A clean carpet is a happy carpet. For homeowners who want to keep a clean, dust-free home, getting carpets and area rugs cleaned regularly with Massey’s Chem-Dry is an absolute must. But when it comes to treating your rug well, how important is it to pay attention to your carpet or rug type? You’ve gone through great pains to choose the right carpet for your home. There’s no reason why your investment should have to go to waste simply because you were misinformed about proper cleaning methods. If you want your home to stay pristine, here are a few key differences between carpet cleaning and area rug cleaning.

Bleeding and Discoloration

Before you try to give your carpet or area rug a thorough clean, you should be aware of the different hazards presented by common cleaning methods. Because rugs are usually more sturdily constructed than carpet, you might assume that you don’t have to be as gentle. However, this is not strictly the case. Area rugs, when wet, are subject to bleeding, which isn’t an issue with carpet since they tend to be monochrome. If you have an ornately decorated Persian rug or oriental rug, however, you need to be careful about making sure the colors don’t run together after wet cleaning. If you’re worried about harming your area rug or carpet by overwetting it, play it safe and use a dry cleaning service.

Dirt Removal

Because of their heartier construction and smaller size, area rugs are easier to move around from place to place. When an area rug gets too dirty, it’s common for homeowners to take it outside for a thorough shaking off. However, because area rugs do tend to have a thicker base, dirt can easily become trapped and hard to get out, even with repeated vacuuming. Because of this, it’s worth it to get your area rug treated by a professional every so often. Even if you put in some effort to keep your rug clean, you’ll still need to go the extra mile to stop dirt from piling up below the surface.


When it comes to carpet, most homeowners don’t want to foster an antique heirloom look. With an area rug, however, it can be pleasant to create a time-honored look, especially for an oriental rug that looks fresh out of the factory. The process of antiquing or “tea washing” isn’t that difficult. By trusting a professional to do an acid wash, you’ll be able to restore the original look of your rug after cleaning.


While you should always pay attention to the care instructions for your rug and its specific materials, it’s best to be aware of the difference in construction between area rugs and carpets. Because rugs can be moved around, they’re generally sturdier and less delicate. This means that you might want to use a more aggressive vacuum setting than usual for area rugs, while carpets should be treated more gently. If you’re in doubt, always trust a professional to do a proper clean.

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