Taking good care of an area rug is relatively straightforward, but it’s just as simple to ruin it by accident. There are a few steps you can follow to keep your rug in good condition–vacuum it, air it or take it to a professional cleaner.
Unfortunately, accidents happen, and traffic takes its toll on your rugs. There are a few threats that could cause severe damage to your rug if left unchecked. Keep reading to find out what could be ruining your rug right now.
Moisture & Spills
Humidity, damp floors and frequent spills are the worst enemies of any rug. Just like any other textile, rugs need to be dry to prevent mold and mildew damage. After they’re washed, rugs are dried thoroughly to keep them from any damage.
Many situations put your rug in danger – from spills to bad weather to flower pots on your rug. If your rug gets wet and you don’t dry it properly, the fibers start to decay. This might make the rug stiff and give it a bad smell.
Another common problem for rugs – especially those kept in storage – are insects like carpet beetles and moths. These bugs are especially attracted to dirt and old stains on your rug and lay eggs on natural fibers like wool, fur, silk, or leather. It’s the larvae that do the actual damage. When the larvae hatch, they start eating away the dirt on the fibers and through the fibers themselves.
Make sure to check your rugs and your wood furniture if you see these insects flying around in your home. Clothes moths are small, brown bugs that fly in a fluttery, quick way; and carpet beetles are small, black or reddish brown insects. Examine your rugs to see if the pile has missing sections where the cotton foundation is visible. You might also notice a white webbing or brownish, dry residue on the rug, which are signs of larvae infestation.
To keep your rug safe from bugs, vacuum it once a week and air it every couple of months. Make sure you read your rug’s instructions carefully if you’re planning to use insecticides on it.
Urine, dirt, naughty puppies, and bored cats are other things that could damage your rug.
A new puppy urinating on your rug is a serious problem. Urine can permanently stain the materials, so it must be cleaned immediately. Also, if the smell lingers, it might make the dog keep going back to the same spot, which eventually will bleach and fade the colors. Baking soda and plenty of fresh air can help remove the odor.
Both dogs and cats could use the rugs as a playground for chewing or scratching. Consult a veterinary if the behavior continues or becomes too destructive.
Prevention and quick action are the best ways to counteract even the worst accidents on your rug. If you keep them dry and act quickly when a spill happens or a pet soils it, they should look their best for many years.