The Dos and Don’ts of Cleaning Oriental Rugs

Nothing can add old-world charm and character to a room quite like a gorgeous oriental rug. Filled with rich, bold colors and intricate designs, they’re an eye-catching and inviting addition to any space. 

However, these rugs can also be a significant investment. Once you bring yours home, you want to make sure it stays in great condition.

The only catch? Cleaning oriental rugs can be a little tricky! Today, we’re sharing the dos and don’ts to remember as you spot-treat yours with care. 

Do: Vacuum the Rug Regularly

This is one of the simplest parts about caring for oriental rugs! We do encourage you to vacuum yours on a regular basis, using a high-pile setting.

As you do, focus your efforts on the center of your rug. Steer clear of the perimeter, where you may snag the delicate side binding or intricate fringe.

Do: Invest in Occasional Professional Cleaning

Every three to five years, go ahead and take your rug to an expert who specializes in professional rug and carpet cleaning. We suggest this step even if your rug looks clean! Due to their design, it’s easy for small particles to become trapped in the fibers and degrade them over time. 

Do: Clean Spills Quickly

Don’t let spills sink into your carpet. If allowed to do so, they can become permanently embedded once they dry. As soon as possible, start blotting the stain.

Unless you’re using a commercial product designed specifically to treat oriental rugs, stick with cold water and a white cloth. If that doesn’t do the trick, then you can use gentle dish detergent diluted with water. Test the solution on a discreet section of your rug first. 

Don’t: Use Steam or Hot Water to Clean

While cold water is generally safe, we do not recommend applying hot water to your rug, or cleaning it with steam. Hot water can negatively affect the dyes in your rug and cause them to bleed, while steam can remove the natural lanolin oil from its woolen fibers.

Both actions could make your rug appear dried out, worn, and faded. 

Don’t: Use Any Ordinary Cleaner

If you spill something on your oriental rugs, it’s tempting to reach for your go-to carpet cleaner. However, keep in mind that your oriental rug is likely made of wool, while your carpet is made of synthetic fibers, such as nylon. It also contains special dyes that aren’t normally present in carpet.

As such, most cleaners are too harsh for its delicate fibers. It isn’t worth risking it, so stick to cold water and mild soap.

Don’t: Take Your Rug to the Dry Cleaner’s

Only trust your rug to a specialized company that knows exactly how to clean it. For best results, look online for a company that advertises experience in cleaning oriental rugs, Persian rugs, and kilim rugs.

Your neighborhood dry cleaner’s might seem like a gentle, effective cleaning option but it’s unlikely they possess the tools, expertise, and bandwidth required for the job.

Cleaning Oriental Rugs Made Easy

You don’t have to walk on eggshells every time you’re around your rug.

Thanks to these steps above, you know that cleaning oriental rugs doesn’t have to be complicated. With the correct materials and the right approach, you can keep yours looking as fresh and clean as the day you bought it.

For more home tips, be sure to keep checking our blog!