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


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/