Area rugs have been a design staple for centuries. Their colors, patterns, and textures add a decorative element to any space, but the nature of their placement subjects them to an inordinate amount of dirt, dust, and wear and tear. If well kept, area rugs can be a timeless feature of your home for years to come. For these reasons and more, you should let an expert clean your area rug.
Many area rugs, particularly Persian or Oriental rugs, are handmade out of natural materials. This means that they are not designed to withstand the typical at-home scrubbing you might give your wall-to-wall carpet. Harsh chemicals, rough cleaning brushes, and untrained hands can permanently damage the integrity of your area rug. At-home carpet cleaning machines can also be a danger to these delicate rugs. Even if you feel competent to handle your carpet, enlisting a rug-cleaning professional will ensure that your priceless rugs are well cared for and maintained properly.
Unlike the synthetic fibers that make up most wall-to-wall carpet, area rugs are often made of complex natural fibers like wool, silk, cotton, or jute. Under a microscope, you can see that the surface of your rug’s fibers are quite different than the surface of your carpet’s fibers. Natural rug fibers have tiny crevices and imperfections that make them far more difficult to clean than the synthetic, manufactured fibers of your carpet. A traditional steam cleaner will not be able to adequately clean these fibers. They must be hand treated by a carpet cleaning professional.
Not only are the individual fibers different in rugs than they are in carpet, but the overall composition is different as well. Rugs are often far thicker than carpet and have more fibers per square inch. This means that it’s much more difficult to remove dirt and dust once they’ve settled into the rug. Adding traffic to the mix makes the situation even worse. As people walk across your rug, they push dirt and dust further into its fibers. Simply running a steam cleaner over your rug will only remove cosmetic imperfections. A professional rug cleaning process is the only way to thoroughly remove the dirt that has penetrated your rug.
Area rugs can hold a significant amount of value, either monetarily or sentimentally. Purchasing an area rug is like choosing an original piece of art for your floor. The value of family heirlooms can be even higher. An area rug can be a costly investment, but if well cared for, it can also be a once-in-a-lifetime purchase. Protecting and maintaining a one-of-a-kind piece isn’t just a suggestion; it’s a must. The life and preservation of your rug depends on it. Not only will a professional be able to determine which area rug cleaning technique is best for your situation, but they’ll also be able to detect early signs of deterioration. A proactive approach to maintaining your area rug is critical, especially when the piece is irreplaceable.