If you haven’t realized it already, dry soil is the major cause of excessive wear and heavy soiling of your area rugs and can cause serious damage to them if not taken care of properly and in a timely fashion. Our goal at Arizona Oriental & Specialty Rug Care is to provide our customers information to take care of their area rugs the right way in between professional cleanings. Obviously, different types of rugs require different care, which is why today I am going to turn our focus onto how to properly vacuum your wool rug that has a thick, sturdy pile.
Vacuuming frequently is the strongest defense you have against dry soil accumulating and building up deep down in the fibers of your area rug. Hard and gritty, dry soil is the equivalent of sandpaper being rubbed against your rug’s fibers and walking on it to create that friction certainly doesn’t help. Dry soil tears at fibers and wears them down from the base, creating traffic patterns and even causing a loss of fibers entirely. You will see this on antique rugs when there is nothing much left to the face fibers (almost bald in some cases) and white knots show more and more as time takes its toll on the face fibers. This is called “thread bare”. Rugs that have a thick, sturdy pile can handle more vacuuming than other, more delicate rugs that can’t always handle having an upright vacuum running over them.
How frequently should you vacuum? Good question. You should vacuum your rug at least once a week in order to stay on top of the dry soil. If your family is more active and your rug gets more traffic from kids and pets, then more is the operative word and more frequent vacuuming should be done. Your main goal should always be to stay one step ahead of the dry soil. Going from side to side across the width of the rug, make sure to avoid the side cords and fringes to prevent any damages to the rug. We see more fringe damage on our customer’s rugs here at Arizona Oriental & Specialty Rug Care than any other type of rug damage. You must steer clear of the fringes when vacuuming!
Which vacuum should you use? The best choice is a good quality canister vacuum rather than an upright beater bar vacuum. Canister vacuums offer great suction to remove dry soil without a harmful beater bar, which is very aggressive on the rugs and can leave vacuum lines on your fine area rugs or do other damage to them. It is important to remember that beater bar vacuums are designed for your wall-to-wall carpets rather than fine area rugs. If you do need to use one, you should first turn off the beater bar or, if that isn’t an option, raise it to its highest setting so that it does not have a chance to damage the wool. A good quality rug is not something you want to take a chance with when it comes to vacuuming. An electric sweeper is another option, but more frequent vacuuming may be necessary as they are not as strong as canister vacuums. If your rug is rippling and won’t lie flat, avoid running an upright vacuum over it and instead just use the upholstery tool attachment to have more control over it.
Beyond vacuuming frequently, you should turn your rug over every 3 to 4 months and use a beater bar vacuum on the back of the rug to shake loose any dry soil that made its way down to the base of the rug. This will help to prevent soil from accumulating and help your rug from becoming heavily soiled. Any rug that looks highly soiled likely has some level of permanent damage to the fibers. You should never wait for a traffic pattern to appear from the accumulation of soil before having it vacuumed and cleaned. Rugs should be professionally cleaned every 1 to 3 years. If it’s time for a thorough cleaning of your rug, give us a call to get a free estimate and information about our cleaning process!
Till next time, enjoy your beautiful art for your floor and remember a clean rug is a rug that can last you a lifetime!
Arizona Oriental & Specialty Rug Care serves Sedona, Prescott, Prescott Valley, and much of the Northern Arizona areas. We meet the highest standards in professional cleaning of area rugs with rug wash specialists having earned the highest training, including certification as WOOLSAFE FIBRE CARE SPECIALISTS through the WOOLSAFE ORGANISATION. Such extraordinary certification ensures the area rugs of our client’s receive the utmost in care.
If you are in the Sedona AZ area and still have questions on how to safely vacuum a thick wool area rug, call Arizona Oriental & Specialty Rug Care for additional information at 928-445-1718, visit our website at www.ArizonaOriental.com, or stop by Monday through Friday 10:00 am to 5:00 pm at our rug washing facility at 565 EZ Street, Prescott, AZ 86301 (pick-up and delivery also available).