Caring for Your Wool Area Rug– Bradford's Rug Gallery

Caring for Your Wool Area Rug

You've just purchased a lovely area rug from Bradford's Rug Gallery, you've taken it home, laid it out, and now you're terrified to walk on it because you don't want to ruin it. It's a story we've heard many a time, but rugs were meant to be lived on, we don't want you to be shy about enjoying the coziness and comfort that your new rug provides. A wool rug is very resilient and very easy to live with, with just a few basic maintenance techniques, you can easily keep your new rug looking beautiful.
  • Vacuum your rug regularly.
A regular, thorough vacuuming will reduce soil build up and lengthen the life and beauty of your area rug, but make sure you are using the proper vacuum and vacuum setting. A vacuum cleaner's rotating brush (power head) is an area rug's worse nightmare. The rotating brush head (also known as a beater bar) pulls viciously at the fibers in your area rug and will often cause damage at the sides and ends of your rug. Getting the right vacuum and putting it on the right setting is key to keeping your rug beautiful.

A canister vacuum, in which you can change the suction head for use on various surfaces, is ideal. Use only the hard surface head (no rotating brush). Avoid using up-right vacuums, they were designed for use on wall-to-wall carpeting and are especially hard on area rugs. 

If you are using a vacuum with a rotating brush head adjust the height so that the brush barely touches the face of the carpet. Do not use a vacuum that automatically adjusts.

Always test a vacuum and vacuuming technique first. It is impossible to know how every area rug will react to every vacuum and every vacuuming technique. Vacuums that cause excess fuzzing or sprouting of the rug fibers should not be used.

A chewed up corner is the most common damage caused by vacuum cleaners.

  • Clean up spills and pet accidents as soon as possible.

The longer a spill or accident sits on the rug the more likely it is to stain. Wool has natural stain resisting qualities. For a period of time after something is spilled, it will just sit on the surface of the fibers, over time the spill will absorb into the fibers, once absorbed it becomes more difficult to remove.

  • Use the proper cleaning supplies and most of all, avoid internet "cleaning hacks."

The best thing you can use to clean a wool rug is water and a clean white towel (something that won't bleed color). If you have a spill that needs something a little stronger try either white vinegar, seltzer water, or a drop of clear dish soap in a cup of water. For pet accidents try the enzymatic cleaner Bac-out. Blot, don't rub - rubbing will change the texture of the wool and make it appear as though there is a stain.

If you are not sure if you have a wool rug or not (if you can't find any tag on the back of the rug) call the retail establishment that you purchased the rug from - they'll have purchase records and can tell you what it is made of. 

DO NOT USE: baking soda, oxy-clean, bottled spray cleaners, bleach, colored cloths (they may bleed color when wetted), DW-40. All of these things will potentially change the color of your rug and/or leave a permanent stain. Avoid internet "cleaning hacks," if you are getting cleaning information online, verify that it is from a well established area rug seller like us, Bradford's Rug Gallery.



  • Rotate your rug every 6 months to a year.

This will help insure that your rug gets even wear, as well as keep any fading evenly distributed. All rugs fade, the best thing you can do is rotate it so that all parts of the rug get exposed to the sun and will then fade more evenly. When one corner of the rug gets more traffic than all the others it tends to wear out more quickly. If you rotate your rug the wear will be more evenly distributed.

  • When your rug looks dirty over all, have it professionally cleaned.

Do not use steam cleaners on wool rugs, they can damage the rug and negatively effect the appearance of the surface of the rug. Bring your rug to a professional cleaner who can help you determine if your rug needs to be surface cleaned or hand washed. Bradford's Rug Gallery offers cleaning services and can help you determine when to have your rug professionally cleaned and which cleaning method is best for your rug.

  •  Enjoy your rug! 

Once you have your first spill, and clean it up successfully, you'll feel more confident about keeping your wool rug looking beautiful. It's not as difficult as you might think!

 Questions? Please contact us!