Whether they’re for looks, for dampening sound, or simply to wipe your boots after a romp in the snow, rugs are an important element in any room. They’re also home to hundreds of thousands of different species of bacteria – up to 200,000 per square inch. That’s because your fashionable rug also doubles as a germ buffet. Food particles, pollen, skin cells and pet dander all serve as food for germs like E. coli, and salmonella. Since the average human sheds 1.5 million skin cells every hour, those germs certainly aren’t starving. Oh wait, did we mention the dust mites that keep them company?
Fortunately, cleaning your rugs is a quick and easy process. So next time you step on your Oriental rug in bare feet or your kid wants to curl up on the Moroccan rug, follow these easy cleaning tips to send germs and dust mites packing.
Even if you have hardwood floors, it’s important to vacuum your rugs. On the front of your rug (the part you step on) only use the vacuum’s suction feature. Never use the beater bar, because it sucks up small fibers and will wear away your wool rug.
Don’t ignore the backside! Once a month, flip your rug upside down and thoroughly vacuum the back of the rug. It’s okay to use a beater bar on the back, because it won’t harm the fibers.
Before you use a carpet shampoo or spray, check the label to be sure it’s right for your rug type. Never use a carpet shampoo on wool rugs, because the shampoo will ruin the fiber of the rug. Only use it if you have a synthetic rug and be sure to thoroughly rinse the shampoo out. If there is remaining soap residue, it will attract dirt.
If you spill on your rug, blot the spill immediately using a clean, white cotton towel. Press down very hard from the outside of the spill to the middle. Blot (do not rub) repeatedly until you have absorbed as much moisture as possible. Rubbing will push the stain into the rug and cause permanent damage.
If you’re looking for a trendy rug update, check out interior designer Kate S. Jordan’s portfolio. She’s a Senior Stylist at Anthropologie, so we trust her rug judgment. Browse her look-book to get a sense for the latest color and pattern trends. What’s your favorite rug style?
Photo: FisherCatFiberCo | Etsy
Photo: TheColorfulLoom | Etsy