Tips & Tools

How To Clean Oriental Rugs

Care and Cleaning Of Oriental Rugs

A well-chosen Oriental rug can be the soul of any room. And in a high traffic area they can become soiled very quickly. Here are some tips on helping your Oriental rug look its best and retain its value.

Does Your Oriental Rug Have Flat Woven Or Pile Construction?

Oriental Rugs

Flat woven Oriental rugs such Dhurries and Kilims do not have the soil hiding attributes that pile construction offers. In fact, they tend to hold soils at the surface and can become unsightly in traffic areas, especially if not properly maintained.

Oriental rugs with pile constructions (Persian, Chinese, etc.) are possibly the most efficient soil hiding floor coverings of them all.

While this is a positive in many ways, it does have its drawbacks.

Soils that go unseen can act like sandpaper and can cause your carpet to wear. Unfortunately vacuuming may not be enough to remove dried on soils that have worked their way to the backing.

Here are some tips for cleaning your oriental rug.

Vacuum Cleaning

It is a good idea to vacuum Oriental rugs regularly to prevent the natural fibers from becoming packed down by excess traffic. 

You should vacuum your oriental rug outside on a clean surface and be careful not to get the fringe stuck in the sweeper. You will want to vacuum both sides of your oriental rug to remove dirt in the backing.

Rug Beating

It used to be a common practice to take rugs outside and beat them. This is still an excellent way to remove dried on dirt, grime and unwanted soils. Manually beating a filthy Oriental rug laden with dust can help remove dried in soils. This can take time and hard work, however it will help to remove deep-set dust, dirt and grime.

Another more practical way is to turn the Oriental rug upside- down and run a beater-bar vacuum over the back side. This will dislodge much of the soil deep in the pile.

Air Dusting

If you own professional air blowing equipment you can use it to air to blow the dirt before cleaning your oriental rug. This will loosen any soil and help the fibers relax.

Watch Out For Rayon

There are an alarming number of rayon Oriental rugs being passed off as silk, Persian Orientals. These rugs wear quickly and have poor resiliency, meaning they don’t bounce back easily. Rayon’s don’t have soil-hiding qualities like real silk or wool.

The thing that makes rayon oriental rugs so difficult is that water spills can cause unsightly distortion of the pile that typically can’t be corrected.

Rayon Oriental rugs should never be wet cleaned. Unfortunately, wet cleaning rayon will flatten the pile and it will never again look the same.

Can I Use Water On My Real Oriental Rug?

Unfortunately you should NEVER steam clean your Oriental rugs. Hot-water pressure can cause dyes to migrate onto other parts of the rug and cause discoloration. Detergents can break down the fibers.

You should always consult with a professional when washing oriental rugs.

Let The Professionals Help You Clean Your Oriental Rug

Because of their delicate nature, it is recommended that you schedule professional cleaning once a year.

Oriental rugs are excellent for high traffic areas. Because Oriental rugs can last a lifetime, you can pass them on to family members as heirlooms, but only when you care for them properly.

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