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When it comes to area rugs, finding the right one is actually more work than maintaining them afterwards. Even though it is technically considered a chore, keeping your area rugs in tiptop condition is actually very easy. All it takes is a few simple steps and some motivation.

Experts in the rug industry recommend a good professional cleaning every 1-4 years, depending on how much traffic your rug gets. If you have a rug in a heavily used area you obviously need to have it cleaned more often than one that isn’t. A quick way to find out if your rug is ready for a professional cleaning is to rub back and forth on it using a clean white towel. Rub for about 10 seconds and then check the cloth for soiling. If the cloth appears dirty then it is time.

One way to prolong the need for a professional cleaning is to do your own routine maintenance. Properly caring for your rug will not only keep it clean, it will also maximize its lifespan. The single most important duty that you can perform on your rug is vacuuming. Vacuuming alone can be an immense help to keeping your area rugs clean. Do this at least once a week and more if you have higher traffic. An easy tip that can help in your vacuuming efforts is to flip your rug over every 3-6 months and vacuum the back of it. Doing this will help extract the particles and debris that can, over time, work their way deeper into your rug.

If you happen to spill something on your rug make sure to act fast. Always be prepared for these situations with a spill cleaning kit set aside somewhere that has all your spot removing tools together. These tools should include clean towels, an over the counter spot cleaning product or a homemade spot cleaner, spray bottles, and a bucket. If you have a wet/dry vac you may find it to be one of your best friends when it comes to cleaning up spills on your rugs or carpet.

Should a spill occur, the first step is to extract. If you have a wet/dry vac then this is where your work gets a little easier. If not, then use clean dry towels to absorb as much of the spilled liquid as possible by pressing the towels down on the spill. You can also put a heavy book or something weighty on top of the towel to expedite the extraction process.

Once the extraction is done then you can apply your spot remover to the area and blot with a clean towel. Do not rub. Rubbing will not only just push the material further into your rug it can also cause damage. Blot the area, rinse it with some clean water, and then extract again. Use only a little cleaner at a time and repeat this process until the spill has been cleaned. Once the area has been taken care of give it one final rinse and extraction. This will help prevent any residue from building up.

If you every have a clean up situation or any situation that you just are not comfortable in dealing with, call a professional rug cleaner. They will be happy to offer advice or even take the job off your hands. It’s always better to spend a little money to have the job done the right way than to make a mistake and have to buy an new area rug.