DIY cleaning of an oriental rug

Oriental rugs are beautiful accessories that add life, color and vibrancy to your home. However, they can also become dirty and soiled, even stained, through everyday use. Oriental rug cleaning will keep them looking bright and bold, but there are several costly mistakes that you’ll need to avoid when cleaning oriental rugs. We’ll look at four of the most important ones to avoid below.


Using a Dry Cleaner

When you have delicate clothing that cannot be washed and dried at home, you turn to a dry cleaner. Many dry cleaners also advertise that they can take care of stains and dirt on rugs, but this is not recommended. Dry cleaning relies on harsh chemicals that can ruin your Oriental rug, particularly if it’s an authentic wool or silk rug. It can also cause warping to the rug fibers and damage the rug itself. Professional rug cleaning companies use gentler cleaning methods to ensure no damage is sustained.


Bleach-Based Cleansers

A stain on your Oriental rug can seem like a catastrophe. Quick! Grab your cleaning spray and take care of it. Actually, don’t do that. One of the worst things you can do is to use standard household cleaning spray on a delicate Oriental rug (or any rug or carpet for that matter). Household cleaners often contain bleach, which will discolor any fabric, and can cause damage to the fibers in an Oriental rug. Even non-bleach based cleaners can cause serious damage.


Steam Cleaning and Frequent Vacuuming

While steam cleaning is the right choice for standard rugs in your home, it is not the appropriate choice for cleaning Oriental rugs. Oriental rugs can be made from either wool or silk, and both can be damaged by hot steam/water and the chemicals in the cleaner used with these machines. Along the same lines, vacuuming Oriental rugs should be avoided. If you simply must vacuum, make sure you do it no more often than once or twice a month, and that you use a canister vacuum cleaner with the beater bar set very high.


Washing in the Washing Machine

Oriental rugs need to be swept and washed to keep them clean and in good condition. However, trying to use your washing machine to clean a fine wool Oriental rug will cause irreparable damage. Remember – these are handcrafted items and they are quite delicate. While they can last for decades when properly maintained, improper maintenance, including harsh washing, can reduce that lifespan dramatically.

These are just a few of the many mistakes made when trying to clean Oriental rugs. Sweep your rug periodically using a carpet sweeper, and limit the number of times you vacuum it. When serious soiling occurs, turn to the professionals to ensure cleaning is done safely and correctly.

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