Oriental rugs bring a level of upscale beauty and atmosphere to a home. They create a unique look that will forever provide you with the perfect conversation starter when you have guests over. However, like anything else in your home, it needs to be cleaned and maintained.
Doing so can be a little tricky since they are such beautiful and delicate rugs, but it’s not impossible. You’ll find that our little guide is actually quite simple, providing you with an effective cleaning method that will take hardly any of your time.
- How to Clean Your Oriental Rug
- How to Maintain Your Oriental Rug
- When to Call the Professionals
- Final Thoughts
How to Clean Your Oriental Rug
In this section, you will find our guide to cleaning your Oriental rug. Gather your tools, sit yourself down, and prepare yourself for the ultimate care guide. The best part? The instructions are simple to follow and sure to make cleaning your rug a lot easier.
1 Step One: Remove Loose Dirt
Take the vacuum cleaner and lightly run it over the surface of the rug. Use the soft dusting brush or crevice attachment to ensure a gentle touch that doesn’t tug too hard at the fibres.
Flip the rug upside down and then repeat the process with the underside. This should be done at least once a month. You should also avoid vacuuming the fringes, instead tucking them under the rug. This is because they can be easily damaged by the suction of the vacuum.
2 Step Two: Dusting the Rug
Take the rug outside and hang it over a bannister or a piece of garden furniture. Next, take a rug beater (or broom handle) and whack the living daylights out of it.
This is actually surprisingly gentle on the material while also removing a lot of dust. Make sure you wear a mask to avoid breathing it all in!
3 Step Three: Vacuum… again
Once it has been beaten, you will need to run the vacuum cleaner over it one more time to finish removing all the loose dust and debris that you have created. Next, you can prep your cleaning area.
This is often a sloped driveway or area in the garden where you can place the rug and excess water will slide off as you clean. You should also either wash the ground first, or place a clean mat over the space the rug is going to be.
4 Step Four: Get it Wet
Once you have placed the rug in the cleaning area, it’s time to get it wet. Have the rug placed face down and check the direction of the pile. Then, soak it with cold running water – ensuring the water is flowing with the pile as opposed to against it.
You can use a garden hose for this part of the process, and you should also ensure that it has been thoroughly soaked before moving onto the next step.
5 Step Five: Shampoo the Rug
Fill your bucket and mix the liquid detergent. Add detergent until you are happy with the mix, and then test it on a small area of the rug first to ensure it doesn’t cause any discolouration.
Once you are clear, you can grab a soft brush and start gently scrubbing the rug. Repeat and add more water as needed.
6 Step Six: Rinsing
Use the hose to rinse all the suds from the rug, and make sure that none are left. You can use the brush to make sure if needed. Once it is completely free from suds, flip the rug and start the process again – working against the pile as opposed to with it this time.
Then, you can rinse the rug again, ensuring that all the suds are gone. If you need to go through step five and six once more you can, but once should be enough for most rugs.
7 Step Seven: Drying
Squeeze excess water from the rug, and once you have got as much as possible out you can place clean towels over the top and walk over them to help squeeze more out. Next, take the rug and hang it up indoors, like in the garage, to dry thoroughly.
Both sides will need plenty of air circulation to dry properly, and you can use a fan to speed up the process. Never use heat lamps or lighting to dry the rug as this can cause permanent warping and damage that cannot be reversed – or even colour fading.
Once it is dry, run your hand over it as it will be a little stiff, maybe even run the vacuum over it one more time, and your rug will be back to its former self.
How to Maintain Your Oriental Rug
Here are some fantastic tips and tricks for maintaining your Oriental rug. This will help extend the period between cleanings and also ensure that your rug remains in excellent condition. Let’s take a look at some of the things you can be doing.
#1 Rotate your rug frequently. This should be done every couple of months, and it helps spread the amount of traffic over your rug so that one side doesn’t become more worn than the other.
#2 Keep the sun away. Sunlight can cause the colours of the rug to fade and become sun-bleached. Rotation can help with this, as well as placing your rug away from direct sunlight.
#3 Spot cleaning. As soon as a spillage occurs, you need to clean it up immediately to prevent stains from happening.
#4 Padding under the rug. This helps to protect the underside, increasing the overall value of your rug. However, it also prevents it from sliding and makes it more comfortable to walk on.
#5 Rearrange furniture. Every six months or so, change the furniture around to create a new pathway over the rug. This helps protect it from grime and better distribute traffic.
#6 Air it out. Consider taking your rug outside every six months or so, giving it a good shake/beating, and then leaving it to air outside is a great way to let the material breathe and also prevent things like mould and mildew forming in a stale environment.
#7 Avoid food and drink near your rug – especially red wine. If you can keep your Oriental rug away from all food and drink, you massively reduce the risk of spillages that could permanently stain your rug, or are at least a lot harder to remove from the fibres.
When to Call the Professionals
Sometimes, it is just too much work for one person. Professional Oriental rug cleaners are able to do all the work for you with fantastic results. The only downside is that while they save you time, they also cost money. Doing it yourself is cheaper, but it can be more work than some people can or want to put in.
Professional services are also fantastic for deodorising rugs and providing specialised steaming services for wool. This should be done once a year if you do go the professional route, and you will likely find that there are plenty to choose from in your local area.
How Much Does it Cost to Clean an Oriental Rug?
If you take your oriental rug to be professionally cleaned, it will cost between £5 and £10 per square foot on average. This price may vary, but you will find that they are roughly within this price guideline.
How Often Should Oriental Rugs be Cleaned?
Oriental rugs should go through a full and thorough cleaning once every three to five years. Maintenance can occur more frequently than this to ensure as much space as possible between full cleaning.
Can You Steam Clean an Oriental Rug?
Yes, you can steam clean an Oriental rug, but this depends on the material it is made from. At best, you can remove some surface dirt using the carpet glider attachment. At worst, you will cause irreparable damage to the fibres and your rug will never be the same again.
Can You Remove Pet Urine from an Oriental Rug?
Yes, you can remove pet urine from an Oriental rug. All you need to do is mix a cup of white vinegar and a cup of water, and then blot it into the urine stain. Allow it to sit for ten minutes, and then gently blot it away until the stain is gone. Leave to dry, and you’re good to go.
Oriental rugs are a gorgeous addition to the home, and they make a room. However, they get dirty easily and need to be maintained if you want them to look their best. Thankfully, our guide is here to save the day and make life easier for you.
Before you know it, you will be enjoying the soft touch of a perfectly clean Oriental rug under your feet. Combined with regular maintenance, you won’t have to worry about dirt and nasty odours building up in the fibres and seeping into your living room.
Gemma Tyler is a freelance journalist with 15 years of experience writing for consumer publications. She has tested and reviewed a wide range of household items from vacuum cleaners to washing machines and dehumidifiers to steam irons. Her attention to detail and exhaustive testing certainly makes her an expert in her field.