Because they’re spread out on the floor, rugs and mats become the catchall for dirt and dust, and skin cells and falling hair, and a favorite haunt of disease-causing dust mites and molds. Here’s how to keep those rugs and mats clean.
If you have a vacuum cleaner, run it over synthetic rugs at least once a week. You may also bring the rug outside and expose it to the sun. The sun’s heat helps kill the colonies of dust mites that make their homes in the material and lay their eggs there.
A practical way of cleaning rugs is beating them like people used to do before vacuum cleaners were invented. Just make sure to do this a safe distance from the house so the dust doesn’t float back inside, and make sure the windows closest to the area are closed.
Mats made of natural fibers
This type of mats collects less dust than those made of cotton and synthetic fibers. Sweep away dirt and dust, then shake and beat the mats outside. For this task, wear a face mask for protection.
A professional cleaner must be called in once or twice a year so that Persian carpets or wall-to-wall carpeting can be given a thorough cleaning.
For stain removals, clean up the stain immediately – don’t wait even a day! To remove a rug stain, spray a stain remover around the stain, then using a plastic spoon (not a brush as this will just spread the stain), sweep the remover and the foam it creates inward (not outward as this will also spread the stain farther), and scoop up as much of the foam as possible. Dab up the rest with a paper towel or vacuum it.
Soap scum, shampoo residue, and body oils left unclean encourage growth of mold and mildew. Keep them at bay by hanging up the mat on the shower rod or on a plastic hanger outside for some sunning after everyone has washed up for the day. Leave the bathroom door open to let the floor dry completely.
To clean rubber mats, scrub with a solution of one part bleach to four parts water then rinse out and hang up to dry. You may also substitute vinegar for the bleach.
Kids’ interlocking rubber foam play mats
Remove the mat from time to time to sweep up dirt and dust that may have accumulated underneath. To wash pieces that have been spilled on or peed on, use a soft bristle brush and regular powder detergent. Rinse the pieces thoroughly then line them up in the shade against a wall outside to drain the water. Excessive exposure to heat may cause the mat pieces to deteriorate or shrink. Reassemble when thoroughly dry.