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The Do’s and Don’ts of Oriental Rug Cleaning

If you’re unsure how to keep your carpets immaculate, worry not, as we’re here to guide you. Read on to discover the steps to take during the cleaning process.

woman cleaning an oriental rug

Since oriental rugs are a household investment, you might wonder how long they last. The low end is 20 years, but they can also last for a couple of centuries. It’s all about how well you take care of them. This includes learning about oriental rug cleaning.

Whether you own an oriental rug or you’re thinking about purchasing one, here are some things to keep in mind when it comes to getting your oriental rug cleaned.

First, Are Oriental and Persian Rugs the Same?

In case you want to do your own research on oriental rugs, you might be curious if they are the same as Persian ones. The easiest explanation is oriental rugs are traditionally considered to be rugs that are made in Asia or the Middle East. Persian rugs are made in the Middle East only.

This means that all Persian rugs are oriental; however, not all oriental rugs are Persian. This is an important fact in case you see articles on Persian rug maintenance. You can also apply those tips if you’d like.

Now let’s get into the cleaning process of oriental rugs so that you can keep the integrity of the rug.

DO Vacuum Your Rug a Couple of Times a Week

If you vacuum your rug a couple of times a week, that will keep dirt and debris from packing into your rug’s fibers. Since oriental rug fibers make it easy for dirt to pack into them, flip over your rug and vacuum the backside with a beater brush first.

If your rug has long fibers or fringes, disable your beater brush before vacuuming the front. Otherwise, you could damage your rug, or you might need fringe repair. Vacuuming your oriental rug will also prevent moth larvae from setting into it.

DON’T Sweep It

Avoid sweeping the top or bottom of an oriental rug. Doing so could damage its fibers.

Also, since many oriental rugs were handwoven, the bristles of a broom could mess up the weave pattern. Not sweeping them will help you to avoid the need for oriental rug repair.

DO Spot Clean Your Rug

No matter how careful you are with your oriental rug, something is bound to spill on it. Whether it’s juice, cat urine, or some other spill, there are a few things to keep in mind:

  • Tend to the stain immediately
  • Use a white cloth to gently blot the stain
  • Pour some club soda, white vinegar, baking soda, or mild detergent onto the stain
  • Use the cloth to blot the stain again
  • Repeat these steps until the stain is gone

It’s important to take note that white vinegar is effective at removing cat urine. That’s because it breaks down the uric acid that’s in it.

DON’T Use Harsh Chemicals

It doesn’t matter how many articles you read on how to care for Persian and oriental rugs, they are all going to say that you shouldn’t use harsh chemicals on them. Products like bleach and ammonia can throw off the pH balance of materials like silk and wool.

Although hot water isn’t a chemical, don’t use it on your oriental rug either. It can damage your rug’s fibers too. That’s why you should avoid using a steam cleaner or putting your rug into the washing machine.

When you are spot cleaning, go with warm water (room temperature is more ideal) or cold water. That will also keep you from affecting the warp and weft of your rug.

DO Clean Your Entire Rug With a Sponge

What if you see signs that you need to clean the rug entirely? If so, here are the steps that you should follow:

  • Add ¼ cup of mild detergent to a small bucket of room temperature water
  • Dip a clean sponge into the cleaning solution and wipe over the grid pattern of the rug
  • Clean the sponge with water regularly
  • Go over the entire rug with clean water after you’ve washed it
  • Use a fresh towel to soak up excess moisture
  • Let your rug air dry completely

As far as how often you should DIY clean your oriental rug, six months is ideal if you have children or pets. Otherwise, you can go a year before doing so.

DON’T Let Moisture Set In

Believe it or not, one of the biggest enemies of oriental rugs is moisture. That’s because a moist rug is a breeding ground for mold and mildew. Moisture can also cause a wool rug to shrink.

That’s why, whether it’s an area rug or something larger, you should keep your oriental rug away from humidity. It’s also a good idea to hang your rugs outside a couple of times a year. Make sure that it’s a warm day with little to no humidity.

DO Put Padding Underneath Your Rugs

When you have a professional rug, something that can decrease the need for rug repair services is putting padding underneath it. This will help your rugs to maintain their shape and reduce wrinkling. Another bonus of padding is that it will keep rugs from sliding on hardwood floors.

DON’T Forget to Rotate Them Regularly

A little sunlight never damaged a rug. Still, it’s important to rotate your rugs. That keeps them from fading as quickly. Plus, the UV rays won’t weaken the fibers.

There’s another benefit that comes with rotating your oriental rugs. It will reduce the wear and tear of certain spots on your rug. This will also help to maintain the integrity of the rug.

DO Be Careful About Where You Put Your Furniture

If you want to avoid spending a lot of money on oriental rug repair, be careful about the furniture that you put on top of your rugs. Heavy furniture should be avoided.

You should also move furniture around a couple of times a year. That will help to keep furniture imprints from showing up on your rugs.

DON’T Let People (or Pets) Walk on Your Rug

Whether you decide to do carpet cleaning on your own or use one of the professional rug cleaning services in your area, you can save time and money by keeping traffic to a minimum. Encourage people to stay off of your rugs. Train your pets to not go near them.

It can also be beneficial to have a no-shoes rule in your home. That way, if people end up walking on your oriental rugs, less dirt and debris will get on them.

DO Use a Lemon Rinse From Time to Time

It doesn’t matter how often you clean the rugs in your home, odors will set in sometimes. Applying a lemon rinse can help to eliminate lingering odors.

All you need to do is put some fresh lemon juice on your rugs. Let the juice penetrate your rugs for two hours. Then soak a sponge in cool water to remove any excess lemon juice.

DON’T Forget to Shake Your Rugs Once a Season

No matter how much oriental rug cleaning is done, something that can’t be avoided is. One way to keep it from piling up on your rugs is to shake them a few times a year.

Make sure to go outside and gently hit them against the side of your house. That will break up the dust.

By being outdoors, you also won’t have to worry about the dust landing on anything in your home. Doing this once a season is ideal.

DO Find a Professional Cleaner for Oriental Rug Cleaning

Even if you’re able to clean the rug that you have at home, it’s still a good idea to get it professionally cleaned on occasion. Most rug experts recommend that you do so every two years. Professional oriental rug cleaners will provide high-quality area rug cleaning services that will have your rug looking as good as new.

DON’T Use Your Local Cleaners

That said, when it comes to professional oriental rug cleaning, don’t go to any local cleaners. Not every business has the training or proper equipment.

Use your favorite search engine to look up cleaners or rug cleaning companies that mention they have experience in cleaning oriental rugs. Be prepared to pay between $10-20 per square foot to get your rugs cleaned.

Let Us Help You Keep Your Rugs in Great Condition

Now you know more about oriental rug cleaning and maintenance. We hope that we provided tips that will keep your rugs in amazing shape for years to come.

If you live in the Tacoma, Washington area and would like a professional cleaning, we’d be happy to assist you. We provide full-service cleaning packages for residential and commercial properties that are truly unmatched.

For more information, call (253) 544-4032 or email sales@hammondknoll.com.