How to Salvage Old Area Rugs

How to Restore Vintage Rugs How to Salvage Old Area Rugs

Due to the fact that most area rugs are fairly expensive to replace, tossing out an old one that has seen its fair share of better days can be a tough task to carry out. If you have an area rug that's been around for a while and is in need of some TLC, take a look at the following tips on how to salvage it. Any one of these tips just might help breathe some new life into your old area rug.

Remove Loose Debris

Loose dirt or dust in an old area rug is common, and the remedy for removing debris is an easy one. Carefully roll up the rug and carry it outside. If your area rug is fairly large, ask someone to assist you in the removal. Once you get the rug outside, unroll it and hang it over a railing, strong clothesline, or other type of ledge and beat it with a broom handle or baseball bat to get rid of the loose dirt and dust it's been storing up. If the rug isn't very heavy, you might be able to shake it out by yourself in order to get the job done. For area rugs that are too large to remove from the home, use a vacuum cleaner to remove all loose debris.

Do a Deep Cleaning

Once all of the dust and dirt has been beaten or shaken from your area rug, you can do a deep cleaning on it to remove any stains, odors, or anything else you were unable to get out by shaking or beating it. Lay the rug back down and either shampoo it or steam clean it to remove any stubborn stains that spot cleaning couldn't get rid of. Since many dyes used in old area rugs can potentially bleed, you should always do a test patch on an inconspicuous part of the rug to check for colorfastness. If the color bleeds, take the rug to a professional cleaner to avoid damaging it any further.

Deal with Water Damage Immediately

Water left sitting in an old area rug will turn into mildew before you know it, so deal with water damage right away if you want to salvage your rug. If your area rug normally resides in an area that doesn't get very good air circulation, take it to a room that does or simply take it outside to help it dry faster. If the rug is too large to remove, use a couple of rotating fans to help dry the area rug out quicker.

Consult a Restoration Expert

If your rug is falling apart in any way, your best bet is to consult with a restoration expert before attempting to make any repairs on your own--especially if your area rug is an antique. Find a reputable person with some knowledge of rug repair and restoration and find out what options are available to you if the expert tells you there's still some hope for your old area rug.

Calypso St. Barth Washed Jute Rug How to Salvage Old Area Rugs

Look for Creative Ways to Recycle

If your area rug is in really poor shape and you don't want to fork out the money to clean or repair it, find a creative way to recycle it. Old area rugs can be carefully cut apart and used to make seat or stool covers, pot holders, coasters, and more. Let your imagination be your guide and come up with some new ways to reinvent your old, trusty area rug.

Before you throw out your old area rug, try out one or more of these salvaging tips. Your rug may have many more years left of use than you realize--and if you're able to rescue it, you'll definitely get more than your money's worth out of it.

Guest post from Bailey Harris. Bailey writes for

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  • Ron Plasencia

    area rugs are great because they can really filter those dirt and grime before it goes into the inside of your house.