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How should I clean my rug?

It’s fine to vacuum your rug as long as you don’t use a beater bar. Sweeping them with a broom is fine too. Punch needle rugs may be dry cleaned by a reputable dry cleaner. Woolite® Foam Rug Cleaner works well for spot cleaning or when you want to clean a rug quickly. Follow the directions on the can for a heavily soiled rug (even if your rug isn’t heavily soiled.) Simply spray the foam all over the top of your rug, rub it in with a damp sponge, let it dry, and then vacuum. Remember to always test an inconspicuous area of the rug first before using this product.

Your rug may also be hand washed in the sink or bathtub in COLD WATER ONLY with Woolite® or Ivory Liquid®. Before you wash it, take it outside and give it a good shake until all the loose dirt comes out. Wash it the same way you would wash a wool sweater. Never washed a wool sweater? It's easy! Just add some Woolite® or Ivory Liquid® to a tub full of cold water and put in your rug to soak. Rub the rug gently, don’t wring or twist it. The water will probably be filthy!

Drain the tub and refill it with clean cold water. Soak your rug in the clean water, rub your rug around, and dunk it in and out to get the soap and dirt out. (This is called rinsing.) You will probably need to drain the tub again, add fresh cold water, and rinse several times until the water is clear. When the rinse water is finally clear, drain the tub and gently squeeze and press the water out of your rug. (Again, don’t wring or twist it). To dry your rug, place it on top of a clean dry towel. Replace the towel as needed with a dry towel. A thick rug can take two or three days to dry.

Another cleaning product that many fiber artists love is called Eucalan®. With this soap, you wash your rug as described above, but no rinsing is required.

I never put my rugs in the washing machine and I never use hot water. One of my students ruined her rug by washing it in hot water - a red yarn in her design bled and ran into her white background. Some companies claim that their yarns won’t run, and several of them are telling the truth. But why risk it? I like to err on the side of caution…

The old fashioned way to clean hooked rugs is to put your rug face down in fresh snow. Gently beat the rug with a broom and keep moving your rug and beating it until the snow comes out clean. You can also rub snowballs on areas to help remove dirt. After doing this, I then put 2-3 inches of snow on top of my rug and sweep it off with a broom. I know this wintery method sounds crazy, but it really works. Obviously this method isn’t always practical or possible.