There is nothing quite like a good area rug to bring your room to life. Area rugs in soft and warm, neutral tones are some of the best types of rugs to have in your home. The look, color, and feel of the rug just makes a room feel so warm and cozy you never want to leave.

As gorgeous as some of these rugs are though, looking after them so they maintain their pristine condition is a different matter. Dirt, dust, and debris are just some of the many things you need to battle with in the war to keep your rugs looking new and clean. Not to mention how careful you need to be when you’re around your rugs to make sure you don’t spill any food or liquids on the rugs that will make it impossible to clean.

Still, in the worst-case scenario where something does happen and you have an “Oops!” moment with your area rugs, all hope is not lost. Luckily, area rug cleaning professionals are always on hand to help you restore your beautiful rugs. If the stains or spot cleaning areas on your rug are not too tough to handle, there is also the option of cleaning them yourself with the right tools and equipment.

Before you attempt to go at it with your cleaning solutions and equipment, hold on a minute! You need to know what kind of rug you’re working with first. Not all area rugs are made of the same material. Some materials require a very special set of cleaning tools or methods to avoid damaging your rug altogether.

Here are five ways you can help breath new life into your carpet or rugs and get it looking like its old self again:

1. Clean Outdoors On A Sunny Day 

If you’re attempting any kind of rug cleaning, a sunny day is going to be your best friend. You want to purposely clean on those days because the heat from the sun is going to dry your rug much quicker. Summer is one of the best times of the year to conduct your annual rug cleaning. When the day is nice and warm, set up an area outdoors where you have enough space to lay out your rug and get to work.

2. Start With the Vacuuming 

Before any kind of cleaning or treatment takes place, go over the area of the rug that you want to clean with your vacuum cleaning. This ensures that any lingering dirt or debris will be sucked up so it doesn’t interfere with the rest of the cleaning process. The best results are always produced on a clean surface, and carpets and rugs are no different. If your area rug is the reversible type, be sure to vacuum both sides of the carpet. Vacuuming is one of the most basic steps in carpet care and before any major cleaning is done, this should be the first step you take.

3. Clean According to Your Rug Material 

Once you have determined your area rug material, it is time to fine-tune your cleaning process. Clean your rug by selecting the cleaning supplies based on the material of the rug you have. Remember, not all materials are going to react to certain cleaning solutions the same way. With braided rugs, for example, you need to wash it in cool water. If it happens to be machine washable, always use the gentle cycle when you do this. Rugs made of natural material like coir or sisal, on the other hand, can easily be scrubbed with a brush if you need to remove any visible stains on the rugs (be sure to protect the floor underneath while you do this). Unscented talcum powder works best on sheepskin rug material, fur, or hair-on-hide area rugs. To clean your rug, simply sprinkle the talcum powder on the area you want to clean and then leave it be for several hours. Once time is up, simply brush the talcum powder through the rug before you shake it out.

4. Always Blot and Never Rub

If any accidental liquid spills happen on your area rug, they must be attended to immediately. When cleaning stains and spills, time is always of the essence. A common mistake that often gets made by many rug owners is vigorously scrubbing and rubbing the rug in a desperate attempt to get the stain out. However, you must resist the temptation to do this because it’s only going to make things worse. By rubbing the stain, you’re essentially rubbing it into the fibres of your rug. Always blot with paper towels or a damp cloth, again depending on the material of the rug you own.

5. Always Run A Small Test Patch First

When testing out new cleaning products like rug shampoos, always do a small test patch on your rug first before you lather it on the entire rug. This is even more important if you’re trying out DIY solutions or homemade cleaning remedies. The best place to test if your cleaning products are indeed suitable for your rug is to try it on the corners. That way, if something does go wrong, you won’t have the mistake right in the middle of the rug where everyone can see it. Corners are still easier to disguise with furniture. If you are using carpet shampoos to clean your rug instead of DIY solutions, don’t forget to hire carpet cleaners and stick with the theme of picking the right carpet shampoo for the type of rug material you have.

Finally, with any rug cleaning session, never leave your cleaning solutions or shampoos on the rug for longer than the specified time. It can be tempting to leave it on longer hoping that your rug will be cleaner if you do, but why risk something happening to your rug? Some chemicals in the cleaning solution could potentially damage the fibres of your rug if you leave it on for too long. Stick to the recommended time and your rug will look brand, spanking new in no time.