It’s all fun and games until…the area rug gets stained. No, that is not the normal ending to that adage, but stains on your gorgeous area rugs certainly put a stop to the party. From red wine to pet accidents, your area rug needs immediate attention before those unwanted stains become part of the ambiance. How do you treat stains without damaging the rug? Can you use the same treatment on different types of rugs? Should you just leave it up to the professionals? The experts at Precise Carpet Cleaning offer you these informational tidbits and cleaning tips to keep your area rugs beautiful. If you're ready to call in the expert St. Louis area rug cleaning company, we're here for you!
Types of Area Rugs
Before learning how to clean your area rugs, you need to know what your rug is made of. Here is a primer on the most commonly used materials for rugs.
This is the most common material used in area rugs. Wool is durable and soft. It lasts a long time, repels water and stains, and provides a layer of insulation for those cold floors. Wool is not the best choice for damp areas as it absorbs humidity and is subject to fading. Wool rugs are a wise choice for living and dining rooms, as well as other high traffic areas.
This material is used for most flat-weave rugs. It is more affordable that wool and extremely easy to clean. It may not wear as well over time. Cotton rugs are great for kitchens or kid’s bedrooms.
This high end material is luxurious under your feet and is celebrated for its softness and sheen. Silk rugs can show footprints and do require professional cleaning. Silk rugs can add a high end look to low-traffic areas.
Sisal, Sea Grass and Jute
If you are into natural materials, these fibers provide interesting textures and an earthy palette to your design. Rugs made from sisal, sea grass or jute are strong and renewable. They don’t feel the best under bare feet, and stains can be challenging to remove. Sunny areas are a great place for natural fiber rugs.
These rugs can be displayed from complete hides, stitched panels or strips of leather woven together. Animal skin rugs do offer an interesting twist on design, and are generally easy to clean. Use animal skins in an office or den away from humid areas.
Other common rug materials are man-made such as viscose, nylon, and polypropylene. Advances in technology have improved synthetic material’s ability to mimic higher quality rug fibers. Man-made fiber rugs are easy to clean and can likely be used both indoors and out.
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Common Area Rug Stains
There are dozens of things that can stain your area rug, and Precise Carpet Cleaning offers topnotch St. Charles and St. Louis stain removal for all of them.
Before those stains become set, here are the three most common stains and DIY removal suggestions.
For wool rugs
Soak a clean rag in warm water and dab the stain gently. Make sure you start from the outside in. With all stains, get to it as quickly as possible. If you find that it requires more than water for removal, try vinegar. For best results, mix is ¼ cup of white vinegar with 2 cups warm water. Use a spray bottle on the stain and blot with a clean dry cloth. Don’t use a hard brush, as this could damage wool fibers.
For natural fiber rugs
Dab the red wine stain with a clean white cloth dampened with club soda. This should neutralize the spill and remove any possible stain.
For silk rugs
Apply a small amount of undiluted white vinegar to the stain. Dab the wine stain with a clean cloth, then allow the vinegar to set for a few minutes. Continue alternating applications of warm water and vinegar until the stain will not fade anymore. Rinse the fabric thoroughly with clean water.
Coffee and Tea
For wool rugs
Place three drops of mild dish soap into a mug of warm water and mix. Dab this solution on the coffee/tea stain from the outside of the stain to the middle. Use a dry clean cloth to dab the area dry. Alternate these steps. For coffee stain and smell removal, baking soda might work for you. Apply dry baking powder over the stain, and let it sit overnight. Vacuum up the loose powder. Grab that mug and make a baking soda paste. Use a soft toothbrush to work the paste into the stain. Use a dry towel to blot. Vacuum when dry.
For animal skin rugs
It is very important to soak or wipe up spills with a paper towel or sponge as soon as possible. You will want to invest in a commercial cleaning product specifically developed for animal hides. Other home remedies can damage the fibers. Don’t soak the hide or get it too wet. For most animal skin rugs, leaving it to the professionals is your wisest choice.
For synthetic fiber carpets
Mix one tablespoon of mild liquid dish soap, one tablespoon of white vinegar, and two cups of warm water. Use a clean cloth to apply the solution to the stain, again moving from the outside toward the middle. Once you've covered the area, blot it with a dry towel until the stain is gone. Rinse with cold water.
For wool rugs
Vinegar is a handy tool, as it also neutralizes odors. Mix 1/4 cup white vinegar with 2 cups water in a spray bottle. Spray the mixture on the spot and blot the stain thoroughly with paper towels or a clean cloth. Blot with a dry cloth. Don’t leave a wet rag on a wool rug more than 14 minutes to avoid the chance of mold and mildew growth. Allow the rug to air dry.
For natural fiber rugs
Blot as much up as you can on both sides of the rug. Cover the stain in baking soda. Do not use liquid carpet cleaning solutions. Leave baking soda on the stain for at least two hours and vacuum. Dry cleaning methods also work on natural fiber rugs.
For cotton rugs
Pour straight vinegar over the stain until it is completely covered. Wait about five minutes and rinse with warm water. Repeat this process until stain is removed. For most stains on cotton rugs, readily available carpet cleaning sprays are safe and effective.