7 Mistakes to Avoid When Cleaning Your Rugs

Area rugs can last for many years, but not without proper care and regular maintenance. 

Keeping them clean not only extends their lifespan, but keeps them looking good… which gives homeowners a sense of satisfaction as the rug serves as the focal point of any space. 

Now, cleaning a rug may seem simple, but you can make mistakes with it all too easily. You can even damage your rug and shorten its lifespan!

To help you stretch your area rug’s life, we have highlighted some common rug cleaning mistakes for you to avoid. This should show you how to clean a carpet properly too.

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1. Cleaning too frequently

Overcleaning is one of the most common mistakes people make on their area rugs, thinking that there’s nothing wrong with scrubbing or rubbing them frequently.

Cleaning a rug too often, especially with cleaning agents, actually does more harm than good. 

It can wear down your rug by loosening its fibres and fading its colours, making the fibres more susceptible to dirt and other stains. 

You might want to be extra careful when using rug cleaning solutions because applying incorrect chemicals may cause irreversible damage to your carpet. 

To keep your rugs looking and performing their best, we recommend deep cleaning every 12 to 18 months to remove dirt, grime, allergens, and other deep-seated stains. 

However, the frequency at which you clean your rugs can differ based on your situation at home. 

For example, if you live with kids and pets, you might have to vacuum at least once to twice a week to get rid of the loose pet hair, dander, and tracked dirt. 

If you live alone and stay fairly clean, you can go longer between cleaning sessions.

In short, it’s vital to clean your area rugs only when necessary, not every day or whenever you feel like cleaning.

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2. Ignoring care instructions

Whether by mistake or deliberately, not following your area rug’s care instructions will most likely ruin its overall quality. 

Keep in mind that different rug types and materials don’t always share the same cleaning methods. 

Before doing any cleaning, it’s important to know the type of rug you have. Check its label to see if it needs to be hand-washed, dry-cleaned, machine-washed, or spot-cleaned. 

Some rugs can be damaged when washed incorrectly. Some may shrink, lose their colours, over-stretch, or worse, become completely unusable. 

Another important thing to do is pay attention to the suction power when vacuuming your area rugs. 

Although extreme suction power can effectively remove dirt and germs, it can be quite harmful to your rug, especially if it’s not built for heavy vacuuming.

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3. Leaving stains untreated

If you have children and pets at home, then spills on your precious area rugs are an inevitability, but deep-seated stains don’t have to be. 

Leaving spills on your area rug untreated for a long time can reduce its lifespan. 

Whether it’s fluid or food dropping, don’t put off wiping off spills for another day or two. 

Doing so will only make the stain more difficult to remove as it seeps its way through your rug’s fibres. 

When there’s a spill, get a clean wet cloth instantly and wipe it off gently to avoid it from settling on your carpet’s fibres. 

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4. Overwetting the rug

We all know that water is the most accessible cleaning liquid, but you should know not to use an excessive amount of it when cleaning a rug!

Using too much water can build up moisture that will lie beneath the surface for a long time before it dries out.

Sometimes, your rug may never even dry out properly, causing mould to grow.

Moreover, in most cases, using water sparingly makes the stain spread outwards, which may cause a larger patch of discolouration. 

When cleaning spills, use a well-wrung-out cloth or sponge. If it’s dripping with water, then take it as a sign that it’s too wet for your area rug. 

If you got your carpet too wet by accident, blot the area with a dry towel. The key to learning how to wash carpet is to remember the word “moderation”.

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5. Over-shampooing

The trick to shampooing carpets is to use only a moderate amount of shampoo, but this doesn’t always come easy for most. 

Using too little shampoo won’t likely do anything, while using too much of it can cause serious permanent problems. 

Over-shampooing happens when you either apply too much shampoo or the rug isn’t rinsed thoroughly.

At first, the piles may start to unravel or get small tears near seams.

Soon enough, your rug will start to smell musty and mouldy, and this odour can circulate inside your house.

Once the mould happens, there’s no way to repair your rug, so you’ll have to either throw it out or replace it. 

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6. Over-scrubbing

Over-scrubbing is one of the worst ways of cleaning carpet. Unfortunately, it’s also one of the most common mistakes committed by owners here, from what we’ve seen of home rug cleaning in Singapore. 

Scrubbing vigorously will damage your rug’s delicate fibres, especially if you use hard-bristle brushes, causing it to look skirmish and worn out. 

The right thing that you should do in case of a spill on your rug is to use paper towels and soak the spill and brush gently. 

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7. Using too much deodoriser

A properly cleaned carpet shouldn’t need a deodoriser, so try not to use it unless necessary. 

Overuse of deodoriser can lead to powder build-up over time that will leave your carpets messy and looking dull. 

It can be potentially harmful to people at home and your pets as well. Some chemicals found in deodorisers can cause respiratory distress if inhaled or ingested.

Your rug might need an odour neutraliser for foul odours, but these should also be used sparingly. 

Remember to use a non-toxic neutraliser, or opt for a steam cleaner as it’s incredibly efficient in taking out stains and odours quickly!

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Keeping your rug clean for your home

By following all our tips above, you should be able to maintain the look of your area rug and keep it around for the years to come!

In line with this, remember that it’s possible to make your dream rug come to life! 

Imagine not having to settle for the repetitive designs that most rug stores on the island offer!

If you’re interested in that, contact us. We can design and make your own custom rug for your first home… and even give you more decor tips along the way!