The Worst Things You Can do to an Area Rug

5 Ways to Ruin Your Rug Without Even Trying

Persian Carpet
Persian Rug. Image Source / Getty Images

There are plenty of reasons why it’s a good idea to have area rugs in your home . Area rugs provide warmth, comfort and a terrific amount of decorative interest (color, pattern, texture, etc.). They can act as artwork for the floor, and they can create a frame in which to place furniture and define spaces. But if you don't give them the proper, basic care, area rugs can be easily ruined.

Here are 5 ways you could be ruining your area rugs.

Leave it In Direct Sunlight

Having a bright, sunny room is a great thing for many reasons, but one downfall is that it can fade your furniture and area rugs quicker than you'd like. This is a tough thing to control, so the best way to combat the sun's rays is to close the shades during peak daylight hours. A great way to do this without sacrificing light is to get some sheer curtains or light-filtering shades that filter the sunlight without putting your room in the dark.

Don't Rotate It

Area rugs need to be rotated for a few reasons. One reason has to do with the amount of light that hits it. If part of a rug is in the sun and another part isn't, you need to rotate it so that one side doesn't fade more than another. The other reason has to do with furniture and traffic patterns. If one part of the rug gets a lot of traffic and another doesn't, it will break down faster than the rest. The part that's under furniture and sees no light or traffic will remain in perfect condition.

Rotating a rug every few months ensures that it will wear evenly.

Don't Vacuum It

The best defence is a good offence. Bits of food, pet hair, dust particles - all of these things gather in your area rug and make it look dingy and worn. The key is to not let them gather in the first place, and the way to do that is to vacuum regularly.

It may feel like a pain, but the more often you do it, the less difficult the task will be. A minimum of once a week is a good rule of thumb.

Don't Use a Rug Pad

It's surprising how many people forgo rug pads, but they're important for a few reasons. One is that they keep your rug from slipping, but they also allow your area rug to breathe, thus expanding it's life span. Rubber-backed mats can dull your floor's shine, and even cause some discoloration, so to protect your hardwood flooring underneath the rug use a combination felt and rubber pad. 

Let Stains Set 

Letting stains sets is never a good idea, no matter where the spill takes place. Always blot any liquid spills right away and then do a spot clean. If it's a more significant accident you'll want to blot and then get it to a professional cleaner as quickly as you can. The way you clean rugs will differ based on the age and material of the rug, so it's a good idea to look into how you should clean it at the time you purchase the rug. Consult a professional ahead of time so that you know what to do if and when it happens.