Vacuum RegularlyThe best thing you can do to care for your rugs is to properly vacuum them regularly. This means you need to vacuum at several different angles to get the most amount of dust, dirt, and debris out. Also, make sure your vacuum is getting the proper amount of suction by ensuring your bag is not too full. If you use a bagless vacuum, empty the cannister before vacuuming your rug. While it's important to vacuum edge to edge, make sure you avoid the fringes on the ends.
Clean Spills ImmediatelyBlot (don't rub) as much of the spill out as possible. With another clean rag, put pressure on the spill to soak even more of the spill out. Next, use a little bit of water and blot. Test the water on an inconspicuous area to test for colorfastness first. Be careful not to damage the fibers when the rug is wet. If you cant get the spot out, professional cleaning may be required.
Rotate OftenRotate your rugs often (once a year at the minimum) which will allow your rugs to wear more evenly. Even if your rug doesn't get a lot of traffic, it is important to rotate it to account for the amount of sunlight your rug receives (the sun can, and will, age your rugs).
Use a padThere are many benefits to using a pad under your rugs so I'll just cover a couple of them here. Pads prevent wear to the bottom of your rug by preventing the rug from sliding against the hard surface it resides on. A pad will also protect the surface the rug is sitting on. Pads are designed to be mold and mildew resistant so they will help prevent the buildup of mold, mildew, bacteria, and their associated smells in your rug. With a pad under your rug you don't have to worry as much about slips and falls due to the rug sliding. Buy a good pad for your rug!
When It's Time To Get CleanedWhen it's time to have your rug professionally cleaned, choose a cleaner that uses an immersion style cleaning versus a surface cleaning. Surface cleaning refers to wet-vac machines that only clean the surface of the rug. You want your rugs to be washed in specialized equipment to make them look their best.
Rug Washing at Janet Davis Cleaners
Photo 1 Credit: Mr Thinktank
Photo 2 Credit: ianmunroe