Oriental and Persian rugs can bring a touch of class to any home. With their striking designs and traditional hand-weaving methods, they have a depth and beauty unmatched by lesser rugs. However, because of the natural fibres and traditional methods of manufacture, oriental and Persian rugs can be more delicate than other rugs and carpeting. And that means they require some special maintenance and cleaning to keep them looking great.
But regularly cleaning these rugs is about more than keeping them looking great. Careful rug and carpet cleaning can also extend their life. When properly cared for, a rug can last anywhere from 20 to over 100 years. It can be something you pass through the family for generations.
So let’s have a look at how you clean a delicate oriental or Persian rug without damaging it.
Vacuuming is Key
When it comes to carpet cleaning, you can’t go wrong with a quality vacuum cleaner. This handy tool will help keep your rug in top condition.
If left alone, your rug may start to look discoloured and even begin to smell. A good vacuum, however, will remove any dirt, dust and pet hair that has accumulated on your rug.
But it’s not just about giving your rug a quick once-over. There are actually some important things to remember if you want to avoid damaging your rug while vacuuming.
For starters, to remove as much dirt and dust as possible, you should vacuum each side three times. As you vacuum, follow the direction of the rug fibres. Otherwise, you may start to pull out the fibres.
Additionally, avoid vacuuming any fringes. These can easily get tangled and stuck in the vacuum. You may even need to cut them to remove them.
Also, turn off the beater bar on your vacuum and switch to the upholstery attachment. The beater bar is the contoured bar fixed to the brush rolls. It’s designed to agitate the carpet fibres and loosen the dust. However, for older and more delicate rugs, this action can quickly worsen minute damage, like small tears from pet claws.
The upholstery attachment is better suited to vacuuming rugs as it provides a gentler clean and is less likely to pull out the fibres of your rug.
Shake it off
If you don’t have time to vacuum, you can always shake out your rug. Do this carefully to remove any loose dirt without damaging the rug. If the rug is too big or heavy to handle on your own, make sure you have help to shake it out. Avoid beating your rug as this can cause tears.
If an accident happens and something is spilled on your carpet, you need to act fast. You have less than 15 minutes before a stain settles into the fibres.
Blot up the liquid with dry paper towels or a sponge. Don’t rub, otherwise you can push the liquid deeper into the carpet fibres. This method should suck up the majority of the spill and leave no stain.
Avoid using commercial stain removers on delicate or valuable rugs if you haven’t tried them before. They may stain, fade or otherwise damage your rug.
Deep Clean too
Every so often, you should also deep clean your rug. This will make it feel brand new and remove any unpleasant odours.
Follow your usual vacuuming routine, ensuring you get rid of as much dust and dirt as possible.
With the vacuuming done, you can mix up a solution of rug shampoo and water. Choose a rug shampoo that is designed for your type of rug material. Always follow the directions on the packaging to ensure it’s properly mixed and applied.
Apply the solution to a sponge and then gently scrub the rug fibres. If you haven’t used this rug shampoo before, test it on a small inconspicuous spot first. This way, if the shampoo fades or discolours the fibres, it won’t be noticeable. Once you’re confident that the cleaning product won’t damage the rug, you can go ahead with the full clean.
When the entirety of the rug is scrubbed, rinse it. Squeeze out any excess water by using a squeegee rather than wringing it. Wringing can pull the fibres out and damage your rug.
Once you’ve gotten rid of as much as water as possible, hang the rug up to dry. While sunlight can help it dry more quickly, be wary of leaving your rug in direct sunlight. This can cause your rug to fade or may damage the fibres. Partial shade is best, particularly if there is a good breeze.
Alternatively, call a professional cleaning service to deep clean your rug for you. They can get the job done quickly and thoroughly.
Keep a Schedule
To keep your rug in good condition, you should aim to vacuum it at least once every two weeks. You may need to increase the frequency, however, if your rug sits in a high-traffic area or you have small children and pets. Use your best judgement to clean it before it becomes overly dirty.
Limit deep cleans to once or twice a year. Over cleaning may cause your rug to wear out faster.
It doesn’t take all that much effort to clean an oriental and Persian rug, but the results are stunning. You can enjoy your beautiful rug for years to come.