While a daily vacuum is a great way to keep your Oriental rug looking great year-round, it’s also a very good idea to do a deep steam clean annually. This helps get rid of any built-up dirt and allergens that are hiding deep in the pile, and extends the life of your rug by decades. Here’s how to do it:
Prepare the Area
The first step is to prepare the area for the cleaning. Remove any furniture off the entire rug so that you can clean it all at once. Then vacuum the rug normally to remove any dirt off the surface of the rug. Big debris can actually clog a steam cleaner, so be sure you do this thoroughly. Additionally, you may want to remove the rug pad underneath the rug if you have one
Use a Stain Remover First if Necessary
If there are any areas on your Oriental rug that are badly stained, start with a carpet stain remover. Scrub the carpet stain remover into the spot with a cloth or a brush, being careful not to spread the stain around to unstained areas. You don’t have to get it all up, but start loosening the stain so that the steam cleaner can work its magic.
Next, it’s time to steam clean! Follow the instructions on your steam cleaner to prepare the water/cleaner solution, fill the tank, and turn it on. Put the cleaner on vacuum mode, and be sure that you are holding down the steam button if necessary. Then starting at a smooth edge, pull the nozzle backwards towards the other smooth edge. Continue like this until the entire rug has been steam cleaned. You may want to go over it several times.
Finish with a Vacuum
Next, vacuum in the same way with the steam cleaner, but without holding down the steam button. The goal of this step is to get up as much of the water as you can so that the rug dries faster. Don’t do this with your regular vacuum – the water will ruin it! Be sure that you are working from a smooth edge to a smooth edge to avoid pulling at the fringe.
Once you are done, you’ll want to prop the carpet up so that air can circulate both above and below it. This will help the entire rug dry more quickly, and prevent mildew if you didn’t get all the water out.
Be sure you are watching the water tank of the steam cleaner while you vacuum. The water should usually be swirling around in the tank, and you shouldn’t hear any gurgling sounds. If you do, or if the water is stagnant inside the tank, you likely need to empty the tank. You could have to do this several times.
Now your carpet is good as new!