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Care & Maintenance

Care & Maintenance

GENERAL CARE & MAINTENANCE

Vacuuming:
Most of today's vacuums are designed for high powered suction on hardwood flooring and wall to wall carpet. Because of this, they are often too abrasive for use with area rugs on a normal setting. Upright or canister vacuums that don't include a beater bar are the best choice.

  • If you don't have a canister vacuum, use either your vacuum's handheld attachment (if it has one), or choose the lowest setting available to you.
  • If you are not using a handheld attachment, and your vacuum has a beater bar (brush), remove or raise it as high as possible. Vacuum carefully. This is extremely important as the brush can pull out fibers from the rug's backing and/or cause fuzzing on the surface.
  • After vacuuming, check the canister or bag for rug fibers. While shedding is normal with all rugs, a large amount of fibers filling your canister are an indication that vacuuming is being done too aggressively. Adjust your settings accordingly.
  • Avoid vacuuming fringes/tassels or serged (bound) edges on rugs. This will help prevent fraying or other destruction to these edges.
  • Wool is able to hide a large amount of dirt before it begins to show on the rug surface. Vacuum from side to side to remove as much dirt as possible.
  • To minimise dirt accumulating between fibers we recommend the follolwing 2-3 times a year: 
    Vacuum the front of the rug, then turn it over and vacuum the reverse. You may find some dirt loosens from the weave as the rug bends. Turn the rug over and vacuum the front again. To ensure even wear and minimise the natural fading that occurs from sunlight, rotate your rug end-to-end when repositioning.

Spot cleaning:

  • Spills must be blotted immediately using a clean white cloth. Do not rub. Allowing a spill to set will make the stain more difficult to clean later, and rubbing can force the stain deeper into your rug's surface.
  • Avoid over saturating a wool rug with water to keep dyes from bleeding. We recommend using lukewarm water to remove any stains.
  • Once you have finished cleaning the area, use clean, dry towels to wick away all moisture.

Apart from regular home upkeep, we strongly recommend professional cleaning. To keep your rugs looking fresh, they should be brought to a reputable cleaner at least once a year.

Cleaning by rug type

Tufted/Hooked

  • Blot stains using a clean, lint free towel or white paper towel.
  • Scoop up any dry materials or debris using a blunt instrument, such as a spoon.
  • Mix a small amount of clear, mild detergent with cold water. With your clean cloth or sponge, blot away any remaining stains on the rug surface.
  • Set in stains that are difficult to remove should be taken to a professional cleaner. Do not attempt to use any cleaning solvents in your home, as you risk damage to the rug itself and/or the flooring underneath.

Important note: Tufted/Hooked Viscose rugs should be vacuumed using a suction only attachment. Vacuum with the grain (run your hand along the surface of the rug to determine what direction the fibers run in). You may also use an electric carpet sweeper. Spills are best cleaned using an acetic or citric acid rinse instead of water, to lessen the possibility of discoloration.

 

Indoor/outdoor
Synthetic rugs designed for outdoor use may either be cleaned indoors using the general methods listed above, or they may be taken outdoors.

  • Make sure to read the label on the back of your rug to ensure it is suitable for outdoor use! Not all synthetics are made for this purpose. Our website also features a category exclusive to outdoor rugs.
  • Instructions for indoor/outdoor rugs: mix a small amount of clear, mild detergent with water. Use this to clean the entire rug surface and rinse with a garden hose.
  • Allow both sides of the rug time to fully dry outdoors, in direct sunlight.

Natural Fibers

 

  • It is common for loose fibers to break down and pool underneath the rug surface. In addition to regular surface vacuuming, clean the floor under the rug.
  • Sprouting is also common. "Sprouting" refers to loose rug fibers that poke up out of the rug surface. Do not pull these; snip down to the surface of the rug.
  • Starting from the outer edge of a spill, blot gently toward the center using a clean white cloth.
  • Direct sunlight and heat sources, such as gas heaters and fireplaces, can cause the natural fibres to dry out and fade. Position your rug away from both.
  • Reduce bacteria build-up with sunlight and kill any moth eggs naturally. Every few months, turn your rug over and place it in the sun for an hour. Vacuum the back of your rug before repositioning.
  • Regular vacuuming  and the rotation of any rugs in high traffic or sunlit areas is recommended. Place rugs in different areas of the house from time to time to to share the wear.
  • Seek the assistance of a professional rug cleaner for any difficult to remove stains.

Shag rugs

  • When first removed from its packaging, shag rugs may have a flattened or matted appearance. Simply fluff the surface by hand in order to remedy this.
  • Due to the higher pile in comparison to other rug types, a high amount of shedding is normal and expected. This is especially true for Wool Shag items.
  • Prior to vacuuming, turn the rug face down and gently shake it out to dislodge any dirt that may have gotten trapped deep within the fibers.
  • Using a suction only attachment, vacuum in between individual rows on your rug.

Leather/Cowhide

  • The best and easiest method to clean leather or cowhide rugs is to shake it out. You may also use an electric carpet sweeper.
  • Avoid using any chemical solvents on leather or cowhide. This will cause the material to break down and stain further.
  • Lightly blot any spills using a clean white cloth.

 

Treating Spills

Carefully scrape up as much of the spill as possible with a spoon or dustpan and blot any liquid residue with kitchen paper towel or other colourfast absorbent material. Do not rub.

Take a clean piece of the absorbent material and fold it into a thick wad. Cover the spill with this and add a weight (heavy book or other flat object) on top to help draw the liquid upward. Leave it for ten minutes.

If the spill has left a stain, decide if it is water based or oil based and treat it as below. Water based spills include beer, wine (red or white), soft drink, cordial, fruit juice, tea, coffee and urine. They are treated with lukewarm water. Oil based spills contain some type of oil, fat or greasy substance and include ice cream, gravy, mayonnaise, cream, make up and lotions. They are treated with detergent in lukewarm water. As our rugs are crafted from natural fibres, we recommend only using a mild detergents. 

For both types of spills, the process is the same: Blot – Dilute – Blot…

  • Water based spills: Blot the spill as described previously. If some stain remains, dilute it with water. Blot this using absorbent material. Repeat this step until no more stain can be removed.
  • Oil based spills: Blot the spill as described previously. If some stain remains, dilute it with the detergent solution. Blot this using absorbent material. Now dilute the stain with clean water and blot again. Repeat these steps until no more stain can be removed.

For both types of spills, finish with a final treatment. In a small trigger spray bottle, mix 1 part of white vinegar and about 5 to 10 parts of clean water. Spray this onto the affected area. Cover it with a thick wad of absorbent material and add a weight (heavy book or flat object) on top. Leave it for 24 hours before removing the weight and wad and allowing the rug to dry completely.

Over-watering, spilled flower pots and placing planters directly on your rug will create continuous dampness and can lead to mildew rot — an irreparable type of damage.

Color transfer may also occur if a rug is placed on top of existing carpeting.

Highly-coloured products, such as paint, nail polish, shoe polish, lipstick and glue, will not respond to these simple treatments. We advise you not to treat these spills yourself, as doing so may create a larger or permanent stain. These types of spills are best treated by a professional.

Red cordial and other coloured drinks contain food colouring. Food colouring is an acid dye that is also used to dye wool and nylon fibres. Putting detergent on this will simply carry it into the fibres of your rug faster and set the stain. If after treating with water the dye stains persist, contact a professional rug cleaner.

Rug Storage

Before storing your rug, be sure to thoroughly vacuum it. While some hand knotted rugs can be stored folded, it is recommended that both hand knotted and hand tufted rugs be rolled in a tight cylinder shape for storage. This prevents the foundation from breaking, as well as the backing from wrinkling in the case of hand tufted rugs. Never place heavy objects on top of a rolled rug, as it will create creases in the rug and can even break the backing of a tufted rug.

Once rolled, wrap the rug in sturdy, water-resistant paper. Use paper that will also resist tearing and/or puncturing. Avoid using plastic. Store the rug in a cool, dry, well–ventilated area. It is also recommended to open your rug once a year to inspect and vacuum it.

Never store heavy objects on your rolled or folded rugs as doing so could cause permanent damage by creasing the rug and, in some cases, breaking the foundation or backing of a tufted rug.

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