Tips and tricks for carpet and rug care

June 30, 2015

Rugs and carpets take a beating from shoes, kids, and pets. Keep them maintained on a regular basis to ensure that they feel great beneath your feet, contribute warmth to a room, and provide maximum comfort.

Tips and tricks for carpet and rug care


  • Vacuum to maintain a carpet. It's best to vacuum regularly and thoroughly, rather than waiting until the dirt becomes visible.
  • Gently stroke new rugs with a brush to loosen and pick up material for the first six months.
  • Don't vacuum authentic Oriental rugs too frequently, and keep the suction level low to avoid damaging the fine fibres.

Rug cleaning tips

  • Wet-clean every rug or carpet from time to time. Throw small, washable rugs into the washing machine. Clean the others by hand with a mild detergent, using a soft-bristled brush or sponge to release the dirt and grime. Rinse afterward with water and, whenever possible, hang your rugs outdoors to dry.
  • Use homemade cleaning powder to clean rugs. Mix 45 millilitres (three tablespoons) of soap flakes with 550 grams (19 ounces) of potato flour or cornstarch, sprinkle the mixture on the rug, work it in well with an old hairbrush or scrub brush, then vacuum.
  • Clean and freshen a rug by sprinkling it with moist salt. Let it work for a few minutes; vacuum.
  • Grate fresh potatoes and scald them with boiling water. Strain the spuds after three hours and brush the rug with the potato water for a natural cleaning. Leave to dry, then vacuum.
  • Give your rug a snow bath. Place it with the pile side in contact with the snow (which should be light and fluffy, not slushy), and beat the rug out. It should look like new.
  • Freshen the rug's colours by rubbing it with vinegar and water.

Other carpet care tricks

  • Avoid imprints in your carpet. Buy little, round plastic coasters just slightly larger in diameter than the furniture feet.
  • You can remove imprints by placing a damp cloth on them and carefully ironing it, then brushing the fibres in the opposite direction.
  • Don't let rugs slide. Sew rubber canning seals under the corners of the rugs; with larger rugs, you might add a few more along the sides and in the centre.
  • Avoid electric shocks by spraying synthetic-fibre carpets with a mixture of 250 millilitres (one cup) of liquid fabric softener and about 2.5 litres (2.5 quarts) of water.
  • Straighten rug fringes by spraying them with starch and smoothing with a comb.
  • Keep straw rugs flexible. Spray them occasionally with salt water.
  • Remove odours from rugs with baking soda. Simply sprinkle it on the surface, let it work for a half-hour, then vacuum it up. For stubborn odours, first rub the carpet with vinegar and water, then apply the baking soda.

Removing furniture impressions from carpet

  1. Pick up the piece of furniture and move it enough that you can reach the impression.
  2. Place an ice cube on the compressed fibres to make them swell up, then vacuum to make the pile stand up again.
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