Every home is prone to the occasional liquid spills or shoe stains and it is inevitable but it’s all about how you deal with the stain afterwards that really matters. For everyday rug cleaning and maintenance, a rug cleaner really isn’t a necessity but for removing stains and dirt you might consider appointing a dedicated rug cleaner, or a carpet cleaner that is suitable for delicate materials. Alternatively, you can get for a homemade remedy to tackle stains. A mixture of warm water, a dash of white vinegar and just a drop of laundry detergent is ideal, but ensure you use the bare minimum because you don’t want to saturate the rug or wet the rug backing.
For everyday rug cleaning, all you really need is a good quality vacuum cleaner and a medium bristled brush. Here’s how to clean a rug:
- Turn the rug upside down. Vacuum the rug backing, loosening any ground in dirt.
- Turn the rug right-side up, and vacuum, being careful to avoid any tassels.
- Fluff out the tassels using your hands, as they can become damaged in the vacuum’s suction pipe.
- After vacuuming, use a brush to remove any leftover hair and dust which this is usually more of a problem in households that have pets like cats and dogs.
Vinegar is the savior of stain removal and cleaning in general. Try these different ways for homemade rug cleaners to remove a variety of common stains:
- Rub light carpet stains with a mixture of 2 tablespoons salt dissolved in 1/2 cup white vinegar. Let the solution dry, then vacuum.
- For larger or darker stains, add 2 tablespoons borax to the mixture and use in the same way.
- For tough, ground-in dirt and other stains, make a paste of 1 tablespoon vinegar with 1 tablespoon cornstarch, and rub it into the stain using a dry cloth. Let it set for two days, then vacuum.
- For spilled paint, use a solution of 1 1/2 teaspoons vinegar, 1 1/2 teaspoons laundry detergent, and two cups water; sponge away the paint before it sets in and rinse with cold water.
- For fruit and fruit juice stains, mix 1 tablespoon laundry detergent with 1 1/2 tablespoons white vinegar and combine with two cups of water. Work the solution into the stain and blot.
- For coffee and tea stains, combine equal parts white vinegar and water and blot the stain.
In the first place, try implementing a no-shoes-in-the-house rule to prevent staining your rugs. Stow extra slippers or flip-flops next to a shoe rack near your door, and encourage family members to make the switch inside. Keep a broom in a closet near the entryway to collect dirt before it gets ground into doormats and put down mats outside your door, too, so you can wipe your feet before you go inside. Nowadays, more and more professional carpet cleaners are becoming aware of the push for eco-friendly cleaning that is safe for kids and pets. Be sure to do your research about professional rug cleaners that claim to be organic or chemical-free; some, unfortunately, use the terms loosely.