4 Value-Driving Things that Determine Rug Cleaning Methods

So you went and procured yourself a really nice area rug. Maybe you did your research and bought the perfect rug for your home or perhaps it was a family heirloom passed down to you from a family member. It doesn’t really matter how or why you chose a particular rug. What will matter is how to get it cleaned and restored once your children, pets, and guests have tortured it with years of use. There are four things that not only affect the value of that area rug, but also in the way it should be cleaned.

1. Knot Density

Just as the number of pixels determines the quality of images, the number of knots in any given unit of a handmade rug’s area is directly proportionate to its quality. This is because hand-tying the knots is very labor-intensive. Skillful weavers can tie up to 12,000 knots per hour, while most will only average about 10,000 knots in a day.

The purchase price of a hand-knotted area rug depends largely on the production costs, so it makes sense that those with a higher knot density will cost more. Therefore, it is important to protect these expensive pieces with frequent cleaning. Experts agree that simple vacuuming usually suffices, but if yours becomes heavily soiled, you should have a reputable rug cleaning service perform the work in order to ensure it is protected from damage.

2. Numerous Colors

Area rugs that contain 15 or more naturally-dyed colors are more expensive than those with fewer, synthetic colors. Natural dyes will appear less intense, but require more labor and knowledge than those made with synthetic dyes. Vegetable dyes are more appealing to the eye, but they can be more prone to bleeding if not cleaned properly.

A skilled rug cleaning company will know how to reduce the possibility of these dyes fading or bleeding. Many will use a slightly acidic wash water in order to reinforce the bond between the dyes and the wool used to make the rug.

3. Craftsmanship

The method used to create your area rug is another price-determining factor. Machine-made rugs can be made quickly and therefore cost less. However, a hand-made flatweave, hooked, tufted, or woven rug takes much more expertise and time to be produced. Rugs created by hand are also more likely to last decades longer than their cheaper counterparts.

When it comes time to thoroughly clean one of these more expensive area rugs, there are several things that must be avoided in order to retain its original quality. For example, rugs made with high-quality craftsmanship should not be used in high traffic areas because removing stains can be troublesome and damaging. If your rug does become stained it will require professional cleaning so as to protect it from ill-used chemicals and tools.

4. Materials

Area rugs are made with a large variety of materials ranging from high-end silk and durable wool down to the more affordable synthetics. Handmade wool rugs are considered the gold standard because they are both soft and durable. Other materials, like natural fiber jutes and sisals are viewed as versatile and the strong fibers make them durable, but they are also easily stained.

How your rug is cleaned will depend largely on what materials were used in its construction. Some materials, including jutes and silks are easily damaged by moisture and can be more prone to allowing molds and mildews to grow. Others, like wool and synthetics, are more water-repellent and this makes their cleaning easier than others.

In conclusion, high-quality area rugs have the potential to last for decades, but they must be well-cared for in order for that to be true. Using the wrong cleaning solutions or tools on a rug will affect not only its value, but also its durability and overall look. If you’re not experienced, be sure to contact a professional about cleaning those high-price rugs so as to protect them and keep them in optimal condition for as long as possible.