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Common Rug Cleaning Mistakes to Avoid

Maid cleaning a rug for Common Rug Cleaning Mistakes to Avoid

That beloved wool rug in your living room brings warmth and comfort to the space. But after years of spills, pet accidents, and heavy traffic, it looks dingy. It’s time to get your rug sparkling clean again! Do you have any idea about the most common rug cleaning mistakes to avoid?

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But not so fast. Many well-meaning rug owners end up doing more harm than good by using the wrong cleaning methods. Harsh chemicals, overly wet scrubbing, and improper drying can damage fibers, shrink rugs, and set in stains further.

Don’t let your good intentions backfire! Avoid these all-too-common rug-cleaning blunders. Before hiring cleaning services, discover the right techniques for safely cleansing rugs without causing detrimental effects. Give your rug the gentle, restorative deep clean it deserves.

Going Overboard With Water

It’s tempting to grab the hose or go crazy with the cleaning solution. But excessive water is a huge no-no for rug cleaning. Too much moisture can:

  • Cause color bleed and dye run
  • Shrink natural fibers like wool and cotton
  • Warp the rug’s backing
  • Grow mold and mildew
  • Leave musty odors

When cleaning, gently apply solutions only to soiled areas. Always blot and extract liquids instead of saturating the whole rug. Make sure to completely dry the rugs after cleaning.

Using Harsh Chemicals

It’s best to stick with mild, rug-safe cleaners instead of harsh detergents or bleach that can have negative effects:

  • Strip color from fibers
  • React with dyes and discolor rugs
  • Damage or fade delicate fibers
  • Destroy fringe or embellishments
  • Leave sticky residue behind

Look for cleaners specifically formulated for rugs that contain natural enzymes and non-toxic ingredients. Always spot-test in an inconspicuous area first.

Aggressive Scrubbing and Brushing

It’s crucial to avoid abrasive scrubbing when cleaning rugs. Intense scouring and brushing can:

  • Pull and damage delicate fringe or tassels
  • Distort the rug’s pile texture
  • Loosen fibers right out of the rug
  • Weaken and shred older or handwoven rugs
  • Cause pilling and fabric “fuzzing”

Gently blot stains instead. Use only soft brushes and delicate strokes if brushing is needed on sturdy rugs.

Using Home Carpet Cleaners

While convenient for wall-to-wall carpeting, home carpet cleaning machines often fail to effectively clean rugs because:

  • Many rugs are too large and heavy to maneuver in the units
  • Home units can’t generate enough suction to properly extract rug fibers
  • Rotating carpet cleaner brushes can shred fringe and fabrics
  • Excess water leaks out and damages rugs

Save your DIY cleaner for the wall-to-wall carpets. Get professional area rug cleaning services for the best results.

Rubbing Stains Further Into Fibers

Vigorously rubbing a stain only forces it deeper into the rug fibers. Always blot gently instead. Blotting lifts stains up and out. Some stains may require repeated gentle blotting with stain removers to fully lift out staining material.

Skipping Proper Drying

Allowing rugs to dry improperly after cleaning can set in stains, odors, and mildew growth. Lay flat to dry, never folded or bundled. Point a fan on the rug to speed drying. For heavier rugs, take them outdoors on a dry, sunny day. Improper drying can cause permanent damage.

Give your rugs the care they deserve by avoiding these all-too-common cleaning pitfalls. With the proper methods, even longtime rug owners can learn new tricks to extend the life and beauty of cherished rugs.

Improper Rug Storage and Handling

According to Angi, improper storage and handling practices are another common way that rugs get damaged prematurely.

Mistakes to Avoid:

  • Folding or creasing rugs for storage – this causes permanent creases
  • Storing rugs in moist basements or attics where mildew can grow
  • Rolling up rugs tightly – this can warp and distort the fibers
  • Dragging rugs across floors or surfaces when moving them
  • Vacuuming rugs too aggressively on high-power settings
  • Placing heavy furniture directly on top of rugs long-term

Proper Handling:

  • Store flat and loosely rolled, never folded or creased
  • Keep rugs in climate-controlled spaces if possible
  • Lift and carry carefully when moving rugs
  • Vacuum with proper attachments on low settings
  • Use rug pads under heavy furniture legs

DIY Rug Cleaning Solution Mistakes

Based on guidance from professionals at HomeAdvisor, many well-intentioned DIY cleaning solutions can cause more harm than good.

Solutions to Avoid:

  • Vinegar – can promote dye run and bleeding
  • Alcohol – strips dyes, leaves residue
  • Hydrogen peroxide – can discolor or bleach fibers
  • Store-bought carpet cleaners – often contain harsh detergents

Safe Homemade Cleaners:

  • Warm water
  • Mild, clear dish soap
  • Club soda
  • Distilled white vinegar (spot test first)
  • Natural enzymatic cleaners

Always spot-test any cleaning solution on a small hidden area of the rug first to check for potential damage or discoloration. When in doubt, call the pros!

Final Thoughts

With their heavy use and proximity to dirt, it’s no wonder rugs get grimy over time. But often our best intentions to get them clean backfire. Using harsh chemicals, over-wetting, and aggressive scrubbing can cause irreparable damage. By avoiding these common cleaning mistakes, you can safely restore the beauty of your rugs. With the right methods, rugs can be passed down and enjoyed for generations.

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