When you accidentally make a mess on your beloved rug, there are right and wrong ways to clean it. First off don’t panic, this leads to grabbing cleaning solutions that can ruin your rug. Just take a look at the picture above to see what happens when you grab the wrong cleaning solution, that is now a permanent bleached spot on a highly valuable area rug. Then, and maybe the most important piece of advice, is to blot, not rub! Rug spot cleaning is the key. Trying to rub out a stain just spreads the spill directly onto other fibers, which transfers the initial spill onto more fibers. Instead of trying to rub out spills, blot up spills by covering the area with a clean white towel or thick paper towels. Press down on the spill with your hand and apply pressure. Repeat using dry towels until all the liquid has been absorbed. If the spill is large, use a wet-dry vacuum to remove most of the spill before blotting. Extraction as much of the solution as possible before going on the further steps, you do not want to spread onto more fibers.
Using soapy water helps with the spill cleaning process. Mix your own spot cleaning solution by diluting a few drops of clear dishwashing soap in water. (Laundry detergent is too alkaline, and creamy-looking hand-dishwashing soaps may leave a sticky residue.) Add a little bit of vinegar if severe and this mixture should help remedy many types of spills that can occur in the home.
1. 1/2 teaspoon liquid dishwashing detergent
2. 1/4 cup vinegar
3. 2 cups warm water
Rinsing the area is an important part of the spill cleaning process, especially when the spills are colored. To remove colored spills or spot cleaning solutions, such as soapy water or vinegar, either mist the area with clean water, or blot it with a wet towel. Then blot area with a dry towel. Repeat these steps until there is no more residue present. After all the possible spill residue has been extracted, and all these other steps seems to be making area lighter but not full extracted. It would then be ok to use a rubbing motion to apply some agitation to the area, similar to when you rubs your hands together when washing off residue on the hands.
These tips are to help with spot cleaning an unfortunate spill. There maybe be circumstances where this does not help, or due to the size or type of spill that this remedy is simply not an option. When in need of a professional rug cleaner, there are many choices, make sure to research the company you choose, as they are NOT all alike.
We still highly recommend regular in-home maintenance of your rugs, including dusting and vacuuming of the rug on a weekly basis. This will help prolong the life of your rug and be easier to clean in future. We also recommend outsourcing to a professional every 1-2 years for proper cleaning of your natural fiber rugs. Routine maintenance is the key to keeping a rug around for generations.