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Care and Maintenance  

How to Care for Your Area Rug and Carpet
If your exquisite Oriental or handmade rug is properly cared for, it will last a lifetime.  Below are some basic instructions on how to ensure that your area rugs or carpet will be protected for generations:

Vacuum on a regular basis
Vacuuming on a regular basis is key to rug and carpet longevity.  Ground-in dirt and soil are the fibers’ worst enemy.  By vacuuming your area rug both front and back, you will remove as much soil and sand as possible, which causes the rug fiber to deteriorate.  Soil and dust particles act as tiny razor blades cutting away the fibers of your rug when you walk on it and act like sandpaper.  Avoid vacuuming the fringes – in most cases, the fringes are an extension of the foundation of your rug.

An upright or canister vacuum with a beater bar/brush is best for all carpets and rugs.  A suction-only vacuum may be required for loop pile Berber carpets to prevent excessive fuzzing. 

Utilize rug pads
Rug pads are highly recommended to prolong the life of your area rugs.  They not only prevent fibers from crushing, but stop sliding and will cushion the impact between shoe sole and hard floor surfaces.  They also protect the floor and absorb room noise.  A pad should be about 1.5” smaller than the rug border (excluding the fringes) so it will not show beneath the rug.

Act fast with spills or accidents!
It is critical to immediately absorb as much of the liquid as possible using a clean white towel.  Then apply a 50-50 solution of water and white vinegar and blot - do not rub - the area with white towels.  Resist the temptation to use over-the-counter spot removers.  Most are too aggressive and contain some type of bleach.  Spotters applied directly to the rug can leave soap residue and cause rapid resoiling.

Have your rugs professionally cleaned
Regular maintenance, like vacuuming and immediate spot cleaning when spills occur, is absolutely crucial in keeping an area rug looking nice.  But to protect your investment, you should hire a professional to perform regular deep cleanings of your rug.  Whether your rug is hand-made or machine made, a Persian, Oriental, Turkish, silk or priceless antique, be assured that Fred Mason and Son Company will handle your rug with the same care as we would our own.

An Oriental rug can hold a horrendous amount of soil without looking dirty which exemplifies how dust accumulates over time and can settle into the rug. So, how often should you have your area rug cleaned?  According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), professional deep cleaning should be done every:

    • 3-6 months, if you have young children and pets
    • 4 months, if two smokers live in the house
    • 6 months, if you have young children but no pets
    • 6-12 months, if two non-smoking people live in the house
    • If you live alone and don’t smoke, you could probably go as long as two years without having your area rug professionally cleaned, though it should be regularly maintained

The proper way to clean your rug is by hand and in water, without the harsh chemicals and machines. Only a professional rug cleaner can do that properly. My father and I will clean your rug gently and with great care at our area rug cleaning plant. It is time consuming, but the results are amazing. By hand washing your rugs, we will save your rug from destruction by accumulation of soil and sand which accelerate wear by cutting the fibers and are breeding grounds for mildew and mites.

Inspect your rug
You should inspect your area rugs periodically for moths.  Moths will hide on the rug under furniture or in dark areas.  Moths will generally be evident by their casings, which is the size of a grain of rice.  You should look at the rug carefully for evidence of any insects.

You should also inspect your area rug for any damaged areas or wear and tear and address the problem as soon as possible to avoid further wear.  Handmade rug repair is expensive, time-consuming and very labor-intensive. Therefore, any damage to your rug should be addressed immediately. The longer a damaged area goes unrepaired, such as a spill or animal accident, and the longer your rug goes with moths eating it away, the harder it will be to repair the damage.  In some cases, the stains will not come out or if they do eventually come out, the repairs will be very costly.

Do not place potted plants or a Christmas trees on your rug
An area rug can sustain major damage if a potted plant is placed on it.  It is virtually impossible to ensure that moisture will not make its way to the rug, and it will rot out from this moisture. This is an extremely expensive repair.  If you value your rug, never put a potted plant directly on it (use a plant dolly with wheels).


Pet stains/urine
When you notice urine on your area rug or carpet, perform immediate spot cleaning (see our spot cleaning hints page).  Then call a professional rug cleaner because there is a very short window period in which to address urine on a rug before it turns to a permanent stain.  It is highly recommended that when you get a new puppy, or get a new rug when you have a young dog, that you store the rug away from the dog’s reach until it is old enough to be housetrained and out of the chewing stage.

Rug Storage
Before storing your rug, it should be cleaned and sprayed with insecticide, then wrapped in protective plastic.  The rug must be completely dry. Do not use newspapers, brown paper or moth balls.  If the humidity is high during some part of the year, make sure that there is some way to circulate the air to avoid mildew problems.  Store the rug in a clean, dry place, and out of the reach of rodents. You should avoid storing rugs directly on the floor; carpet beetles in particular like to take up residence between the floor and the back of your rug.  We highly recommend periodic inspection of the rug to make sure there is no evidence of infestation. Vacuum the room thoroughly to eliminate insect-attracting dust.  Remove dust from all baseboards and windowsills as well.

Depressions or indentations
The weight of heavy pieces of furniture can cause indentations in rugs and carpet. Some depressions may be permanent. Use furniture glides or cups under the legs of heavy pieces, or move your furniture a few inches backward or sideways so that the weight is not concentrated in one place. To remedy depressions, work the carpet pile back into place with your fingertips or the edge of a spoon, then dampen the area and heat it with a hair dryer, working the fibers with your fingers or a spoon.

Fading or color loss
Give your rug or carpet the normal protection from direct sunlight that you would give to any colored fabric. Emissions from heating systems or chemicals, such as pesticides, household cleaning agents and other household items, can also result in color loss.

Filtration soil
Dark or grayish lines on carpet along walls, stairways and under doors. It is caused by airflow over and through carpet, allowing fine soils to settle on the surface.  It is often caused by an improperly balanced ventilation system, when the volume of air entering a room exceeds the system’s capacity to remove air from the room.  Excess air then seeks exit sources in gaps along walls and stairways.  Prevent the airflow through carpet and carpet edges by sealing openings through the carpet and under doors and baseboards. Keeping the air in the area clean and using good filtration in your heating and cooling systems and vacuum cleaners can help. Filtration soils may require special cleaning treatment for effective removal.  Contact us for assistance.

Moth, beetle and flea control
Most wool and wool-blend carpet made in the United States is permanently treated to prevent moth damage. Carpet and rugs of manufactured (synthetic) fibers are naturally resistant to insects, because such fibers are not a food source and are resistant to beetles, commonly called carpet beetles.  However, beetles already in the home may lay eggs in the carpet pile and hatch in 8 to 15 days.  Pet owners also may find fleas on their carpet.  Fleas will not damage the carpet and will die there, unless they find another animal to sustain them.  Frequent vacuuming aids in the control of fleas on carpet; just be sure to change the vacuum bag often. For assistance in removing beetles or other insects, contact a professional pest control specialist.

Dirty, airborne particles may be deposited on carpet, causing dulling.  Dulling is caused by the deposits of all types of soil.  For example, a delicate rose color may gradually become a neutral taupe because of soil, while light blue may take on a dull, gray-green hue. Red clay soil also can cause a pronounced change in some colors.  In spite of such phenomena, the original color of a carpet is not lost; it is still present under the soil. Oily soil may be very difficult to remove after it has been on the carpet for a long time, and it may be actually absorbed into the fiber, causing the carpet to have a yellow cast.  Frequent cleanings are important to avoid this problem.  Entry mats at doorways trap soil and, combined with routine cleaning and vacuuming, provide extra protection for all floor coverings.


Areas We Service
New Jersey:
Belle Meade
East Windsor
Princeton Junction
Rocky Hill
Washington Crossing
West Trenton
West Windsor
Mercer County
Hunterdon County

New Hope
Washington Crossing
Bucks County

  Fred Mason and Son Company
Ewing, NJ 08638
Princeton: 609-924-3112
Ewing: 609-530-0220