Every home gets a little messy from time to time. For those with children and pets, life is a continual clean-up. A lot of busy people choose to have tile, hardwood, or laminate flooring rather than carpeting. All that bare flooring requires rugs and mats, and they need to be easy to clean.
When shopping for rugs, there are a variety of things to consider specifically when trying to organize a messy household. No matter what rooms you are shopping for, first look for solid-color or patterned rugs that tend to hide dirt. Materials can be natural or synthetic, but also look for something that won’t shed. You likely will want washable rugs that can be thrown into the washing machine when necessary. And you will want reasonable pricing.
The easiest option will always be to put a stained rug in a washing machine, which can definitely make life a lot easier. Our line of machine washable rugs are perfect for high traffic areas that run the risk of stains and messes. When cleaning rugs in a washing machine isn’t an option you can try a variety of approaches to take on whatever life has in store.
Colors to Choose to Hide Dirt
Of course, you are going to want to choose colors that go well with your décor. But when it comes to hiding dirt, some colors work better than others. Natural darker hues of browns, greens, and blues are the best choices for hiding a variety of dirt that makes its way into the home. Dark blues and greens will also hide dirt well when you don’t have time to clean every day. Choose these colors, if possible, for high-traffic areas such as entryways and hallways.
Light brown, beige, light green, and rose all come in as a second choice. A quick vacuuming will scoop up heavier particles, but the colors can still mask quite a bit when you don’t have time to launder your rugs.
Dirt will show up on solid bright colors such as yellow, orange, and red. If you like these colors, and they go best with your room surroundings, consider looking for pattern rugs. The design will distract from the dirt buried in the fibers.
Rug Fibers that Don’t Shed
Shedding makes some messes seem even messier by adding rug fuzz to your dust bunnies. A rug that doesn’t shed will appear less messy even if dirty. Rugs that are made with a flat or woven weave are less likely to shed. If you like wool, look for a flat weave.
The same is true with cotton rugs. Cotton is generally flat or woven. Cotton is a good choice for those entryways that see a lot of traffic. Most are machine washable, and they generally are affordable.
The other option is to consider synthetic fiber rugs. When looking for a higher pile, choose polypropylene or another synthetic, that are available in multiple colors and patterns, easy to wash, and durable. They won’t shed.
Easy to Clean Fibers
While most new rugs will shed a bit at first, wool is naturally shed resistant, and it is a sturdy natural fiber. It is a favored rug fiber for heavy foot traffic areas because it holds up so well. Wool rugs offer natural stain resistance, and are easy to clean, although you cannot throw them in the washing machine. Catching a stain early on is still best. First, blot any stain with a clean, dry cloth. After testing a small, inconspicuous area, with a mixture of clear dishwashing soap and warm water, you can wring most of the water out of the cloth and gently press it against the affected area. A gentle vacuuming will remove dirt from a wool rug. Once a week is often enough.
Cotton is a comfy fiber that is easy to clean, making it a great choice for kitchens, playrooms, and dens. Most cotton rugs can be tossed into the washing machine in cold or warm settings, never hot. Depending upon the size, consider whether a new rug will fit into your washer at home. You may need to find a commercial machine to use. Cotton rugs cannot be placed in the dryer and should be hung to air dry. Cotton is affordable, and as such, allows you to have more than one option for any given area.
If you have a concern about stains, seagrass fiber rugs are a great option. The waxy coatings offer a smooth texture and natural sheen that wards off water and other liquids. A seagrass rug is also a great choice for humid environments. Spills should be cleaned up with spot cleaning using a dry cloth. Light vacuuming should be done less frequently. Size permitting, you can shake it out. Natural seagrass is limited in color variations of sage green to tan or khaki.
Jute offers a softer natural texture than seagrass, although the two are similar. Jute is a more comfortable fiber and is also used as a covering for some furniture. Like seagrass, jute rugs ward off liquid better than other natural fibers, and a spill can easily be cleaned with a baking soda solution. Like the removal of stains from wool, wring the water out of the cloth well before gently blotting the affected area. Both jute and seagrass hold up well under foot traffic and should be lightly vacuumed weekly.
Polypropylene and Other Synthetics
Durable and easy to clean, polypropylene rugs are becoming more commonplace. This and other synthetics hold up well to water and potential stains. They are great for indoor/outdoor areas such as sun porches, mudrooms, or entryways to the backyard pool.
Easy to clean by vacuuming whenever needed, polypropylene allows scrubbing of stains whenever needed. These rugs hold their shape while retaining their softness. They will resist mildew and are great for common pet areas.
A Few Tips for Rug Longevity
No matter what fiber and color you choose, you want your rugs to last. It is a good idea to have a welcome mat outside each entry door. Welcome mats are pleasant, to be sure, but they’re also a reminder for everyone to wipe their feet before they enter, which in turn will save some wear and tear on the entry rugs.
Before you toss any rug into the washing machine, make sure it is indeed a machine washable rug. Some rugs may be sold as washable, but that could mean they can be washed by hand or taken to the dry cleaners. If you want a rug that can be thrown into your washing machine, be sure to inquire about it when shopping for a new rug.
Even if your rugs are machine washable, try to run them through the machine only when needed—it will help in the longevity of the rug. You can still vacuum and spot clean a washable rug in between runs in the washing machine.
Life can be messy. Make one aspect of it easy to clean up with rugs best suited for a busy, happy, and sometimes messy household.