How-To Clean a Wool Rug

Wool rugs are known for their durability and exceptional quality, as well as their Snuggle bear softness. But once it's in your home, it suffers the consequences of a household of clumsiness, accidents, and general forgetfulness. Wool carpets gather stains, grime, and sticky Halloween candy residue. While it looks as though they would be a pain to clean, however, cleaning wool rugs is a cinch! All you need to do is follow a few steps that will help make your rug look as good as new again.

First, shake your rug outside to get rid of any excess dirt and dust. Unless your rug specifically indicates that it should be dry cleaned only, use a vacuum (or a Hoover, if you're British) to suck up any remaining dirt on both sides. Imported Oriental or Persian rugs often need special care, so check with your rug's manufacturer for details on whether it needs a professional cleaning.

For the most part, small to medium-sized wool rugs can be washed at home. In order to wash your rug at home, begin by spot cleaning any stains with an appropriate stain remover. It's best if you test the cleaner on a small section of rug first. Be sure to use cleaning products that will not damage the integrity of the rug. Take the rug outside on a paved area, like a patio, and wet it down with a hose. Add about two capfuls of a mild detergent in a bucket of water and mix up the suds in the bucket. Wipe up your rug using a clean sponge, rinse the suds away, and roll up the rug in dry towels to soak up excess water. Another option is using a Wet / Dry vacuum to suck up the dirty water out of the rug faster. Once the water has been drained, lay the rug flat to dry, but do not let it sit in the sun for a long period of time-it can cause the color to fade or the rug to shrink.Now your area rug is as soft and wooly as ever before!

A few reminders to keeping those area rugs looking spiffy:

* Vacuum over your rug to get rid of any dust in the wool on a regular basis. It's like a second layer of carpet, so it needs to be vacuumed just as often as floor carpeting does.

* Clean spots and spills right when they happen. Simply wipe up the mess and clean straight away by blotting with a cloth or white paper towels. Many rugs feature stain-resistant treatments, but even when those precautions, a minor spill can turn into a major disaster if left untreated.

* Do not scrub! When you scrub a rug, it can distort and ruin the pile. Instead, continue bloting and absorbing until the rug is dry, then clean with a spot remover and rinse thoroughly.

* Never get an area rug too wet. Long periods of dampness, especially over twenty-four hours, can lead to mildew and bacteria growth. Avoid inviting microorganisms to the party by drying your area rug completely.

* Professional cleaning can do wonders for your rug. If you're lazy, or aiming for a World's Dirtiest Carpet record, a professional deep clean every twelve to eighteen months helps remove even the most stubborn dirt.

Remember the vivid hues? The bold color of that design? The way it looked before you had children? Re-create that magic with these simple steps, and your wool rugs will look and feel as luxurious as it did before.