Persian Rug Suffer Water Damage? Here’s What to Do

If you have been affected by Hurricane Harvey and are reading this blog to find some information on the next steps you should take to restore your belongings, please read this blog post and contact us. We are offering free written appraisals (the kind required for insurance purposes) for anyone affected by the hurricane. We can also offer advice on what to do if your rug is uninsured. For more information, you can call us at 972-733-0400 or email us at behnam@behnamrugs.com. Please help us spread the word!

Persian and Oriental rugs are very durable and can take quite a beating when it comes to water spillage.

We discussed moth damage in a post last month, so we’ll take on liquid/water damage today.

clean spilled coffee from Persian rug

Accidents and natural disasters happen but we can be proactive and keep dangers away. Rugs again can be restored if flood water or accidental run off from a sink that was not turned off, or water from a potted plant leaking to the rug reaches them. A rug’s cotton weft and warps can be re woven.

Most Oriental and Persian rugs are woven with wool threads, making the rug’s pile quite durable. But many rugs have cotton wefts and warps. The warps — which run from one end of the rug to the other – are where the knots are tied to create the pile as well as the fringe on hand-knotted rugs with fringe. The rug’s weft runs over and under the warps between the rows of knots. If the rug stays wet long enough, the warp/weft’s cotton foundation could be weakened or even rotted through.

We caution against washing rugs at home because they become extremely heavy to maneuver and if the rug stays wet long enough the warp/weft’s cotton foundation could be weakened or even rotted through. Such damage can be repaired but can be costly if not corrected quickly.

So it’s critical that you keep liquid and moisture away from the rug! Make sure the rug stays in a room with good circulation (no humidity). Never place a live potted plant on your rug: it’s only a matter of time until water somehow gets on the rug. Clean up liquid spills immediately and follow these steps as soon as possible:

  • Blot up the spill with paper towels or with a clean white cloth.
  • Daub the spill from its end toward its center to keep the spill from spreading further.
  • Do not rub or move your hand in circular motions. Just blot and daub. Blot and daub.
  • Replace the wet towel/cloth you’re using with a dry one. Blot and daub, etc.
  • As soon as you can (while daubing and blotting), place clean towels under the rug to stop damage to the rug’s weft/warp.
  • Don’t use bleach or soap on the rug; use water only.
  • If you can’t get all of the stain up, call a Persian rug cleaner to clean the stain professionally.
  • If possible, drape the rug over a railing or chair so that its back can dry.
  • Let the rug dry for a few days. Even a rug that feels dry could still retain water in its wool pile. Wool is notorious for retaining water.
  • Move the rug on the railing/chair every few hours so that it’s weight won’t make a “bend” in the carpet where it rests on the railing.
  • If the rug is too large to drape, take it rug to a professional Persian or Oriental rug cleaner to finish the drying process.
  • If you notice that the rug’s colors have run, get the rug to a professional cleaner ASAP.

Never replace the rug on your floor until you’re certain it’s absolutely dry. Leaving it there still damp could cause mold and/or mildew. The water also could eventually cause the rug to rot away in spots, which will require expensive repairs.

If liquid has spilled on your rug and you want to make sure the rug is dried properly and thoroughly, call upon the experts at Persian Rug Cleaner of Dallas. Contact us at 972-447-9600. We are open from 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., Monday-Saturday.

Image courtesy of Mister GC/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

4 thoughts on “Persian Rug Suffer Water Damage? Here’s What to Do

  1. We have been flooded by Harvey. Unfortunately the home owners Persian rug has been sitting in water for two days. Neither the home owners or I the renter can afford to take such a large rug to a professional cleaners. Please advise on how to perhaps save this beautiful rug.

    Madeline Williams

    1. Madeline,

      I am so incredibly sorry for all you’ve been going through. I know you’re probably hearing a lot of, “Well, they were only things! At least you and your family are safe!” but the truth is, our “things” have a lot of sentimental value attached to them. I cannot imagine how heartbreaking this whole ordeal must be for you. You are in our thoughts and prayers.

      I know that there are some Persian rug cleaners in the Houston area, however, sometimes when a rug is flooded, it is essentially “totaled.” The cost of cleaning and repairing the rug after flood damage often exceeds the value of the rug. This is because flood waters absorb anything in their path- trash, sewage, etc.- and this can easily ruin the fibers of the rugs. For larger rugs especially, repairs can be costly. What we recommend doing is having your rug appraised. You will then have an account of the value of the rug before and after damage and a detailed account of the damages in the rug. An appraisal can be used for insurance purposes, so depending on your policy, you may either be able to have your rug replaced or the repairs paid for by your insurance policy.

      That is not to say that your rug cannot be repaired. There is still a good chance that your rug can come out of the flood with little to no damage. Ben, the owner of Behnam Rugs/Persian Rug Cleaner, let me know that on one occasion, a customer’s house caught on fire. The firefighters had to douse everything in the living room with water, so not only did this customer’s Persian rug have debris and smoke damage, but there was now water damage too. The rug ended up needing a good, thorough cleaning and some edge repairs, but the only lasting effect was that the colors became more subtle. I just wanted to let you know that there is still hope for your beautiful rug!

      If your rug is not appraised or has not been appraised in the last three years, please contact us. We are writing free appraisals for anyone who has been affected by Harvey. You can email us at behnam@behnamrugs.com or call us at 9727330400 for more information. I am also going to email you this reply just in case you don’t see it on the website.


  2. My rug just got a little wet on the very edge and now is warped just a bit. Can I put a terry cloth towel over the edge and iron over it to see if it will lay flat again?

    1. Hi Lucy! We do not recommend ironing fine rugs. They are often made of wool and/or silk, and both of these materials area easily burnt by irons. Instead, we recommend placing some weights on your rug, such as some heavy books, to flatten the corner. Good luck!

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