Keeping your beautiful wool rug like new doesn't have to be a chore. On second thought, it is a chore, but with a bit of old fashioned know how it's not that difficult. Wool carpets have been around forever; at least since sheep have roamed the earth and humans have devised ways to shorn them. There's a reason for that: wool is the most versatile, durable, and resilient natural fiber on the planet. From antique rugs to thousand dollar men's suits, wool is still the reigning champion of natural fabric. Cleaning it, however, seems to mystify people; especially cleaning wool area rugs. Here are some important tips to keep your wool area rugs clean and pristine.
Vacuum, Vacuum, Vacuum!
The first tactic is the ancient art are vacuuming. Well maybe it's not so ancient, but it can be an art. For most modern rugs, including those made of wool, regular vacuuming is important. Dirt left unchecked will settle and embed deep into the fibers. Cranking up the old vacuum cleaner once or twice a week will help clear away that hidden dirt. Having a high quality vacuum can make a big difference as well, and tend to make vacuuming less of a chore. Modern bag-less vacuums that "never loose suction" work best.
Take your Shoes off!
Maybe you have never enforced the "take off your shoes at the door" policy, and even thought, "I would never be one of those people". However, now you have an expensive, handmade, Persian rug crafted from the finest wool, and by-golly they had better take off those nasty dogs at the door! A little preventative maintenance can go a long way, not to mention, guests will make sure to wash their feet and put on clean socks before coming to your house.
Take it to the Woodshed!
I never knew what that expression meant until I visited my uncle's farm that actually had a woodshed, and I learned the hard way. Your wool area rugs need a good beating every so often as well to keep them well behaved. Even the best vacuums can miss some dirt. Accordingly, beating the rug vigorously, every couple of months or so, to expel what the vacuum left behind, works on contemporary rugs as well as it did on ancient ones.
To Steam or not to Steam
Considering that most people know that wool and hot water don't do well together, many assume steam cleaning is out of the question with wool rugs. The truth is that proper steam cleaning with the right type of solvents is perfectly safe. Always look for 'wool safe' cleaning chemicals and never overdo it with the steam. Try to keep the wool carpet from getting soaked and it should work out just fine.