Troubleshooting Stains on a Wool Area Rug

bedroom with wool area rug, bed, and cubicle storage
  • 1-2 hours
  • Beginner
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A wool area rug is as gorgeous as it is delicate, and requires care on a regular basis. Rugs are often susceptible to mistreatment, including spills, oil, dust, dirt and treading feet. While vacuuming can help in removing surface dust and dirt, more intensive cleaning treatments need to be applied to remove deeper stains. The following tips can be useful when troubleshooting stains on a wool area rug.

1. Ascertain the Type of Stain

Different types of stains require different treatment options. An oil stain requires different cleaning than a urine stain, and blood stains will be handled even differently. Before the stain is treated, it needs to be assessed. Stains can be acidic, such as drain cleaner spills or tile cleaning compounds and the acids found in batteries. Other common stain sources include bleach, blood, coffee, gum, fingernail polish, wine, soda, mustard, and urine.

2. Initial Spill Damage Control

A wool area rug is as gorgeous as it is delicate, and requires care on a regular

Wool rugs are delicate and cleaning requires extra care. The rug should never be scrubbed. Instead, gentle spot cleaning is advisable. For new spills, the spill should be soaked up as soon as possible. Then a clean paper towel or a white towel needs to be used to blot it. The stain then needs to be soaked in warm water, and then more paper towels or a clean, dry towel used to remove all evidence of the stain.

3. Stain Removing Solutions

For tougher stains, a solution of liquid detergent in warm water has to be made. It should then be applied over the stain and allowed to sit for five minutes, after which it must be thoroughly rinsed with warm water. The leftover moisture should be layered with paper towels, which should be weighed down with a ceramic object or anything non-staining and left overnight. The next day, when dry, the pile of dried paper should be brushed or vacuumed away.

Another cleaning solution that can be made is a mixture of warm water and vinegar. It's useful in removing tea, coffee, red wine, beer, milk, soda and other liquid stains. Food stains like curry, egg, cough syrup, cheese, gravy, ketchup and others can also be cleaned with the solution.

For stains such as lipstick, nail-polish, ink, shoe polish and others, isopropyl rubbing alcohol or a dry cleaning solvent can be applied, both of which can be purchased easily at a hardware or grocery store. In addition, a solution of ammonia mixed in some warm water can make an effective cleaning agent to fight tough stains.

Some stains reappear after a period of time, the reason being that it was absorbed deep within the fibers of the rug, and reverse osmosis caused it to resurface. Warm water then needs to be applied with some solution of detergent and dried with paper towels. If the stain is stubborn, it may be required to leave it overnight. As a final resort you can get the rug professionally cleaned.