Do's and Don'ts of rug cleaning

Oriental Rugs can last a lifetime if they are cared for and maintained properly.  Here are some tips to help you keep your rug beautiful.

Do: Vacuum your rug on a regular basis.

Don’t: Run your vacuum over the fringe or side binding (the vacuum can rip it right out).

Do: Clean up spills and pet accidents quickly.  Once they dry into the rug the stain can become permanent.  Use cold fresh water to keep the spot damp and blot it up until the stain is gone.  If a solvent is needed to help, a little basic dish soap is generally safe to use.

Don’t: Assume you can use the same cleaning products as you would your wall to wall carpet.  The wool in an oriental rug contains natural lanolin (sheep oil) as well as different types of dye than you would see in a wall to wall carpet.  A lot of spot cleaning products for carpet will cause damage to the wool and dyes in your oriental rug.

Do: Have your rug washed every 3 to 5 years.  Even if the rug doesn’t appear dirty, a small particle can get lodged into the foundation and weaken the warp and weft threads.

Don’t: Use a steam cleaning process or a hot-water extraction.  Steam will leech the natural oil right out of a rug, and hot-water can cause even very stable dyes to bleed out and discolor your rug. The best way to wash an oriental rug is with cold water and soap.

Do: Check to make sure the dyes in your rug are safe to get wet before cleaning.  You can use a damp white cloth to perform a dye test. Take the damp cloth and gently rub it into the pile of your rug.  If the cloth absorbs some of the dye, then you should not hose the rug down with water. The dyes will most likely start to run.

Don’t: Allow moisture to stay in your rug.  If your rug gets wet to make sure to fully dry both the front and back of the rug.  If moisture stays in the foundation of a rug it will cause mold, mildew, and dry-rot.  Even if your rug feels dry on the top, make sure to check the back. Trouble areas include rugs in the bathroom and rugs under potted plants.

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