How often should I clean my rug? It’s a question we get a lot here at The Rug Laundry! To answer that, let’s look at what abrasive dirt really is and how it affects your rugs.
When you look at a magnified image of sandpaper, you can easily see the sharp edges that act as cutting tools. Similarly with common sand, you can see the sharp edges of each grain.
Sand is largely made of silica, and silica is what they make glass out of; you could think of sand as tiny little pieces of broken glass. When you walk across your rugs you put your full body weight on these sharp edges, and that results in damage and wear to your rugs. The sharp edges literally dig into and cut the fibres. Remember wool is just hair so it’s soft and easy to cut.
Rugs can last hundreds of years, but not if they’re exposed to this kind of wear, but there’s something that actually makes this problem even worse. One of the great things about wool is that it hides dirt so well, this is because of the way the fibres are made.
The surface of the fibre has little ridges, almost like scales on a fish. Each one of these scales provides a place for dirt to hide. Now in one way, that’s good, because even if your rug has some dirt in it, it won’t easily show it. It is excellent at hiding dirt and that’s one of the reasons it’s such a perfect material for rugs.
The problem occurs when people that own rugs wait until the rugs look dirty to the eye before they bring them in for a good cleaning. By the time a wool rug looks dirty it can have almost unbelievable amounts of abrasive dirt in it which leads to damage to the fibres of the rug.
Once this damage occurs, it can’t be undone. As more and more dirt penetrates the fibres it leads to a loss of colour and vibrancy, making the rug look dull and lifeless. This process happens gradually so many times people don’t notice.
Wool rugs can look flat and dull with very little colour prior to being washed. Once cleaned, the colours are more vibrant as a proper wash removes the abrasive dirt and restores the shine the natural wool has. That’s why most rugs should be washed every six months to three years, depending on how good the wool is, how much traffic the rug gets, and whether or not the rug is properly vacuumed.
If it’s been too long since your rugs last bath, give us a call on 01269 842497 and let us restore the beauty your rug was meant to have.