1. Check for colorfastness before cleaning any rug or carpet for the first time . Rub an inconspicuous area of the carpet with a damp white cloth. If carpet is not colorfast, the damp cloth will get stained. When bleeding happens, check with the manufacturer if possible, or a professional carpet cleaner for cleaning information.
2. Turn area rugs periodically to distribute soil and wear in traffic areas such as small throw rugs, particularly in front of frequently used sofas or chairs. The occasional rearrangement of furniture will help keep the good looks and life of area rugs and wall-to-wall carpeting.
3. Vacuum regularly to keep rugs and carpets clean. This reduces the chances of sharp, jagged bits of dirt from literally cutting at the rugs' fibers, thus shortening the life of the carpet. Vacuum daily areas that receive heavy traffic.
4. When liquids are spilled, blot up right away as much moisture as possible with absorbent cloths. If stain remains from spilled liquid, treat with dry cleaning solvent for greasy spills, or a weak white vinegar and water solution for alkaline spills. Then clean with rug shampoo.
5. Treat wet spots as soon as the accident occurs. First, blot up as much moisture as possible, then wash areas with rug shampoo or a mild detergent and water solution. Next, to neutralize the highly alkaline odor of animal urine, sponge the stain with a weak white vinegar and water solution. Guard against over-wetting while doing this, blotting up any excess moisture from these two treatments. Then dry area as quickly as possible. An electric fan may help speed the drying up.