Low Maintenance Rugs

There are a number of factors to consider when choosing rugs for your home. Each room has a different function, amount of traffic, and style, and requires a suitable rug. Here are some other points to take into account when purchasing a rug:

  • Cost
  • Cleaning frequency and difficulty
  • Durability
  • Texture
  • Environmental friendliness
  • Fade-Resistance
  • Stain-Resistance
  • Size
  • Color

For many people, especially those with busy lifestyles, it’s important that the rugs they purchase be low maintenance. Ease of cleaning and care are often at the top of the list. Picking the right material will help achieve these preferences.

Wool Rugs

Wool is one of the most durable rug options, and one of the most popular choices with homeowners. It’s generally more expensive than synthetic materials, but can last for decades. A natural fiber, it releases no harmful gasses over time into the environment. It’s also non-allergenic, naturally deters bacteria and dust mites, and would be ideal in a nursery. From a safety point of view, wool rugs are not slippery, and are naturally flame resistant.

Wool fibers resist stains and soil. As well, they naturally repel moisture, allowing for quick spill clean-ups. Sometimes the fibers flatten, but will rise again after vacuuming.

When choosing a color, stay away from black, white or cream. Crumbs, hair, and other small particles show up on black, and white or cream will show dirt more readily. Pick a color somewhere in between, such as a darker pattern with some color in it.

Wool rugs are good for living rooms, dining rooms, and high traffic areas.

Care of Wool Rugs

Place a rug pad under your wool rug. It prevents it from slipping, makes it extra soft, and keeps the rug from wearing through as quickly by acting as a buffer. Choose a thin pad for the longer-pile rugs, and a cushy felt one for thin rugs.

Rotate your rug periodically if it’s in a high traffic area to evenly distribute the wear pattern. If you have a number of wool rugs, move them around the house once in a while.

Vacuum your wool rug two to four times a month, never using the beater bar or spinning brush. Don’t over-vacuum, especially when your rug is new. New wool rugs will shed for the first four to six months, and over-vacuuming will increase the shedding and damage the fibers. Vacuum the backside of the rug once a year to remove excess dirt.

Spot-clean any spills immediately. Even after fifteen minutes the stain has already begun to set. For ink, mud, coffee, tea, and grease stains use a clear dishwashing soap (one teaspoon) and water solution, and blot, then dry the area with a rag or towel. Don’t rub or use circular motions, as this can damage the fibers. For pet and wine stains, first blot the area to soak up extra liquid, then use a vinegar, dish soap, and water solution to gently blot away the stain with a towel or rag. Dab the area dry. For dire cleaning situations contact a professional for assistance.

Keep wool rugs out of direct sunlight to avoid colors fading unevenly and the fibers drying out and becoming brittle.

Cotton Rugs

Cotton fibers dye easily, giving a wide range of color choices and patterns. These rugs are typically braided or flat weave, with a casual look. They’re not as durable as wool, but still hold up under continuous use, and are easy to clean. Many cotton rugs are reversible, and can be flipped to hide any permanent stains. And although not as expensive as wool rugs, they’re very soft, and make a great addition to bedrooms, kitchens, and casual spaces. Because it’s a natural fiber, cotton doesn’t give off any harmful gasses,.  It is also biodegradable and renewable, making it another suitable choice for a nursery.

Care of Cotton Rugs

A pad isn’t necessary under a cotton rug, but if you use a foam carpet pad your rug will stay cleaner. Use a half inch or three quarter inch pad, and cut it 1 1/2 inches smaller than the rug on all sides for a beautiful fit.

The foam pad not only keeps the rug from slipping, but also adds thickness, reduces wear and tear, and keeps dirt from being ground into the fibers.

Vacuum on a regular basis with the beater bar turned off. If your rug has a fringe it can easily get caught in the beater, damaging the vacuum and the rug.

Keep cotton rugs away from direct sunlight to avoid fading and drying out.

Rotate or flip cotton rugs every six to twelve months to even out wear and tear.

For spot cleaning of spills, blot the spill with a paper towel. Do not rub. After blotting, use ice cold water with a soft brush to clean. Blot dry with a towel to extract as much water as possible, being careful not to rub. The majority of stains will come out using just cold, clean water. However, to tackle any stubborn stains, use a clear dish detergent solution with water. For persisting stains, call a professional for assistance.

Many people successfully wash their cotton rugs using the gentle cycle with cold water, and dry them by laying them out flat. Braided cotton rugs should be placed in a mesh laundry bag or a zippered pillow case before washing to protect them. For larger rugs you’ll need an industrial-sized washing machine, or you can just take them to be dry cleaned by someone who has experience with this type of rug. Washing shouldn’t be done too often.

Nylon Rugs

Nylon is a manufactured fiber, providing a vast choice of colors. It is one of the most durable synthetic fibers available, and stands up to heavy traffic. Nylon carpet is stain resistant, and the degree of this resistance depends on its stain coating. Generally, the more expensive the nylon rug, the better the stain coating.

Nylon that’s acid dyed for its coloring is susceptible to problems with fading, bleaching, and stains from substances such as spilled drinks and urine. Solution dyed nylon carpets, on the other hand, are extremely fade and stain resistant. This type of nylon is becoming the most popular of the nylon types.

Nylon is also dirt resistant, has a firm, flat surface, doesn’t fray, and its silky appearance gives area rugs a soft sheen. These rugs are ideal for wheelchair-accessible entryways, or under rocking chairs and heavy furniture.

Because nylon rugs are mildew and mold resistant, they are well-suited to damp environments, and can be used as outdoor rugs.

From a safety point of view, nylon burns slowly when in direct contact with flames, and often self-extinguishes.

Care of Nylon Rugs

Nylon rugs are easy to clean and maintain.

Vacuum regularly. Use the beater bar and brush, but set it so the brushes barely touch the rug surface. An overly stiff brush, or one that goes too deeply into the pile, will cause excessive “fuzzing”.

A pad will extend the life of your nylon rug by preventing the fibers from being crushed, and it will also prevent slipping.

Clean spills immediately. Scoop up as much of the spill as possible, then blot with a paper towel or clean white cloths. Don’t rub. Next, apply warm water and blot with white cloths. Repeat until no evidence of the stain remains on the cloth. If the stain is still there, mix a solution of one quarter teaspoon of clear dishwashing detergent to one cup of warm water. Apply the solution to the stain with a clean white cloth, and let it sit for five minutes. Rinse with warm water, and blot to remove excess moisture. Repeat until all the detergent is gone. Place paper towels over the spot, and weigh them down with a clear glass or non-staining ceramic object. When the rug is dry and the stain is gone, vacuum or brush it to restore the fiber texture.

If the stain remains after the rug has dried, repeat the procedure, starting with the warm water. For pet accidents, perform the steps outlined previously, then do a second run though, substituting a solution of two tablespoons of white vinegar to one quart of water for the detergent.

Steam clean your nylon rugs every twenty four months.

Whichever type of rug you choose, you can be sure of adding style and warmth to your sunroom or any other room in your home.

For the very best in sunroom design and construction, call Sunshine Sunrooms at (972) 243-5390.

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