Cleaning and maintenance of an Oriental rug is the work of a specialist. You should not attempt to do major cleaning work at home unless if you have the knowledge and the means to do so. The tips we are providing here should be used with caution and are only to be used for small stains. Use your own judgment in proceeding with any of the methods prescribed here. Our recommendations come from years of experience and can only work using exact methods we describe in this section.
We do not take any responsibility for what may happen as a result of our recommendations.
Oriental rugs should be vacuumed on a regular basis. Depending on the usage and amount of traffic a rug needs to be vacuumed at least once a week. Using a beater brush is not a problem. The one place you must avoid vacuuming is the fringe. Vacuuming fringes can unravel them and cause other problems.
Cleaning your Rugs
Oriental rugs can last a long time provided you give them the right care and attention. Depending on usage and amount of traffic a rug should be cleaned professionally at least once every three years. Though a rug may not look dirty it can accumulate dirt that is not visible to the eye. In addition dust can accumulate at the bottom of the pile and over time cause what is known as "dry rot", destroying the foundation.
Some Stain removal Methods
Use only cold water and mild detergent to clean shoe dirt or some food stains. Use one or two drops of a mild dish soap to a full glass of cold water. Try a clean rag or towel by using the lather from your cleaning solution and not make the stained area too wet. Blot out the area immediately using a dry towel. Some oil based stains can be cleaned using a mild cleaning solvent that is fast drying and is available at your local hardware store.
Bleeding and Color Fastness Issues
An alternative cleaning solution to soap could be white vinegar. Make a mixture of two part vinegar with one part water to a glass to make your cleaning solution. This solution may be good for cleaning flat weaves such as Kilims and Sumak rugs. Some rugs and Kilims are not color fast and the dye may run as the result of cleaning them with water. If the item you are trying to clean already shows signs of color bleeding do not attempt at cleaning it. If you are unsure of the color fastness of your rug you may test an area using a damp cloth. Rub it against a strong color; let's say a dark red and see if the cloth absorbs the color. If so do not proceed with cleaning a stained area. Many new rugs from Iran are not color fast. Almost all silk rugs from Iran are not color fast. Many older kilims either Turkish or Persian are not color fast.
Most animal stains if not taken care of immediately can cause bleeding of the dye. Getting rid of cat or dog urine is a major task that usually requires soaking a rug in a tank of water for at least 24 hours. This cleaning method can not be done at home and must be done by a professional rug cleaner only. In most cases animal urine will get mixed with water and can be drained out of the rug successfully. However getting rid of an animal stain may not be easy. If the rug is a sculpted Chinese there is nothing you can do to remove the stain. Again we can get rid of the urine using the above mentioned method but can not remove the stain. In Persian rugs or rugs from India or Pakistan in most cases we can remove the urine as well as the animal stain.
Moths - the Invisible Enemy!
Be aware of an invisible enemy that could be destroying your rug. Moths can cause extensive damage to Oriental rugs by attacking the pile, fringes, and the knots on the back of the rug.
Flying clothes moths do not eat your rugs, but their eggs hatch into larvae that consume wool, fur, feather, and silk fibers. Moths and their larvae thrive in dark, undisturbed areas where a rug gets little traffic and is not often vacuumed. A bad infestation sometimes leaves a cobweb-like blanket in the area of the damage, along with fine, sand-like debris.
Frequent rotation, vacuuming, and regular exposure to light and air will keep moths away. If your rug is rarely used, you can safeguard against moths by spraying the front and back of your carpet every six to eight months with a moth deterrent or insecticide.
To store your rug, wrap it in a breathable fabric. Do not use plastic, as it can rot or mildew. Placing the wrapped rug in a chest with a moth deterrent is the ideal storage. A rug stored in a damp or humid area will mildew, which will weaken and discolor the fibers. Hot and poorly ventilated storage areas will dry out the base of the rug, making it brittle, and consequently destroying the rug’s strength and durability. Remember to inspect the rug often.