Unlocking the Secrets of Oriental Rug Cleaning

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Updated on:

September 4, 2023

Thread by Thread: Frontload Cleaning Dos and Don'ts for Antique Rugs

Antique rugs, particularly exquisite oriental rugs and wool varieties, possess a timeless charm that transcends generations. These vintage pieces not only tell a story of artistry and craftsmanship but also bear the weight of history beneath their intricate patterns. However, maintaining the beauty and integrity of such treasures requires a delicate touch and an understanding of the rug's fibers composition.

In this article, we'll delve into the essential dos and don'ts of cleaning oriental rugs, exploring the intricate journey of thread by thread preservation for these extraordinary floor coverings.

Key Takeaways

  • Antique Rug Care: Preserving the beauty and history of antique oriental rugs requires delicate maintenance.
  • Cleaning Tips: Vacuum regularly, avoid harsh chemicals, and opt for steam cleaning for delicate rugs.
  • Expert Advice: Consult professionals for valuable vintage rugs to prevent potential damage during cleaning.

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Are Oriental Rugs and Persian Rugs the Same?

If you want to learn more about oriental carpets on your own, you might be wondering if they are the same as Persian rugs. The simplest answer is that traditionally, rugs classified as oriental are those created in Asia or the Middle East. Only in the Middle East are Persian rugs produced.

This implies that while all Oriental carpets are Persian, not all Oriental rugs are Persian. This is a crucial detail to know in case you come across articles about maintaining Persian rugs. If you like, you can also use those suggestions.

Oriental Rug Cleaning

How To Tell if an Oriental Rug Needs Cleaning?

There are a few ways to tell when to shampoo the rugs in your house. Larger rugs can be examined by lifting up one edge and kicking the majority of the carpet from below. Deep cleaning is required if the impact generates a significant amount of dust or debris, but keep in mind that some dust and carpet fibers are to be expected.

To reveal dirt, one can squat down and use their hand to do so on any size rug. For five to ten seconds, the hand should be vigorously rubbed against the pile fibers of the rug in an arching manner. The carpet or rug needs to be cleaned right away if this makes the person's hand soiled.

A last approach entails inspecting the rug's underside. To inspect the warp and weft, fold it back over on itself. There are signs of grime here, therefore a thorough cleaning is required. A standard vacuuming will not be sufficient to remove the dirt if it is embedded thus deeply into the carpeting.

Cleaning Rugs Do's and Don'ts

Cleaning Rugs Do's and Don'ts

DO Vacuum Often

The fibers of your rug won't become encrusted with dirt and debris if you vacuum it a few times every week. Turn your oriental rug over and use a beater brush to vacuum the backside first because the fibers in oriental rugs make it simple for dirt to pack into them.

Disable your beater brush before vacuuming the front of your rug if it has long strands or fringes. If you don't, you can ruin your rug or end up needing fringe repair. Additionally, vacuuming your oriental rug will keep moth larvae from growing inside of it.

DON'T Sweep

Never sweep an oriental rug's top or bottom. Its fibers could be harmed by doing so.

Additionally, because many oriental rugs were handwoven, the weave pattern could be ruined by a broom's bristles. You can prevent the need for vintage rug fibers repair by not sweeping them.

DO Spot Clean Vintage Rugs

No matter how careful you are, something will inevitably spill on your oriental rug. There are a few things to remember whether it's juice, cat urine, or any other spill:

  • Care for the stain right away.
  • Blot the stain carefully with a white cloth.
  • On the stain, apply club soda, white vinegar, baking soda, or mild detergent.
  • Once more dab the spot with the cloth.
  • Continue doing this until the stain is removed.

It's crucial to remember that white vinegar works well to get rid of cat poop. This is as a result of the uric acid that is present being broken down.

DON'T Use Harsh Chemicals

No matter how many articles you read on Persian and oriental rug maintenance, they will all advise against using harsh chemicals on the rugs. The pH balance of textiles like silk and wool can be tampered with by products like bleach and ammonia.

Despite the fact that hot water is not a chemical, avoid using it on your wool rug. The fibers of your rug may also be harmed.

Use either warm water (room temperature is ideal) or cold water when spot cleaning. Additionally, you won't be able to mess with your rug's warp and weft if you do that.

DO Use a Lemon Rinse

No matter how frequently you clean the rugs in your home, scents will occasionally develop. Applying a lemon rinse can aid in getting rid of persistent smells. Simply apply some freshly squeezed lemon juice on your rugs to do the trick. Give the juice two hours to permeate your rugs. The extra lemon juice can then be wiped away with a sponge dipped in lukewarm water.

DON'T Let Moisture Set In

Unbelievably, moisture is one of the main enemies of oriental rugs. This is due to the fact that a wet rug serves as a haven for mold and mildew. Wool rugs may shrink as a result of moisture. Because of this, you should maintain your oriental rug away from moisture, whether it's a smaller area rug or something bigger. Additionally, it's a good idea to hang your rugs outdoors a few times a year. A warm day with minimal to no humidity is required.

DO Put Padding

Placing padding beneath an entire rug might help you use rug repair services less frequently. Your rugs will keep their form and wrinkle less as a result. Padding also prevents carpets from sliding on hardwood floors, which is an added benefit.

DON'T Walk On Rugs

By limiting traffic, you can save time and money whether you want to clean your carpet yourself or use one of the local rug cleaning companies. Keep folks away from your rugs, please. Teach your animals to avoid them. A no-shoes policy in your home may also be advantageous. Less dirt and debris will get up on your oriental rugs if people end up stepping on them as a result.

DO Find a Professional Rug Cleaner

Even if you can clean your rug at home, it's still a good idea to get it professionally cleaned occasionally. The majority of rug experts advise doing this every two years. Professional cleaning of oriental rugs will offer top-notch area rug cleaning services to restore your rug's original beauty.

How To Clean Oriental Rugs in the Washing Machine

These are some safety measure getting your rug machine washed:

  1. You can wash a rug with rubber backing. If you don't use bleach or a dryer, it should be entirely safe. While bleach may cause the rubber to flake off, dryer heat may hasten deterioration.
  2. Check the care label on your rug to see if there are any specific washing instructions before learning how to wash a rug in the washing machine. Pay attention to the warning that the rug should only be dry washed if it is specified on the label to prevent damage.
  3. Make sure your rug is small enough to go in the washing machine. If your rug is too large or you are washing more than two or three smaller rugs, use a laundromat's larger industrial washer.
  4. You might want to clean your washer after cleaning your carpets to keep it working efficiently.

Washing Machine Cleaning

1. Remove Dirt and Dust

Before washing a rug in the washing machine, shake off any loose dirt outside to lighten the burden on the washer. Shake the rug vigorously several times with your hands, or strike it against something sturdy. This will get rid of pet hair and filth that may otherwise clog the washer.

2. Treat Stains

For cleaner results, treat any significant stains before washing a rug in the laundry. After using the detergent directly on the stain, carefully rub it in with an old toothbrush. Give the detergent 15 minutes to settle before washing.

3. Proper Washer Loading

For maximum results, a rug should be correctly inserted into the washing machine. Here's how to load the rug depending on the type of machine you have:

Place the rug in an even circle all the way around a top-loading washer's agitator. Add additional bath towels as needed to achieve equilibrium.

Wash two small rugs simultaneously in a front-loading washer, or balance the load by adding one or two bath towels.

4. Wash in the Gentle Mode

To wash a rug in the washing machine, use the delicate cycle, cold water, and a gentle detergent. Add bleach if you'd like, but only oxygen-based bleach should be used on rubber-backed rugs.

5. Air Dry

Air drying your rug will keep it from shrinking and fading. Make sure to wring out all the excess water before so it dries faster.

To keep your rug out of direct sunshine, just hang it over a fence or railing, a clothesline, or a drying rack to let the rug air dry without getting it faded by the sun. If the rug is really wrinkled after drying, use a low-heat iron or the tumble dry low setting on the dryer.

Rugs That Should NOT Be Washed In the Washing Machine

Rugs That Should NOT Be Washed In the Washing Machine

In general, natural fiber carpets can either not be machine washed or cannot be washed at all. This group includes any form of wool, silk, or jute rug. The carpet fibers in these rugs will absorb and hold onto water, making the drying process difficult.

Additionally, because they are often too heavy for any type of washing machine, they should be properly cleaned in accordance with the manufacturer's instructions. Because they are too heavy and will become soggy, shag rugs and even synthetic sheepskin rugs shouldn't be machine washed. There are also some synthetic rug styles to stay away from.

Other washable area rugs are frequently constructed of lighter cotton, synthetic fiber, or blends of these materials. A rug made of microfiber or light cotton can be washed in your washing machine.

Another feature of certain rugs is a removable rug "cover" that can be taken off of its rubber backing and cleaned in a washing machine. Since they will work better in a washing machine, washable carpets typically have a tighter weave and a deeper pile.

Expert Tips For At Home Rug Cleaning

Expert Tips For At Home Rug Cleaning

  1. To stop stains from adhering to carpet and rug fibers, treat them all right away.
  2. Avoid using cleaning solutions too liberally. However, they shouldn't be left resting in a pool of liquid as this could spread the stain to unaffected fibers and make cleaning and drying even more challenging. Affected fibers should be completely soaked with the solution.
  3. Dilute cleaning solution only with cold water. Hot water may make some materials easier to remove, but the heat also locks displaced color pigments into the carpet's strands.
  4. Use cleaning agents only as required. Liquid cleaning solutions can often be used to clear up many spills without running the danger of scattering the particles.
  5. It is never a good idea to scrub or massage stains. Utilize a push, release, and readjust cloth in a continuous dabbing motion. As necessary, repeat the procedure.
  6. Never attempt to remove a stain with colored or printed paper products or cloths. Ideal are white cotton clothes and rags.
  7. Move toward the center of the stain or spill starting at the edge.
  8. If necessary, gently brush off any remaining stain residue using a toothbrush with soft haired bristles or a garment brush.
  9. If necessary, dry the cleaned area with a hair dryer or fan, especially if the rug is in a heavy traffic area where any moisture left behind will draw dirt.
  10. Use a soft bristled brush to restore the pile of the carpet or rug. Make sure to massage the fibers with the nap and not against the direction of the pile.
Steam Cleaning the Best Cleaning Method

Why Is Steam Cleaning the Best Cleaning Method?

Steam cleaners are a preferred choice for cleaning Oriental and vintage rugs due to their gentle and non-abrasive cleaning method. They effectively remove dirt, stains, and allergens while preserving the delicate fibers and intricate designs of these rugs. Steam cleaning is eco-friendly, helps maintain the rug's natural oils, and ensures a quicker drying time.

However, it's important to verify rug compatibility and employ proper technique to prevent damage, especially for valuable or fragile vintage rugs. Consulting with a professional rug cleaner is often recommended for these precious pieces.

We recommend using out Fortador Volt Mini steamer to get your rugs cleaned. You can manipulate the power of steam for a gentle but thorough deep clean. A steamer makes deep cleaning oriental rugs much easier and faster, since you do not need to use any chemicals in order to get rid of stains,

About the Authors

Kristina Tretyakova
Distinguished as a South Florida Top-10 student in 2021. Studying Marketing and Business Administration at FIU. Proficient in daily operations and skilled in cleaning, auto detailing and copywriting.
Marek Chaciński
Becoming a Maestro in Production Process Optimization. Unleashing the potential to enhance efficiency, elevate quality, and amplify output, leading to remarkable and sustainable outcomes

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