Area Rug Cleaning vs Carpet Cleaning

Mar 6, 2023 | Carpet Cleaning

Area rugs are just carpet, right?  And so they can be cleaned by a normal carpet cleaner just like carpet, right?

Wrong! Don’t worry if you thought this though; many people do.

The truth is that area rugs are very different than carpets, and thus need to be cleaned differently. Here’s why:


The biggest difference is that area rugs are simply constructed differently than wall-to-wall carpets. Think about it: your area rugs are made to be picked up and moved as needed, while your carpeting isn’t. Thus, they have to be made differently. Plus, there are so many different types of area rugs from different styles and counties of origin, and they all require slightly different care.


Most area rugs are made to be thicker with a dense pile construction. This provides a perfect place for dirt and soil to get caught. A vacuum cleaner can’t remove these trapped fine fibers. That’s why you would use to see people taking their rugs outside and beating them clean. Nowadays, you can just trust a professional rug cleaner to remove this build-up for you.


Most carpets are a single color, so bleeding isn’t much of a concern. However, in area rugs with intricate patterns, color bleeding can completely ruin the look of a rug. Thus, it’s important to use the correct solutions and methods to clean an area rug in order to prevent bleeding and fading from happening.


Because carpet goes wall-to-wall, you don’t have to worry about fringe; there isn’t room for it. However, in rugs, fringe can be delicate and must be properly taken care of in order not to damage it or ruin the color.


Another thing that you need to worry about in rugs that isn’t typically the case in carpeting is antiquing, a process that is done by a manufacturer or importer in order to make a rug look older and more expensive. This is usually just a layer of very aggressive acidic wash or a post treatment of tea dying, which can wash away during the cleaning process. If that does happen, you can reapply the layer after cleaning.


There are many different kinds of rug out there that all require specialized care. Thus, area rug cleaners have to have a lot of training in order to have the knowledge to properly clean all of these different types of rugs. Don’t just trust any local carpet cleaner to clean your rugs. Ask them questions and make sure that they have received training before they are allowed to touch your rugs.


Proper area rug cleaning needs to be done by professionals. Often, these professions will have a rug cleaning facility which can handle just about any type of rug. In any case, make sure that you’re hiring a reputable area rug cleaner. Short Stop Chem-Dry is an area rug cleaning expert, and we’d love to help you out if you’re in the Detroit, MI area.