Area rugs are wonderful accessories that are used for multiple purposes in the home. They help to capture dust particles and debris from the feet upon entry into a room. They are also decorative and can complete the look of a room. The most common problem associated with area rugs is that they require frequent cleaning, but what is the best way to clean them? At first glance, it seems like the solution is simple enough. Vacuuming is the first thing that comes to mind, but contrary to popular belief, it’s not the best alternative. If you want to remove the dirt and grime that has been ground down deep into an area rug, the best method is an old-fashioned beat out. Here is everything you need to know about how to beat out an area rug.
Why is beating out an area rug the best solution?
According to Home Steady, area rugs can take a lot of abuse from heavy foot traffic in the home. Many of them are either handmade or made of delicate materials. When it comes to cleaning, you must be careful to preserve the integrity of the fibers and the brilliance of the colors. They’re not sturdy enough to throw in a machine for washing, nor is it recommended to machine dry them, even if it’s a smaller area rug. Vacuuming does not lift enough of the particles from the fibers to protect your rug from damage. Also, some rugs are so delicate that the beater of the vacuum cleaner can cause damage. Beating an area rug is the method that causes the least amount of distress to the fibers.
How do you beat out an area rug?
If you’ve never attempted this method for cleaning an area rug, there are a few things to keep in mind. Before you begin, it’s wise to inspect the rug and observe the kind of materials that it is made of. Pay close attention to the backing of the rug. Is it soft and pliable or is it rigid? Rigid backing can crack if you hit it too hard when beating the dust out. More pliable rugs can take a harder wallop without damage. Here are the basic steps to follow.
- Find a well-ventilated area, preferably in a garage, shop, or outside. There will be flying dust so you don’t want to make more of a mess to clean up. Start by shaking the rug as hard as you can with the pile turned away from your body and the backing facing you. This will help cut down on the amount of dust that lands in your face.
- Find a secure place to hang the rug, folded in half. A fence or clothesline are both ideal for this step. Make sure that the pile of the rug is exposed with the rug folded in half with the backing facing each half.
- Use a broom or similar object to hit the rug. Start at the bottom and work your way to the top. Using rapid strokes will be more effective in dislodging stubborn dust and other particles. Continue on both sides of the rug until you have beat the entire surface of the pile. You can repeat this step if necessary.
- Remove the rug from the clothesline or fence, and while still folded, shake it slightly, turning your head to avoid getting dust in your face.
- Bring the area rug back inside the house. Vacuum the surface of the rug to remove any leftover dirt or dust that has been dislodged, but has not fallen away.
Maintenance of area rugs in between beatings
Apartment Therapy recommends using the beating out method. for revitalizing area rugs that lose their luster even after vacuuming. Some of the fancier area rugs that are made of delicate materials may become damaged by the beater bar of a vacuum cleaner. Delicate piles and fibers can easily be ruined. Leaving dust and debris is not an option because walking across the rugs grinds these often sharp small particles into the fibers more deeply, and they can act like sandpaper, wearing away at the integrity of the rug. An alternative to traditional vacuuming is to use an attachment and the hose of your cleaner to more delicately suction out remaining dust and debris. This lets you bypass the potentially damaging beater bar found on traditional vacuum cleaners. When vacuuming area rugs it is best to start in the middle and work your way out to the ends. If there are fringes on the sides, try to avoid using suction on them unless they are in dire need of cleaning. Be careful not to pull them out of the carpet as you clean. If you shampoo your area rug, check with the manufacturer’s instructions first for cleaning recommendations. Only use gentle detergent intended for delicate area rug o avoid fading the colors or damaging the fibers. Keep up with regular maintenance of your area rug to keep it looking fresh and revitalized. An occasional beating out is good for most carpets, as long as you do so gently.
For centuries, people have best out their rugs as a way to clean them. Rugs have been around a lot longer than electric vacuum cleaners. The most common method for cleaning rugs has been to take them outside and give them a good beating. As long as you take your time and beat the rug gently, but with a rapid succession of blows, the jarring nation will help to create vibrations that loosen any trapped dirt and debris for easier removal. After beating the carpet bring it back in the house and go over it manually with a gentle vacuum attachment to remove all the debris you loosened while beating it. This will help void causing any damage to delicate fibers for some of the more delicate area rugs.