In this article, we’ll discuss some mistakes most rug owners make that severely shortens the life of their rugs. These common mistakes are easy to avoid and in just a couple of minutes you’ll know how to avoid them, and keep your rugs looking great and lasting as long as they possibly can.
Factors that affect the overall life of your rugs
- 1. The general activity and level of soiling where the rug is located – Most rugs are located in relatively high traffic areas of the home where there’s a lot of dirt and foot traffic.
- 2. The quality of the materials used in the manufacturing of the rug – Many modern rugs are chemically washed to soften the face yarns and give the wool extra shine. Unfortunately, this also damages the wool and can shorten the life of the rug.
- 3. Does the rug receive proper vacuuming or appropriate maintenance on a frequent and consistent basis? There may not be much you can do about the first two factors, but the third factor is completely in your control. The two mistakes that most rug owners make when taking care of their rugs are either they don’t vacuum their rugs enough or they vacuum them improperly.
You want to view vacuuming your rugs like dusting them. To see why let’s consider how rugs become worn. Dust settles on your rugs in the same way that it settles on your furniture, floors and counter tops. In addition, abrasive dirt is tracked on your rugs from foot traffic. This dirt starts off in the very tips of the face yarns of the rug, but over time the dirt becomes embedded in the base of the yarns and finally into the foundation of the rug. This dirt is abrasive and with continued foot traffic and the full body weight of people walking on them, the fibres of the rugs are cut and worn out from contact with the dirt, this is the reason most rugs are lost. They simply wear out and there are no fibres left, no design, and nothing soft to walk on.
How to stop this happening
Preventing this damage is fairly easy, all you need to do is break the cycle. In other words, if the dirt gets deposited on the face yarns of the rug, but it gets vacuumed off or dusted before it has a chance to work its way into the foundation, it stops the dirt from reaching the foundation of the rug and prevents the abrasive wear in the foundation. So the best way to prevent wearing your rugs is to dust them frequently.
When the dirt becomes embedded in the foundation it’s almost impossible to remove it without a thorough washing, this is why it’s never a good idea to surface clean rugs the way a carpet cleaner would. This type of cleaning cleans the face yarn, but does nothing to remove the damaging dirt in the foundation. If it’s been two years or more since your rugs have been immersion washed it won’t be possible to get ahead of the cycle. There’s probably already embedded dirt in the foundation of your rug and vacuuming alone won’t remove it. A thorough washing will remove the dirt in the foundation, and then frequent dusting will help to keep it from coming back. This is why we recommend washing your rugs every six months to a year, depending on the traffic level on the rug. We also recommend vacuuming or dusting your rugs as often as you can.