How to Protect Your Rugs from Everyday Wear and Tear

A rug is one of the most noticeable elements in a room. When it looks tidy and kept, the whole room looks amazing. If you’ve found a gorgeous rug that works perfectly in your space, you’ll want it to last for the long haul. By protecting and caring for your rugs, they will do just that. There are a few things you can do to mitigate damage and deterioration. Here are tips to extend your rugs’ life. 


Vacuuming is hands down the most important thing you can do to keep your rug in good shape. It’s the one thing you don’t want to skip in your rug care. Vacuuming will keep them clean, but also work to protect your rugs. Dirt, dust, allergens, and other particles actually break down the fibers. There’s a whole gross world going on even if you can’t see it at a glance. The edges of these contaminants cause abrasion and wear down the rug. It gets even worse when a rug is neglected and the dirt packs in. 

Vacuum at least once a week. You’ll want to increase the frequency based on the action your rugs see. If you have a Brady Bunch-type household with kids and pets, vacuum every day to keep your rugs in good shape. Realistically, not all of us have an Alice, so try to squeeze in at least three times a week for healthy upkeep. Consider location too. A hallway runner by the front door will need more attention than a guest room that’s hardly used. 

Deluxe Vacuums

If you plan on being really extra in your cleaning, there are actually high-performance vacuums that will do a superior job at extracting dirt. When shopping for a vacuum, see if it’s certified by the Carpet and Rug Institute (CRI). To get their special Seal of Approval (SOA) the vacuum needs to reach certain criteria. For example, how efficient it is at removing soil, colorfastness, and if multiple passes causes damage to a rug’s appearance. This can be helpful if your household is sensitive to allergies, or you want to make sure a vacuum isn’t going to ravage your rugs. You could also opt for a vacuum with a high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filter. HEPA filters are able to grab more particles that would otherwise just rotate in the air. 

Use Welcome Mats

Decrease the dirt that gets tracked into the home with mats, outside or when you first walk in. Everything from the office, to the schoolyard, to your dog-walking adventures comes right to your doorstep. Residents and guests can swipe off dirt, debris, and more instead of carrying it all over the house. Don’t forget the other entry points in your home as well, such as the garage door or sliding patio door. Every little bit helps to stop rugs’ biggest enemies. 

Adopt a No-Shoe Policy

For even more protection, consider a no-shoe policy. Bacteria that stowaway on shoes can increase the production of moisture and mold. Besides halting dirt, you’ll avoid having shoes clomping on the rug and flattening it out. When a rug compresses, it loses some of its benefits. For example, a loss of insulation and sound absorption powers. 

Put in Rotation

Depending on your room’s layout, some portions of a rug see more abuse than other sections. One piece may be in a walkway path while another section could be under furniture or closer to a wall. Before you know it, one section is flat while the other is plush. Rotating your rugs will balance out their wear. Consider rearranging furniture to relieve the stress of furniture legs that cause imprints, or to create new walkways. If you have a reversible rug, keep a regular time to flip it so you won’t forget (for example at the end of each season). 

Sun Protection

The sun will fade out the colors on your rug. Keep them out of direct sunlight if possible. Rays can come in through windows and skylights. If there are certain times of day when the light is a little more intense, like sunset, close the blinds or pull the curtains. The above tip of rotating your rug will help even out the fading too so there isn’t a stark difference. If you go out of town, consider rolling a sun-exposed rug up until you return.


Furnace and air conditioner filters can be dust traps. If the filters are neglected, all the bad stuff that they are supposed to be filtering will spread out into the home and right on your carpets. As mentioned, these pollutants will accelerate your rugs’ deterioration. Make sure these filters are properly changed. 

Clean Spills ASAP

It’s tempting to go right to bed after a party, but if someone spills wine on the rug, don’t wait to take action. Rug fibers draw spills in. If the wine or other mess dries, it can possibly mean a permanent stain. Look into what cleaning method will work for your specific mess. Most of the time, you’ll want to remove any solids. Then blot the moisture. You never want to rub or scrub, as this will cause more wear and tear on the fibers. This will be true for any rinsing or drying step. If you have a fan, use it. Quick drying is best as leaving moisture around can encourage mold. 

Preventative Care

Save yourself some time and invest in preventative measures. A rug protectant spray will act as a defensive shield against stains and moisture. Treated rugs are not totally immune to dirt and staining, but messes will be easier for you to deal with. 

Don’t overlook your rugs. They are an important part of your home’s decor. Keep your rugs looking fresh season after season with these tips. A little time put into caring for your rug will be worth it. 

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