Updated: Oct 19, 2019
These aged pieces were created to be durable and well-trod, and a little maintenance goes a long way. Old rugs that are in good condition have already withstood the test of time. There is no reason why, if taken care of properly, they will not continue to survive for years and years.
The easiest and maybe most overlooked way to upkeep your rug is by vacuuming it as needed. If you're compulsive like me, this will probably be every other day. The secret is how you vacuum it. You should be vacuuming in a V pattern, side to side. This is a key part in keeping your rug fibers happy and from being ripped out. Also, if your vacuum has bristles, make sure they are not too harsh as they can damage the rug's pile.
Feel free to vacuum the back of the rug every few weeks.
Spot Clean As Necessary
Life happens. Accidents happen.
First and foremost, never rub! Always pat! Lift up a stain by first grabbing a dry towel and patting it up. Apply pressure, but remember, don't rub it in. This should absorb most of what was spilled. Then, place a towel under the rug and pour warm water through it until the stain rinses out. To ensure that colors don’t bleed, test a small area of the rug with a damp cloth. If color does transfer over, it’s best to leave the job to a professional rug cleaner.
If a stain persist, feel free to use a gentle soap.
If you have to use chemicals, which I don't recommend because they are harsh and can cause damage to the wool and natural dyes., flip over the rug and create a test spot and then proceed if the spot looks ok.
Rugs should be washed every couple of years.
If you whack a corner and see a dust poof, it needs to be washed.
Deep cleaning will take up an entire day and then some.
If you have a small rug, then feel free to use your sink or tub, but for large rugs, you'll have to clean them outside.
Vacuum the rug first, removing any excess dirt.
Sweep up the deep clean area - you can use your driveway or porch - then lay your rug face up.
Find out which way the rugs pile lays. Do this by simply petting your rug, going with the pile. Like a cat, you don't want to pet it's hair against the grain. Your rug also doesn't want to be washed against the grain, so remember this for later.
Wet your rug down with a hose and lightly apply a mild soap. A little goes a long way! I found this out the hard way.
Use either a soft wash rag or a very soft bristled scrub brush and gently scrub with the grain.
When you have worked the soap in, spray that baby down. This is one of the most time consuming parts. You may find, what I like to call, soap pockets where the soap piled up in one spot. Continue to rinse, rinse, rinse.
Hang dry your rug out in the sun, If you have a shop vac, you can use it at your own precaution. Shop vacs are great for removing excess water, just make sure your rug fibers can handle the suction.
Continue to hang dry, even apply heat if necessary, until the rug is no longer damp. I hang my rugs up in the bathroom and turn on the heat.
When your rug is dry, it might be stiff. This is normal. Just vacuum over it and it should return to normal.