Wool area rugs are a very popular addition to your home or office because of their beautiful textures, colors and overall appeal. They will outlast their synthetic counterparts as long as you take proper care of them.

Because wool is a natural fiber, area rugs made from wool are more delicate than synthetic fiber area rugs. For this reason, there are a few things you should never do/use on your wool rug:

1) Don’t use any “oxy” chemical stain removers or laundry detergent with color brighteners if you have a spill – the chemical reaction can damage the fibers and/or cause discoloration.

2) Do not try to steam clean wool rugs at home – they are more susceptible to residue build-up and damage from excess water with less powerful at-home or rental machines.

3) Do not use powder cleaners or deodorizers – the powder cannot be removed completely and will build up at the base of the rug causing damaging abrasion.

That being said, just like with other carpets, the most important step in keeping your wool rugs looking great is regular maintenance. You should vacuum these rugs at least once a week, and even two to three times a week in the first year that they are new to remove dirt, debris and loose fibers. Be sure that your vacuum has a beater bar that just reaches the rug to loosen dirt and “fluff” the fibers to prevent matting.

Your wool rugs should be professionally cleaned two to three times per year depending on the amount of foot traffic they receive. Make sure you have a reputable company perform this service as the wrong chemicals and the wrong procedures can permanently damage your wool rug. Because natural fibers are much more delicate, they need to have the right ratios of natural detergent and water with powerful suction to remove soil, residue and excess water to keep them looking their best.