Sunday, 3 May 2015

Do all your visitors have wrinkled noses? How to freshen up your rugs

Does my house smell is something that most people worry about from time to time. In this day and age there isn’t much excuse for a smelly home because there are so many different products on the market to keep it smelling nice but most of them tend to mask rather than remove and prevention is very much better than cure. It is difficult to avoid cooking smells while the dinner is actually in the oven and indeed, the smell is a large part of the enjoyment of any meal so no one wants to get rid of it altogether. It is when it is still hanging around two days later the trouble begins and the problem is that smells linger in fabrics and most especially in carpeting and rugs. Buying cheaper rugs and carpets and replacing them is one option, but keeping them clean isn’t too difficult however it is important to treat some fibres with care.

Never soak a wool rug

Wool rugs are lovely but they are difficult to clean if they get a really bad spill on them because they should never be soaked with any liquid. If something like wine is spilled on a wool rug it should be blotted as far as possible and any cleaning fluid should be tried on an inconspicuous area first. But for simply freshening up, you can dust some bicarbonate of soda into the pile and leave for a few hours or overnight. After that, the wool rug should be vacuumed gently and if possible given a thorough shake outside. The bicarb will have soaked up any stale smells and the rug will smell like new again. Some people like to sprinkle some lavender on the rug at this point and this will certainly make it smell nice, but this is not recommended for light colours, because the oils from even dried lavender can stain.

If you can wash your hall runner, then do

Some rugs are of course much more prone to being smelly than others and in particular these are bathroom rugs, kitchen rugs and hall runners. Hall runners have to take whatever the visiting feet throw at them and grubby shoes can carry all kinds of things into the house on them, which can get ground in and smell quite nasty. The trouble is that few people are aware of the smell of their own house and it is a bit ironic that the smelliest rug – the hall runner – is the one that people encounter first. Ideally, these rugs should be washed weekly and if you have two to change around regularly then so much the better because you should always make sure they are completely dry before putting them down again – if they are damp, they will smell musty after a while and so the matter will be even worse. Bathroom rugs should certainly be washed or aired at least once a week and more if the family is large. Natural rugs are a good choice in the kitchen, being easy to vacuum and also easy on the feet on the usually hard floors in that room.

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