In this blog so far, we’ve covered many ways to handle immediate spills and accidents that can cause damage to rugs and carpets. However, short term care is just one aspect of maintaining rugs – and the experts at Aladdin want to instruct all of our customers as to the best ways to provide long term care for their carpets and rugs.
Just because rugs are valuable doesn’t mean they are as delicate as crystal. In fact, Oriental rugs earn their fantastic reputation due to their endurance. They can be washed when they are dirty, unlike wall to wall carpets that can only be cleaned on their upper layer. Rug dyes don’t fade or run and the oil inside their wool helps provide stain resistance. Sometimes rugs are thrown into the street for looking aged, and they get walked over by feet or even run over by cars – and somehow end up looking even better afterwards due to that accidental dusting! However, rugs need care and attention to help protect them from what causes them to be truly vulnerable – beetles, moths, wetness, and the sun.
Sunlight is maybe the worst thing for rugs with both natural and synthetic rugs, causing colors to fade, and wool/cotton to dry out and become easily cracked. It’s ok to have your rug in a sunny room as long as direct sunlight isn’t hitting it – for the most part. Some rugs can’t even handle that much sunlight. If you don’t know if your rug can handle diffused sunlight, compare the colors on the back and front of the rug – if they are lighter on the front than the back, it’s experienced sun fading. Avoid this by closing the curtains or by coating your windows with mylar to filter out UV light, softening sun glare, and lowering the heat coming through the windows. Skylights can also fade rugs – so we advise installing a UV filter skylight. If your rug has already experienced sun fading, get the rug professionally washed, as well as the faded wool tips abraded off. If this doesn’t work, you might want to fade the entire rug so as to make the colors even – so in that case, leave it directly in the sun until it’s got a real even tone.
The moths that eat wool clothes and food in your closet do damage to your rug when they are larvae, eating through it and leaving a filmy web. The good news is that moths don’t usually infest rugs that are used very often – instead preferring rugs in storage or underneath furniture, as they prefer darkness. Every once in awhile, move the furniture on top of rugs and vacuum in order to prevent moths – including the rug’s back, where moths are more likely to congregate. Look for larvae or the webs as a telltale sign. You might want to utilize mothballs or moth crystals, but these can leave a nasty smell and also fade in power quite quickly.
These bugs are a major issue on the East coast, and are tiny with colorful spots on the back.They eat nectar and pollen, and often get brought into a home on top of flowers. They lay their eggs in dust in dark areas, and both the larvae and fully developed beetles eat through the entire rug including its foundation, leaving behind shredded pieces of their skin. The best way to prevent this is by vacuuming and dusting often, as well as ensuring that you store any rugs with crystals inside airtight garbage bags away from any dampness.
If rugs remain exposed to moisture they get mildew and dry rot. This is often caused by leaving a potted plant on top of a rug – which should never ever be done, even if you try and use a special waterproof pot. This can also occur when rugs are stored inside areas that have dampness like basements or a garage, or if they get in the way of a leak. Don’t freak out if your rugs ever get wet – moisture isn’t the culprit so much as standing water that’s left there for a while. If your rug gets wet just blot it with towels, and elevate the rug to dry the floor underneath it. If your rug gets extremely soaked, dry it with a special water vacuum, or lay it outside and squeegee it thoroughly. If you don’t have these tools, roll it up and stand it on one end until water stops dripping – or leave it out in the sunlight, flipping it periodically so the sun can dry all the water. If the rug has been wet for days – for example, if there’s a leak while you are on vacation, spray it down with Lysol and bring it to a professional rug cleaning specialist, like Aladdin.