubbing is vital for taking out deep-seated dirt, overworking it can instead push the dirt deeper into the rugs, making them harder to get rid of. Use soft brushes when working on delicate rugs. You can also use napkins or a sponge to gently dab on fresh spills to prevent them from spreading and seeping into the carpet, as brushing can make the stain worse. 

Preserve the beauty of your rug

While cleaning your rug at home can be a cost-effective way of keeping them looking new and fresh, having them professionally cleaned can do wonders. Make your old and worn-out carpets look clean and stunning again with the help of rug cleaning experts.

For more information on how professional carpet cleaning works and its benefits, visit our blog here.