It’s no secret vintage rugs are kinda my thing. I sell them, collect them, covet them… you get the idea. I’ll be the first one to say, taking care of vintage rugs is extremely important! Most of the rugs I sell are decades old, some even over a century old! I often get asked the best ways to take care of a vintage rugs, and you bet I have some tips to share!
Surprisingly, quality vintage rugs don’t require a lot of maintenance, yet the maintenance required is straight forward and easy for the rug owner. The goal is to eliminate moisture and keep the wool fibers of the rug intact and free from damage.
Here are my top 5 tips for taking care of vintage rugs:
- Spot clean with mild detergent and water, never use a carpet cleaner machine to clean a vintage rug, NEVER! If your rug needs a thorough clean, take it to a professional.
- Always roll rugs when stored, never fold! Folding jeopardizes the integrity of the wool fibers in the warp and weft, creating a crease that will degrade over time
- Vacuum on occasion, with suction only (no bristles!)
- Stay away from moisture
- Always (!!!) use a rug pad
While vintage rugs are extremely durable, unfortunately they cannot keep themselves from being pulled and tugged from high traffic. A rug pad keeps a vintage rug in it’s place, reduces movement, and creates a softer surface underfoot. I always use a rug pad that has a rubber backing for a firm floor grip. For family rooms and children’s rooms with hardwood floors, I like using the contour lock 1/4″ dense rug pad from Rug Pad USA, as there’s more time spent hanging out on the floor in these spaces. In bedrooms and dining rooms, also with hardwood floors, I go with a 1/8″ dense rug pad, also from Rug Pad USA.Rug Pad USA is such a great, affordable, and quick resource to get quality rug pads for your home. I have been using their products for years, first in my living room at my old house, and now in our new house! Rug Pad USA reached out to me to share my experience in using their products, as we used them in our last home and since I’m a vintage rug connoisseur and all, I can share the true benefits of using rug pads. I ordered the Superior Lock 1/4″ for Zano’s room, and wanted to show you just how easy it is to install.
The backing of the rug pad is natural rubber for that firm floor grip, and the topside is cushioned felt which adheres to the wool rug and adds a softness underfoot.
Don’t worry if your rug pad is larger than your rug, I actually prefer it that way! This allows you to trim the rug pad to the exact dimensions of your rug, which I recommend trimming about 1″ shorter on all sides so the rug pad is completely covered by the rug.
Honestly, it couldn’t be simpler! I hope you’ll join me in prolonging the life of your coveted vintage rugs, they’ve lived for decades and it’s up to you to make sure they live the longest life possible!