How to I prevent rug lint?

November 20, 2013 by
Filed under: Antiques Rugs 

Antiques rugs
by willytronics

Question by Dave L: How to I prevent rug lint?
I bought a new area rug a few months ago and it is constantly creating big gobs of lint. If you rub your shoe across it, it produces a gob of lint. Is there a trick to treating/conditioning this rug so it will stop doing this? The lint is getting everywhere and I’m tired of vacuuming it all the time or picking up the lint balls by hand. Any ideas?

Best answer:

Answer by Luke B
Cleaning Antique Rugs:

Hooked rugs, especially after years of use, require special and careful attention. The nature of the hooking technique and frequent presence of old fabrics and home-dyed colors dictate special handling when cleaning these rugs.

First the don’ts:
Note: Don’t attempt these cleaning techniques without reading the instructions following. *Do not attempt to clean your rug if you are not sure how to do it.
1. Don’t put a hooked rug into a washing machine, even on the so-called gentle cycle.
2. Don’t shake or beat a hooked rug, since shaking, beating, or even vacuuming from the back can dislodge the fabric from the foundation.
3. Don’t submerge a rug into water; surface cleaning is usually all that is required. (if not, see Deeper Cleaning)

Surface Cleaning: For rugs that are only slightly dirty it is possible to vacuum only the front side, and only after you have covered the rug with screen and set your vacuum on low-suction. The safer technique is to sweep the rug gently with a soft brush. As mentioned above, do not vacuum the back but use a brush instead.
After sweeping or vacuuming, surface cleaning with a wet sponge or soft brush with cold water and a mild soap may be necessary. Using mostly suds and very little water (taking care not to soak the base), clean with a circular motion one six-inch-square area at a time, overlapping each area successively.
A light secong sponging with plain water will remove most of the remaining soap. After the rug is completely dry, loosened dirt and lint can be gently vacuumed out of the rug. (Please follow the vacuum instructions above).

Note: If you your rug is still dirty after these steps, do not go further until you check for color fastness on a very small area of the rug. (Printed calicoes and woven plaids are less likely to run than solid color fabrics, which are frequently home dyed).

Deeper Cleaning: Remember that your rug should not be submerged into water unless completely necessary. The handling of the rug during this process must be done carefully and gently. You can soak your rug in cold water and gently clean with a soft brush or sponge wit mild soap. Be sure to rinse your rug several times but take special care while the rug is completely wet. Do Not wring or squeeze the water out of the rug. Instead, roll the rug in towels with the front side of the rug out. Do not hang the wet rug on a clothesline or on a rod because there is a chance of putting a permanent crease in it. The weight of the rug, if held by clothespins on a line, can break the foundation of the rug. Let the rug dry on a towel for a day on its front side, and a second day on its back.

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