An Oriental rug is a work of art whose beauty and detail can be restored by regular cleaning. You can prevent your rug from excess soiling by removing your shoes when entering the house and walking on it only with bare feet or socked feet. But how can you determine if it’s in fact time to clean your Oriental rug? There are two methods to determine if your Oriental rug is ready for a good cleaning. One is to pick up a corner of the rug and kick it from behind with your foot to see how much dust and dirt flies into the air. The other method is to slap the rug with a clean open hand for about a minute, then see if your hand is dirty.
The first step in the cleaning process is to vacuum both sides of the rug, then hang the rug outside and beat it with a carpet beater or heavy stick to remove any remaining dirt.
Shampoo and Water
Carry your rug outdoors to a clean flat space, preferably in a patio or garage out of direct sunlight. Test a small portion of the rug with mild rug shampoo to be sure that the colors won’t run. Then continue wetting down the rest of the rug with cool water and shampoo using mild rug shampoo both front and back, applying the shampoo using a soft-bristled brush or firm sponge. Don’t forget to shampoo the rug’s fringes as well.
Cool Water Rinse
Using a garden hose running cool water, completely rinse both front and back of your Oriental rug after shampooing, along with the fringes, making sure that any trace of rug shampoo is completely rinsed away. Using a window squeegee, run the blade along the surface of the rug to remove any excess water. Push the squeegee along in the direction of the nap. It’s important to remove as much water from the rug as possible.
Making sure the rug is laying flat with no bumps or distortions, allow the rug to dry in place or move into an airy, sunny spot to hasten the drying process. Once the nap on the front of the rug feels dry, turn the rug over so that the back of the rug dries completely as well. To avoid mold or mildew, do not place the rug back into your house until it has thoroughly dried. If the nap feels a bit stiff after the cleaning process, run the vacuum cleaner over the rug.
An annual cleaning of your Oriental rug will extend its lifespan and provide you with many years of service and beauty.