Since your rug will likely have some type of foot traffic, you will want to keep it in the best condition as possible. Following certain steps will help you extend the life of your rug for years.
1. Use a Rug Pad
If you want to prolong the life of your rug, use a rug pad. Floor rugs can tend to slip out of place (especially when in an area with high traffic) so the pad will ensure your rug will not move from its intended spot. It will also protect both your rug and your floors, ensuring they stay in the best condition for as long as possible. Make sure you buy the right rug pad - some are designed for hardwood floors, and others are designed for carpeted floors. You can also find rug pads that are reversible, so you can use them on both hardwood and carpeted floors.
Position A Reversible Rug Pad:
Hardwood Floors: Make sure the rubber side is facing down.
Carpet: Make sure the felt, or more scratchy side, is facing down.
2. Always Have Your Rug Professionally Cleaned
The best way to clean your rugs is to have them cleaned by professionals. If your rug is stained, take it to get cleaned as soon as possible. Some materials like wool are very easy to clean, but you should still have it professionally cleaned whenever possible. If you do clean a wool rug yourself, just use mild soap and water - nothing else. Your rug can easily be ruined if it is cleaned with harsh chemicals.
3. Tips for Vacuuming
Remember to vacuum your rugs regularly to prevent dirt from building up. A regular pile rug should be vacuumed about once a week, unless it is a braided, loop or shag rug.
If your rug is a loop or braided product, remove the beater bar setting. If you are unable to remove the beater bar setting, set your vacuum on the highest setting. If you do not do this properly, your rug can fuzz up and run. Do a quick test by placing a sheet of paper on the floor and running the vacuum over it. Your vacuum should barely touch the sheet of paper.
Before vacuuming a shag rug, take it outside and shake it to loosen any dirt. You can then use a handheld attachment with the straight suction only - not the brush.
4. Be Aware Of Changes in The Environment
Keep in mind that conditions such as changes in temperature and humidity can alter the color of your rug. This means that if you have two or more matching rugs, keep them exposed to the same environmental conditions to keep them looking as close to identical as possible.
Some rug materials, such as wool, tend to pick up odors easily. It is normal for a wool rug to smell like plastic or any other packing materials when you first open it, but the scent will go away and take on whatever odors it is exposed to. This means that if you keep the rug in or near a kitchen and you are cooking bacon, the rug will probably smell like bacon. If you do not want your wool rug to pick up certain odors, keep it away from areas that may cause them.
5. Make Sure Your Rug Is User-Friendly
Hand-tufted rugs are beautiful, but will not hold up that well in areas with high traffic. The more traffic, the more the rugs will pull up. If the area where you want to place your rug will be in a high-traffic area or used by kids, a machine-made rug will be your best choice. Polyacrylic loop rugs are not good for pets, since they can easily get damaged from claws.