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Cleaning Area Rugs

The way you clean everyday spills and stains from area rugs depends upon the fabric from which the rug is woven. Here are some general guidelines:

Wool, Cotton, Acrylic and Rayon Rugs
  • Blot - do not rub - any excess liquid spill before adding a cleaning solvent. Repeat: DO NOT RUB!
  • Wool rugs should be cleaned with a neutral detergent and dried quickly. A good example of this is Dawn® dishwashing liquid mixed with water.
  • Do not use “oxy” cleaners on wool rugs. It will fade the dye in the rug.
  • Be sure to quickly blot dry with a towel using pressure. Do not use heat or let it air dry completely. This will leave an odor.
  • If an all-over cleaning is require we recommend professional steam cleaning, by a dedicated rug-cleaning service. Colors may show a slight change (no more than 5%) when cleaned. Darker tones are more susceptible.
  • For rugs with plush piles, do not use a dry powder cleaner. The cleaning residue will be difficult to remove. Dry powder cleaners are OK to use on surface stains on low pile rugs.
  • Do not use laundry detergents to clean wool rugs. The laundry detergent will leave a residue and alter color shades.
Synthetic Rugs - Olefin, Nylon, Rayon
  • Synthetic rugs should be cleaned with a neutral detergent and dried quickly. A good example of this is Dawn® dishwashing liquid mixed with water.
  • It is OK to use “oxy” cleaners on synthetic rugs. Be sure to carefully follow the cleaner's instructions.
  • Do not use laundry detergents to clean synthetic rugs. The laundry detergent will leave a residue and alter color shades.

Silk Rugs

  • Should only be cleaned using a dry cleaning process.
  • Consult a reputable professional.

Natural / Plant Fibers - Jute, Sisal, Seagrass, Coir, Hemp

  • Rugs made with natural / plant fibers should only be cleaned with a neutral detergent and dried quickly. A good example of this is Dawn® dishwashing liquid mixed with water.
  • Remember to dry quickly
Helpful Hints
  • For liquid spills, dry both sides of your rug.
  • For liquid spills with color (soft drink, juice, etc.), sprinkle baking soda or salt on the spot to absorb the color. Leave for a few minutes and then vacuum.
  • Neutralize pet odors by sprinkling a mixture of 1 cup Borax and 2 cups cornmeal. Allow to stand for an hour before vacuuming. Many commercial cleaning products also work well to remove pet odors from rugs.
  • For cut-pile rugs, use your vacuum’s beater bar. Set it to the rug’s pile level.
  • For hand-knotted, looped and braided rugs, do not use the beater bar. Only use the vacuum’s suction.

Please note: damage to an area rug by improper use of the vacuum cleaner, non-recommended cleaners or pets is specifically excluded from the manufacturer's warranty.

If you have any specific questions about the care or cleaning of your rug, please contact our Customer Service Department by calling toll-free 888-464-1447, or send an e-mail to: info@rugsdirect.com.

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