Periodic Maintenance and Repair of Area Rugs

Caring for Floor Cloths

Hand-painted canvas floor-cloths are very easy to care for. Newly made ones will most likely be painted with acrylic or latex paints and finished with several coats of polyurethane. A damp mop or sponge will quickly clean the surface. However, if you own an antique floor cloth, avoid water and clean with a dry dust mop or the dust attachment on a vacuum cleaner because the finish is likely a varnish incompatible with water.

Maintenance and Repair

At least twice a year and more often for rugs in heavy traffic areas, vacuum the padding or liner and the bare floor underneath an area rug. This will remove any grit and sand which has worked its way through the back of the rug. One exception is the double-stick liner. While it and the rug can be removed and re-positioned on the floor or carpet, the liner should be replaced when its tacking power is too diminished to hold. Other regular maintenance should include the following:

  • Rotate and reverse rugs. Area rugs especially those larger than 3×5 feet can experience wear within traffic paths. Periodically rotating and/or reversing rugs can prolong their life by dispersing the wear. With your semi-annual cleaning of the floor and padding under the rug, rotate the rug 180 degrees if the design allows. Occasionally, a one-way design such as a basket of flowers cannot be rotated attractively. If a rug us reversible, flip it.
  • Area rugs in high traffic areas should be professionally cleaned about once a year. Send out those in low traffic areas every two to three years.
  • If the fringe on a rug becomes untied or loose, re-tie it with a slip knot. When fringe reduces in length to an inch or less, have it restored.