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7 Essentials to Keep Your Rug Looking Great

The idea of caring for a handmade rug can be intimidating — but that's no reason to be scared off of handmade rugs! The reality is that handmade rugs are actually better suited for general wear and tear — and upkeep — than many of their machine-made, artificial-fiber counterparts. To put your mind at ease, we've assembled a few of our favorite rug-cleaning tips.

  1. Be gentle. It is fine to use a vacuum on most handmade rugs, but you want to make sure you put it on a high setting (not the wooden floor setting) and move slowly, watching out for the fringe or any loose pieces. 
  2. Go with the flow. You want to vacuum in the direction of the pile — not against it. This will help to keep it in tact longer.
  3. Clean both sides. You don't need to do this all the time, but if you feel your carpet is holding onto a little extra dirt or dust, the simplest thing to do is flip it over and vacuum the back! This will kick out a lot of dust, so make sure you go over the floor and the top side of the rug once you flip it back over.
  4. Spot clean. There are a lot of specific techniques you can use for different kinds of stains, but the general rule is mild soap and lukewarm water.... and BLOT. Scrubbing a stain only makes is set deeper into the fibers, so resist the urge to dig in and scrub, as it will only make it worse and possibly cause other colors to bleed.
  5. 5-Year Rule. You can take matters into your own hands and wash your rug yourself (more detailed post on this coming soon), but we recommend sending your handmade rug out for professional cleaning at least once every five years. This will help to ensure it wears well.
  6. Beware of sunlight. Your rug may be in direct sunlight from a room in your window — rotate the rug a couple of times a year to insure that the exposure to sunlight is somewhat even across the rug, lest you wind up with two sides that are completely different shades.
  7. Give it a rest. It's common for heavyweight furniture like pianos and dining tables to sit atop a beautiful handmade rug, but over time, the weight of these pieces can crush the rug's pile. Every few months, move the furniture over an inch or two to give the section of the rug underneath a break. If the pile has flattened out, gently massage it with your fingers until it bounces back.

Erin Eisinger
Erin Eisinger


Floorplan CEO and Co-Founder. Designer. Storyteller. Entrepreneur.

1 Comment

Elissa McAlear
Elissa McAlear

August 23, 2015

Nice job, Erin and Mehmet!