Area Rug Care and Maintenance


Basic Rug Care

Rug care is determined by size, construction, and material. Below are basic care tips for several common types of area rugs:


Frequent vacuuming to remove common everyday soling is recommended. Do not use a vacuum with a beater bar on shag rugs or wool rugs with loop construction. Wool cut-pile rugs and nylon rugs should be vacuumed frequently using a vacuum with a beater bar, but be careful not to catch the fringe.


When storing a rug have it professionally cleaned and wrapped before storing in a climate-controlled area to avoid damage. It is most often better to store a rug rolled up rather than folded.

Care Tags

When you purchase a new rug, keep the care tag intact, or file it with your household maintenance and furnishings file for later reference.

Large Rugs

Vacuum regularly. Fine Oriental rugs and other unusual materials, however, require special care such as professional dry cleaning every few years or as needed.

Small Rugs

Small rugs, such as those used at entrances, are difficult to vacuum. Take them outside and shake them vigorously until dust and dirt are no longer evident. (Since some cities have ordinances against this, be sure to check before practicing this care tip.) You can also hang rugs over a clothesline or sturdy outdoor furniture and beat them with a broom to remove dust and dirt.

Dry Cleaning

Consult care labels for small rugs, determining whether they should be dry-cleaned, spot-cleaned, or washed. If a rug, even a cotton one that appears washable, is labeled dry-clean only, it may not be colorfast. Always test before spot cleaning. Most hand-made rugs and wool rugs should be professionally dry cleaned.


If you determine a rug is washable, machine wash on delicate. To lessen the problem of long rug fringe becoming tangled and knotted in the washer, divide the fringe into several segments, wrapping each segment with white string. Place the rug in a mesh laundry bag or a pillowcase with a zipper and wash in cold water. Note: Very few rugs are washable.

Drying Wet Rugs

Hang wet rugs over a clothes-drying rack or a sturdy, flat surface. Hanging a wet rug over a single clothesline will distort the shape of the rug as it dries. Remember to protect the surface by using a drop cloth, old sheets, or towels.

Pet Concerns

If pet hair accumulates in a cut-pile rug, brush the rug vigorously with a stiff clothes brush or utility brush. Brush with the nap until dirt and hair no longer come out. Attack pet stains with a safe spot cleaner. Wool and silk rugs cannot be spot cleaned using normal carpet cleaning products. We recommend "Capture" floor care products on all wool, wool-blend or silk rugs. "Capture" floor care products are also safe and extremely efficient on cleaning soiling, stains and odors on nylon and olefin carpets and rugs as well. Other carpet cleaning products are available and may be safe on nylon carpets and rugs, but read labels carefully.