There are many people who think cleaning rugs is the same as cleaning carpets. A quick pass with the vacuum and you’re good to go!…or maybe not. Unfortunately, this false belief about rug cleaning can actually lead to damage. Rugs are quite different from carpets, and require unique cleaning. Here’s why:


The biggest (and most obvious) difference between area rugs and carpet is that they are made differently. Rugs are designed to be mobile, while carpets are meant to stay put. There are many different types of area rugs, each with their own construction process. Not even all rugs can be treated the exact same. Each require their own, unique care.


Fringe is the ornamental border of a rug that contains loose, hanging tassels. Fringe doesn’t exist on carpets, but is quite common on rugs. This fringe is fragile, and can be destroyed by a vacuum. Rugs with fringe need special treatment in order to preserve the fringe.


Rugs are also made with a more dense pile. This means that the individual fibers are closer together than on a standard carpet. Consequentially, dirt and soil tends to get trapped near the base of the rug where a vacuum cleaner can’t always reach. Some people beat their rugs outside to release the trapped dirt. An even easier method would be calling a professional rug cleaner.


Most carpets are a single color. If it happens that this color bleeds, it usually isn’t a problem. However, in area rugs with intricate patterns color bleeding can completely ruin a rug by muddying the design. This is why it is incredibly important to use the correct solutions and methods to clean an area rug in order to prevent bleeding and fading from happening. Often, a standard carpet cleaning solution just won’t cut it.


Another dye issue to be aware of is antiquing, a process that is done by a manufacturer or importer in order to make a rug look older and more expensive. Antiquing is common in some types of area rugs, but less so in carpets. It is usually a layer of very aggressive acidic wash or a post-treatment of tea dying, which can wash away during the cleaning process. If that does happen, an expert can reapply the layer after cleaning.


Like we said earlier, there are many different types of rugs out there. Each requires unique care. Because rugs are an expensive investment, it’s really important that you don’t trust just anybody to clean your valuable area rugs. Be sure to hire somebody who is trained and has the background, knowledge, and experience necessary to provide your rugs with proper care.


Proper area rug cleaning needs to be done by professionals. If your rugs are in need of a good cleaning, make sure that you’re hiring a reputable area rug cleaner, such as Omega Chem-Dry.