First things first:
Whatever your rug is made from, the most important thing is to vacuum it regularly - at least once a week. This stops dirt getting too deep into the pile (wool) or embedded into the fibres. Professional cleaning every 1 - 2 years will do wonders for your wool rugs, but steam cleaning is not recommended for natural fibres as it may shrink or expand them.
If you spill something on your rug, the golden rule is to deal with it straight away.
Turn rugs every year:
Foot traffic and sun can put extra stress on area rugs. Turn them once or twice a year to even out the wear.
Shake small area rugs: If the rug is small enough, you can take it outside and shake it or beat it vigorously to remove dirt and grit. Some areas have ordinances about shaking rugs outdoors, so check your local codes first.
Turn over your rug – Rugs that can be used on both sides should be turned over at least once a year. This extends its useful life.
Individual wool fibres or even wool curls may come loose during use. Please do not pull these out. Instead simply cut the projecting wool ends off directly at the surface of the rug with a pair of scissors.
Natural fibre rugs like your sisal/jute rugs:
First mop up any excess liquid with a colourfast cloth or paper towel and scrape off any solids with a knife or spoon. Lightly moisten or mist the affected area with wool wash or mild detergent mixed with water and blot carefully with a clean cloth. Do not soak the rug. If the stain is stubborn, try a solution of water, vinegar and wool wash next, and blot again. For dirt or mud, wait until it dries then scrape or vacuum it off the rug. For the dreaded red wine spill, act quickly with a solution of 50% white vinegar and 50% water, and blot carefully with a cloth.
Wool Rugs – stain cleaning guide
There are a number of cleaning treatments that can be used. However, before you use any of them, do make sure you have blotted up any excess liquid spills and scraped up any solids. In the event of a very large stain, put a towel down and stand on it to firmly remove as much liquid as you can before applying any stain treatment. And remember - never rub a wet rug. Try Cavalier Bremworth Stain Remover (available at supermarkets) for dry stains, but overusing this product may fade your rug. Below are some instructions for some common spills and stains.
– Pilling/shedding is a natural characteristic of rugs that contain wool. Vacuum as necessary and rug rotation is recommended. Avoid pulling fibres from surface pile and trim excess fibres back to surface pile.
Wine, beer, spirits, blood, soft drinks, fruit juice, tea, coffee: Start with cold water and a toothbrush or a small scrubbing brush gently work on the stained area. If further treatment is required, use the same small brush using a solution of one teaspoon of wool detergent and one teaspoon of white vinegar in one litre of warm water.
Tomato sauce, gravy, sauce: Start with warm water and a toothbrush or a small scrubbing brush gently work on the stained area. If further treatment is required, use the same small brush using a solution of one teaspoon of wool detergent and one teaspoon of white vinegar in one litre of warm water.
Butter, chocolate, oil, texta, lip stick: First use Cavalier Bremworth Stain Remover (on dry stain) then if further treatment is required, use a small brush using a solution of one teaspoon of wool detergent and one teaspoon of white vinegar in one litre of warm water.
For coloured and highly pigmented products, such as paint, nail polish, lipstick and dyes, we recommend that you do not to treat these spills yourself, as it may result in a larger stain that will not be removable. We advise contacting a professional rug cleaner.
Viscose – Viscose never has the same appearance after it has come in contact with moisture/spills. Clean spills immediately by blotting (not rubbing) with a clean sponge or cloth, do not rub
Cow Hide – Cow Hide rugs are NOT recommended for high traffic and carpeted areas. These rugs will show immediate wear and tear with use. This wear and tear will result in bare patches on your rug. Cow Hide rugs vary in colour and have creases and scars. Lightly vacuum as necessary and rug rotation is recommended. Clean spills immediately by blotting (not rubbing) with a clean sponge or cloth.
To wash a polypropylene rug, take it outside on a nice day and wet it down with the garden hose. Then take a few drops of mild dish soap and use a scrub brush to clean the accent rug. Next, thoroughly rinse the rug with the hose
Sprouting - and not the veggie kind
Sprouting in rugs is what we call threads that appear to unravel from the rug and stick out longer than the other loops and threads. Basically, they are lose tufts that protrude above the surface of the rug's pile. Wool is hand-twisted on our hand-knotted rugs.
How do I fix a sprout if I find one?
First, be careful with your wool rugs. Very carefully use scissors to cut the sprout down to the same size as the rest of the pile. Then use a vacuum to clean it. You won't even be able to tell there was a sprout there at all. Please, do NOT attempt to pull the sprout out. This will cause the entire wool thread to come out. Just clip it down to size.
Is my rug defective if I find a sprout?
No, it most certainly is not. It happens to almost all hand-knotted rugs and it is very easy to fix.
Will my rug continue to make new sprouts as I use it more?
Yes and no. It all depends on the wear and tear on the rug and how well you take care of your rug. If your rug is in a high-trafficked area, and you use the wrong type of vacuum on it, you could damage your rug and cause needles sprouts and unraveling. However, if you use the right vacuum and take care of your rug properly, less sprouts will show up over time. For tips and tricks on cleaning rugs, download our rug cleaning guide for free. Oriental rugs are made to last, take care of your precious investment.