Wool rugs are still one of the most commonly sold and used rugs. With a range of pile lengths, gorgeous colours, and traditional use in handwoven rugs, wool rugs can be found everywhere. However, not many people understand how to care for their rug at home or what is involved in wool rug cleaning. So join us as we discuss how you can extend the life of your rug!
Wool Rug Cleaning – How Often Should I get my Rug Washed?
Wool rugs requires a professional clean every 1-3 years regardless of the amount it is properly vacuumed. Frequency of rug cleanings depends on the level of activity on the rug (how high the traffic is in the area the rug is located) and the quality of the rug. Rugs in low traffic areas of the home need less washing than rugs in high traffic areas. In homes with pets and/or young children, rugs need to be washed annually.
The quality of the wool in your rug, and the rug itself, is also important. High quality wool repels soil and spills better. This means regular vacuuming is more effective as the wool is better at repelling dirt and grime. Do not use off-the-shelf cleaners on your rugs as this causes damage to the fibre and dye in the rug and is generally not something a rug wash can fix.
Why Do I Need Wool Rug Cleaning?
When cleaning your home, you will have noticed the amount of dust on smooth surfaces. There is just as much dust packed into the wool fibres, but it takes longer to see. This is why professional wool rug cleaning ensures rugs are thoroughly vacuumed before washing. This build up of grit helps grind down and wear away the wool pile. This will cause damage to your rug, as well as bring white foundation knots to the surface. Home rug washing can never dry a rug properly and will not only cause water damage to your rug and home, it can also cause mud to form where the home cleaner has not removed enough loose soil before washing!
If you can see that your rug is dirty, this means it is already becoming damaged. You need to ensure you keep your wool rug cleaning regular to prevent this damage occurring.
Should I Vacuum a Wool Rug?
Vacuuming your rug appropriately is one of the best things you can do to prolong the life of your rug and lengthen the time between professional cleaning. It also helps keep your home clean, by lessening the amount of dirt and soil your rug is holding. The average rug can contain kilograms of dirt, before it starts to look dirty, so routinely vacuuming is a must!
If you don’t regularly vacuum your rug and it has been more than a year since your last wool rug cleaning by a professional cleaner, there will already be a large build up of dirt. As such, you will not be able to clean this dirt on your own and you will require professional cleaning. If your rug is freshly cleaned, regular vacuuming now will help extend the time between your next professional rug cleaning.
Is it Safe to Vacuum a Wool Rug?
We often get asked if it is safe to vacuum a wool rug, or why a wool rug might be damaged by a home vacuum cleaner. This depends on the quality of your vacuum and the quality of the wool rug itself. There is no one vacuum that is best for all three styles of rugs. However, higher quality vacuums give you more options on using suction or brushing abilities in different ways. The suction of the vacuum is more important than power brushing. Most vacuum brushes will be too aggressive for your rug, as they are meant to be used on tougher carpets.
How to Vacuum a Wool Rug
Vacuuming a rug properly is extremely important in wool rug cleaning. Appropriate vacuuming for techniques are important and are based on whether your wool rug is woven, tufted or shag pile. One of the best ways to approach wool rug cleaning at home is thinking about it as dusting. And you need to dust them often. It is important to remember that seeing brush strokes in your rug is not the sign of good cleaning. This means pile distortion is occurring and the rug is wearing down.
Wool Rug Cleaning – Vacuuming a Woven Rug
A woven rug is a rug where you can see the design or knots on the back side of the rug mirroring the front. Thinner or low pile woven rugs are better cleaned with an upholstery tool on you vacuum. Pat the rug to feel which way the pile lays. It is important to vacuum with the pile, not against it. Softer wool can break if your vacuum against the pile. It is important to also vacuum the back of the rug when possible. To prevent bugs finding a comfortable place in the rug foundation.
Woven rugs with a thicker, longer and/or sturdier pile can take a strong vacuuming but still not as powerful as when you vacuum regular carpet. Turn the brush off on your vacuum and, once again, vacuum with the pile, not against it.
Wool Rug Cleaning – Vacuuming a Tufted Rug
The pile in tufted rugs are often hooked onto a mesh foundation, then covered with latex adhesive poured on the back to glue and hold the tufts in place. The back is then covered with a material to mask the glue. They are fast to make and often lower quality, mass produced rugs. They also gather and hold more soil than woven rugs.
This means that the wool is often lower quality and prone to damage, easily. They also shed, causing rug owners to vacuum more often and more aggressively than woven rugs. This shedding can actually be the tufts breaking off due to aggressive vacuuming. It is best to vacuum a tufted rug gently, running with the pile, to avoid breaking the fibres from the glue. Tufted rugs are better taken, frequently, to a professional rug wash otherwise, you may be facing expensive rug repairs.
Wool Rug Cleaning – Vacuuming a Shag Pile Rug
Shag wool rugs are daunting to clean. You are not alone if you have looked at your rug and wondered how on earth you will clean it at home. The long fibres in shag pile rugs will grab onto and hold everything – including dead bugs. Where possible, you will need to get some help to lift the rug and shake it out, pile facing down. After this, lay the rug back down and, vacuuming with the pile, vacuum gently up every row of fibres in the rug.
Do not vacuum the back of the rug as you may simply vacuum out the pile! Like tufted rugs, it is better – and safer – to have your wool rug professionally cleaned by rug wash professionals. This way you will avoid expensive rug repairs.
Need your rug professionally cleaned? Contact Woods Rug Laundry today for our expert service and pickup and drop off options!