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Wool Area Rug Cleaning Tips For Homeowners

Aug 18, 2007
Your wool rugs can indeed last a lifetime. Many well made oriental rugs look great even when they are over 100 years old. These rugs are passed down from generations. Wool is very durable, but it MUST be cleaned regularly. This is much in part due to it being a natural fiber. Most natural fibers are very susceptible to staining.

CAUTIONS ABOUT WOOL
Spots and spills must be removed immediately. Since wool is a natural fiber, it will stain easily. If you cannot remove the stain, call a professional. Any stain that remains in your rug for longer than 48 hours may cause permanent discoloration.

As well, wool rugs should be cleaned at least every two years. Yes, clean your rugs BEFORE they appear soiled. The lesson here is with frequent, regular cleaning, wool carpets are easy to maintain. But if allowed to accumulate soil, they are indeed difficult, even for a professional, to clean.

Avoid spilling bleaches and strong chemicals on your wool rugs. Bleach will actually dissolve wool if it dwells in the fiber. Bleach is never good for any carpet or rug.

Specialty Fabrics in Rugs
Silk is a rare fiber that adds a unique texture and appearance to some rugs. The same rules apply with silk as wool. Extra caution should be taken with silk. Silk should not be allowed to get wet. Shrinkage and bleeding is very likely. Cotton rugs respond similar to wool.

Sisal, grass, and hemp rugs should not be gotten wet. Avoid liquid spills as well as liquid spotting agents. In most cases, these types of rugs can only be cleaned with a dry cleaning powder with minimal results.

How to Make Sure You Use A Safe Spot Remover
On natural fiber rugs, you should only use gentle, neutral PH cleaners. Look for a cleaner specifically made for wool as some cleaners on the market may damage your rug. Pre-test any spotting agent by applying the spot treatment to an inconspicuous area. Gently agitate the tested area with a white cloth. Allow the agent to dwell in the fiber until it is dry. If bleeding, browning, or shrinkage occurs, do not continue.

Take good care of your wool rugs. They will serve you for many years to come.
About the Author
John Braun is the owner of Premium Carpet Care in Pensacola, FL. He also does advertising consulting for the carpet cleaning industry. To learn more about how to maintain your rugs visit www.CarpetCareTips.com
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