Proper Cleaning Care for Your Persian/Oriental Rug


May1PhotoYour Persian or Oriental rug is a true work of art and while we hope you’ll allow it to be used as it should be – as a floor covering in a room or hallway in your home – you do need to take special care of it.

This includes cleaning it properly.

Read below for Persian Rug Cleaner’s tips on how to properly clean your Persian or Oriental rug.

  • While you’ll want your family and friends to enjoy the beauty and craftsmanship of the rug, you also may want to ask them to remove their shoes when they enter your home. Doing so makes walking on the carpet much easier on your flooring and helps prevent wear and tear on your rug. This also helps track in a lot less dirt.
  • Don’t clean your rug unless it needs it. Rugs in high-traffic areas should probably be cleaned each year while rugs in corners or nooks of a room may need to be cleaned only every few years.
  • To see if your rug needs cleaning, pick up one of its corners and hold it up. Kick the back of the rug and if a cloud of dust and dirt flies out, it needs cleaning. Keep in mind, however, that some dirt/dust in a rug is normal. You also can kneel on the rug and rub its pile briskly with your hand, palm down. If you see dirt on your fingers and palm, it needs cleaning. A third way to tell: fold the rug up (back upon itself). The pile will open up and you’ll see a line of knots. Look into this line and if the warp/weft appears dirty, it’s time to clean the rug.
  • If the rug is small, you can clean it yourself. You’ll need a clean driveway and a sunny day or a clean basement, garage or other large floor that’s well ventilated.
  • Vacuum both sides of the rug.
  • Then shampoo it using a mild liquid soap and cool water (you also can use a rug shampoo but do not use ammonia water or a strong detergent). You should test a small patch first to make sure the rug’s colors don’t run.
  • With a long haired (but soft) brush (you also can use a firm sponge that won’t shed bits of itself), brush the rug’s pile in a straight motion in the same direction as the nap. Don’t scrub too hard. You’ll want to make sure you wet the nap thoroughly with the soapy water.
  • Wash the rug’s fringe with the same soapy solution. You should use a laundry brush and, instead of going in the direction of the nap/pile, you’ll want to brush away from the pile.
  • Then rinse thoroughly with water. A garden hose is fine (this is why you may want to clean your rug on your driveway).
  • Take a rubber window squeegee and squeeze out all the water. Move the squeegee in the direction of the rug’s nap until no more water comes out (this can take a while).
  • Lay the rug flat to dry. Don’t hang it! When its nap feels dry, turn it over to make sure the back dries thoroughly.
  • If you feel that the pile is stiff after the rug has dried, vacuum the rug lightly or brush it.

Image courtesy of Meredith Leigh Collins on