How to make your rugs last longer

Rugs are easier to maintain than carpeting because they can be lifted off the floor for cleaning. As a consequence, rugs are often a longer-lasting investment — and one that you can take with you when you move. Here are some steps you can take to ensure many years of enjoyment.

How to make your rugs last longer

1. Remove shoes to preserve expensive rugs

  • It's the combination of dirt and sand that collects in the fibres of a rug, combined with the pressure of foot traffic, that causes a rug to wear.
  • A sure way to maintain an expensive rug is to have a shoes-off policy in your home. Many different cultures do it — and so do many families in North America.
  • Keep a collection of soft-soled slippers at the door for guests.
  • Not only will this reduce the buildup of abrasive dirt particles, it will also keep hard-soled shoes from grinding away your rug.

2. Use a rug pad

  • Rubber rug pads will help reduce rug wear and prevent slippage on hard surfaces as well.
  • The cushioning makes it tough for abrasive dirt particles to do their damage.

3. Have rugs cleaned regularly

  • Experts recommend having your rug cleaned by a professional at least once every two or three years.
  • A good cleaning will remove the destructive residue from spills and pet accidents that build up over the years.
  • More important, it will remove abrasive dirt particles that collect on the backing and between the fibres — up to four kilograms (nine pounds) of them in a 275 x 365 centimetres (9 x 12 inches) rug. Look for a rug-cleaning service that has a beater.
  • This is a machine that beats the rug with straps in order to remove grit prior to washing the rug.

4. Vacuum or shake rugs frequently

  • Vacuum your rug twice a week to keep it free of abrasive dirt particles — especially if it's in a high-traffic area like an entryway.
  • If the rug is light enough, you can shake it outside or drape it over a deck railing and beat it with a tennis racket.

5. Remove rug stains

  • Many rugs are consigned to the attic or dumpster due to stains, not wear, but many stains can be removed with commonly available household chemicals.
  • Tough jobs, such as removing chewing gum and car grease, require nasty solvents, such as dry-cleaning fluid.
  • Most stains, however, can be removed with a sponge dipped in a detergent solution of five millilitres (one teaspoon) of mild detergent (such as those used for lingerie), five millilitres (one teaspoon) of white vinegar, and one litre (one quart) of warm water.
  • This works on most types of rug fibre for spots caused by watercolours, washable inks, urine, tobacco, tea, mustard, milk, ice cream, gravy and fruit juices — if you act quickly.
  • Remove spots as soon as you notice them.
  • The same cleaners recommended for carpets can be used effectively on rugs. Test the cleaner on a small, inconspicuous area first, before trying to remove the stain.
  • If the cleaner removes rug dyes along with the spot, stop and try one of the other recommended spot removers. In all cases, carefully follow the manufacturer's directions.

6. Store valuable rugs carefully

  • Before storing a valuable rug, make sure that it's clean and dry.
  • Then roll it up and wrap it in brown paper. Store the rug in a dark, well-ventilated place where the temperature stays between 4°C and 16°C (40°F and 60°F).
  • If you don't have such a space in your house, it's best to put the rug in professional storage.
The material on this website is provided for entertainment, informational and educational purposes only and should never act as a substitute to the advice of an applicable professional. Use of this website is subject to our terms of use and privacy policy.
Close menu