Sotheby’s sold the most expensive oriental rug ever in 2013 for an eye-watering $33 million. While the majority of oriental (or Persian) rugs cost nowhere near that amount, they are still hand-made, durable, and most consist of 100% wool.
They are worth every penny. And if you want your prized possession to last, you need to know how to clean oriental rugs and care for them well.
You could do everything right. You could place your oriental rug away from heavy foot traffic and out of direct sunlight. But, it will still need cleaning from time to time.
Here is a handy guide on how to care for an oriental rug to keep it looking vibrant for many years.
Step 1: Remove Surface-Level Dirt
When cleaning oriental rugs, start by removing debris that gets trapped in the fibers of the wool. If your rug is new and robust, you can use a carpet cleaning machine like an upright or handheld vacuum. Run the vacuum cleaner in the direction of the fibers and be as gentle and slow as possible.
Avoid the fringing when you vacuum.
But if you are caring for oriental rugs that are older and woven with silk, a vacuum cleaner will be too rough. Instead, opt for a dry brush or hang it outside and beat it.
Never steam clean your oriental rug.
Step 2: Use a Gentle Cleaning Mixture
There are two things you need to keep in mind when you hand wash an oriental rug. The first is stain removal and the second is washing the rest of the rug.
Let’s start with stain removal. Mix 1/4 cup of white vinegar with some warm water and half a tsp of non-bio laundry detergent. Dab a cloth in the mixture and blot the stain.
This mixture is what you should use on the fringe part of your rug, too. Whether it is hand-woven or machine-woven, it is still very delicate. Submerge part of your cloth in the mixture and rub the fringe, one cord at a time, while being gentle.
Next, wash the rest of the rug. Mix a special liquid wool cleaner with warm water in a bucket. Using a dry nylon brush, pick up the sudsy liquid and brush the wool in the direction of the pile. Focus on one small section at a time before moving on.
After you’ve finished, lay the rug flat to air dry for two to three days. Vacuum again to remove any of the leftover soap residues.
Step 3: Still Not Clean? Hire a Professional
Figuring out how to clean oriental rugs at home can be daunting. They are expensive. And if you have a well-soled rug, you should think about investing in a professional oriental rug cleaning service.
They will be able to bring out the colors and make the whites shine far brighter than any household cleaning product.
How To Clean Oriental Rugs in Three Simple Steps
Figuring out how to clean oriental rugs at home isn’t difficult. You only need a gentle hand and the right cleaning product. And when all else fails, you can always enlist the skills of a professional oriental rug cleaner, too.
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