Cleaning rugs at home can be a daunting task, but it doesn't have to be. With the right tools and techniques, you can easily keep your carpets looking like new. To start, it's important to avoid using too much soap, especially on wool rugs. Vacuuming the carpet thoroughly on both sides is essential to ensure that all dirt and debris is removed.
If you have pets, use a brush to remove any loose hair that remains. For room-sized natural fiber carpets, leave it in place and protect the floor beneath it with a protective plastic cloth and towel. To clean stains or discolorations, rub them with a soft brush dipped in a mild solution of soap and water. Place a towel over the wet area and dry it as much as possible.
Use a portable fan or hair dryer to speed up drying. For small rugs, move them to a protected table or counter to clean them. Water weakens the fibers, so work quickly and dry them well to extend the life of these rugs. The Bissell SpotClean is an excellent tool for vacuuming liquids. It's important to vacuum both the top and bottom of the carpet regularly, at least every two months for carpets exposed to outdoor shoes, spills and pets.
For carpets in other areas, deep cleaning is recommended at least twice a year. After vacuuming, you can use an optional stain treatment on any strong stain you think might need it. If you're willing to dedicate a weekend to work, it's quite possible that you'll do a good job cleaning a carpet on your own at home. A very mild solution of dish detergent and warm (not hot) water is the second best option for cleaning stains before they dry. You can use a soft brush, but you're more likely to ruin a carpet pile by rubbing it than with a sponge. When deep cleaning your carpet, pay close attention to the manufacturer's recommendations and use a carpet shampoo or carpet cleaning machine.
Let it dry (this may take about a day, depending on the amount of vinegar and water solution you used) and then vacuum the carpet thoroughly. Finally, if your rug came with a particular cleaning product, use that as directed. As a general rule, most carpets can be cleaned with a shampoo for carpets or carpets, although a solution of warm water and dish soap in a bowl or bucket may work if you need to clean one stain in a hurry.