Since wool rugs are made of natural fibers, maintaining and cleaning wool rugs requires a special technique and extra care. In addition to regular care (including frequent vacuuming and spot cleaning), annual professional cleanings are recommended for this type of carpet. Here are some tips for how to keep your wool rugs clean and in excellent condition.
Generally, for both area rugs (including Persian and Oriental rugs) and wall to wall wool carpets, home cleaning is not recommended. Wool fibers can be tricky to clean and work with, which is why professional cleaning is usually the best option. Wool absorbs much more water than synthetic fibers to, which makes them hard to dry and (for area rugs) heavy and difficult to maneuver. In addition, many available carpet cleaners these days are simply too alkaline for wool fibers. Basically, the cleaner used needs to be the proper pH to prevent browning.
Keep in mind that while carpet manufacturers generally recommend professional cleaning of your wool carpets every 12 to 18 months, there are several circumstances that may warrant more frequent cleanings. This includes if you have indoor pets, have young children with a tendency to spill sticky substances on the carpet, or tend to see oily dirt tracked into the house (perhaps from a garage floor).
Due to potential damage or shrinkage of fibers, stains should not be scrubbed but should only be blotted and pressed. If a large amount of a more solid matter has been dropped onto the rug, a spoon can be used to gently scoop the matter up.
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