Rugs are a brilliant addition to the home, offering protection to your flooring, providing comfort and injecting both colour and cosiness
Yet there's one downside - they attract copious amounts of dust and dirt. Leading microbiologists have actually found rug fibres can house millions of microorganisms, which when you consider the muddy shoes, spills and pets, suddenly becomes less surprising.
As a result, giving them a regular clean becomes a must. That's where these tips from Daniel Prendergast, of www.therugseller.co.uk, come in...
1. Don't forget the basics
A once a week vacuum becomes crucial when you’re looking to maintain a clean and fresh appearance for your rug. It prevents dirt from ending up 'trodden in', which can leave it harder to remove.
Before you start, give it a shake to remove any loose dirt that could be trapped in the fibres - these can then be vacuumed up.
A suction only vacuum is the best choice here, as a rotary brush or upright one risks damaging the surface of the pile and could lead to frayed edges.
You should avoid vacuum brushes as these risk breaking up yarns and leads to excessive shedding which plays a significant part in reducing a rug's life. Vacuum brushes also damage the whipping on the edges due to changes in height between the rug and floor. You could always use the nozzle attachment to lightly vacuum the rug, removing any surface dust and loose yarns.
And make sure you remember the underside of the rug too! Give it a clean once a month to remove any trapped dust, dirt, allergens and bacteria.
2. Spillage watch
If the worst should happen and there’s a spillage, be sure to soak up any liquids immediately, otherwise they could penetrate the rug's yarns.
Get a damp, white, cotton cloth and start blotting the area. Make sure you repeat the process until the liquid has been fully absorbed. Take care that you don't rub the rug's surface though, as this can damage the surface too.
If you prefer, you could place a cloth on top of the area and let it absorb the spillage instead. Just make sure the rug has completely dried (this takes three to four hours) before you pop it back on the floor.
3. Stain removal
Some rugs are more resilient than others - for instance, manmade fibres are more repellent. You could try steam cleaning a nylon rug, while water resistant and wipe clean rugs are available too. Mix a solution of white wine vinegar, washing up liquid and warm water to remove stains including coffee, red wine and mud. Be sure to let the mud dry and give it a vacuum first before you try removing it.
4. Pet protection
Pets love rugs - however, it's not always reciprocated. A combination of hair, scratching and chewing can all contribute to ruining a rug, but certain precautions can help you to reduce the damage that is caused.
Pick a rug that's suitable for the animals you own. For instance, dogs love digging into a high pile rug, so in that instance, a short pile is preferable. You should consider the colour too - darker shades hide stains and scratches.