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Cleaning & Maintaining Your Rug

Cleaning & Maintaining Your Rug

So you have your new rug, but how do you clean and look after it? It is important to know these things in advance, as stains need to be cleaned as quickly as possible, and you should always have the right products or accessories in your home for when it needs some TLC. In this blog, we cover regular cleaning for various rug types, extending the life of a rug and spillages, although a more in depth guide on spillages and stains can be found here.

Regular Cleaning

Before heeding our advice, check with the label or the manufacturer instructions, as the material or pile of the rug may affect what methods work or cause damage. Initially, you should shake a rug outside, and beat it whilst over a washing line to remove prominent layers of dirt. Vacuuming should follow, but use the nozzle or upholstery attachment, as vacuum brushes can cause damage. For shaggy rugs or those with longer pile, this is most relevant, so the beating method is preferred. If you do vacuum these, be sure to use a gentle setting and upholstery attachment and go between rows of pile. Sheepskin rugs should be cleaned with a wire brush instead, or can be dry cleaned. If the label says so, you can also use a specialised detergent and wash it in cold water either in a machine on a gentle setting or by hand in the bath for 5 minutes. To dry, wring thoroughly, and lay it flat on a towel to air dry in a cool, dry place. The wrong temperature or drying over a washing line will cause distortion. While still damp and once again after drying, fluff up the pile with a brush to ensure its natural appearance is retained.

Extending Rug Life

Less durable rugs should have limited footfall, for example longer pile rugs. Wool rugs can handle footfall best, so if you are yet to buy or redecorate, consider placement and your room’s usage. We recommend removing shoes indoors for reduced flattening and dirt build-up. You should also rotate the rug often to ensure any wear from footfall or furniture is evenly spread, and avoid placing in direct sunlight to avoid discolouration. For pets, prevent them from scratching or soiling the rug as best you can. To clean pet hair, use a brush often. If any longer pile threads sprout, cut them rather than pulling them, as this will cause irreversible damage.


These should be cleaned fast to limit damage, including any seeping that has occurred on the floor underneath. Blot instead of scrubbing with cold water and an absorbent cloth or paper towel. It is important to not allow excess moisture, so try to avoid using a sponge. Avoid using bleach or laundry detergent, or anything not listed on the label to avoid damaging rug fibres further or causing permanent discolouration. We recommend using a test patch for any cleaning agents before use on a stain. If the spillage has hardened, for example if it is wax or chewing gum, use an ice pack to harden the substance and scrape it off. Stains on natural material rugs can be cleaned with a solution suitable for that material – many of these are available online. Be sure to dry these thoroughly by rolling them up in a towel as many times as needed.

If you need any information on how to clean your particular rug or that type of rug, please call Rug Mountain for advice on 0333 577 6694.

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