Carpet and Rug Maintenance Tips

Prevention Is Number One

The greatest secret to maintaining clean rugs and carpets is to prevent them from getting too dirty in the first place! Rugs and carpets, the most affordable and versatile home and home office accessories, are receiving standing ovations around the world as they warm your feet and bring fashion to you floors. Here are tips from the experts on how to maintain your favorite carpets and area rugs so that they last a lifetime.

Expert Tips on How to Maintain Your Rugs

•1) An entrance mat, door mat, or elevator mat work wonders at cleaning your guests' shoes even before they walk in the door. To keep the most soil off of your carpets and rugs, place door mats inside and outside of the house or building where you live or work. Modern entrance mats are not only functional, but they come in a wide array of fashionable styles, sizes, shapes, and colors to meet all your decorating needs.

•2) Shaking your rugs once a month by turning them upside down is another preventative measure ensuring that your carpets stay clean. You can shake small area rugs by hand, holding one end and giving it a strong snap to loosen dirt particles. Then reverse the process by holding the opposite rug end. Larger rugs and carpets can be hung over a porch railing or clothesline and then beaten with a broom brush or beater bar.

•3) Rotate your carpets and rugs 180 degrees at least once annually to even out and reduce wear and tear that can't be "undone," i.e., fading from the sunlight, or patterns resulting from high traffic.

•4) You can "treat" your rugs and carpets with a stain-resistant product made to repel liquids, soils, and stains. Many retail carpets come pre-treated, so keep this in mind when you are shopping for your living room rug or dining room carpet. Finally, you can hire a professional cleaning service to treat your carpets and rugs.

Carpet and Rug Vacuuming Tips

Vacuuming high traffic areas on a daily basis is recommended, since they get matted down quickly and absorb the most dirt. However if this is not possible, vacuuming once every week or every two weeks should suffice. Here are some expert vacuuming tips:

•- Be sure to empty the vacuum bin/change the vacuum bag regularly for maximum efficiency and to prevent motor damage

•- To prevent rug matting, some rug connoisseurs recommend vacuuming in both directions, especially on high-traffic carpets; other experts maintain that a rug should be only be vacuumed in the direction of the pile

Moving and Storing Rugs

When moving day comes, the good news is that your rugs and carpets come with you! To protect the life and look of your favorite floor accessories, be sure to roll rather than fold rugs, and check that carpets are placed on top of rather than under heavy furniture during transport. This way, even if your carpets get creased, they will easily flatten out once walked upon. For stubborn rug corners that refuse to lie flat, a stack of books on top of the corners will iron them smooth.

If you change your rugs with the seasons or wish to store your carpets for any other reason, have your rugs professionally cleaned, mothproofed, and wrapped in a breathable material (i.e., not plastic!) to avoid mildew and to keep your prized possessions ready to take a stand once again when called upon for duty.