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How to Clean an Oriental Rug

How to clean an oriental rug

Oriental rugs are beautiful home accessories that last for years, even centuries. However, it is imperative that oriental rugs receive proper care and cleaning, so their beauty and quality can be preserved. Oriental rugs should be cleaned whenever they look or feel soiled; normally that is every three to five years, but if the rug is in a high traffic area, more frequent cleanings might be necessary.


Vacuuming frequently can keep an Oriental rug clean. Not only does vacuuming remove dust, it helps restore life to the carpet fibers.

Spot Removal

When spills or stains occur, the best action is to remove the spill promptly. Dilute the stain with a little water, and blot with clean cloth or paper towel from the outside towards the center of the spill. Doing this prevents outward bleeding of the stain. If the spot needs more weapons than just water, use a mild detergent and a clean cloth and keep blotting and gently rubbing. Do not rub vigorously.

Check for Soiling

Take your hand and brush it across the rug in a forceful arc pattern for about ten seconds. If your hand becomes dirty, then it is time to clean the Oriental rug.

Cleaning the Whole Rug

It is recommended that steam or chemicals never be used to clean the rug because they will damage the fibers. The first step is to vacuum both sides of the rug. Then place the rug on a clean tarp. Using cool water, mild liquid soap and a firm, non-shedding sponge, gently brush the rug in the direction of its nap. Do not go against the nap since that will damage the fibers. Rinse thoroughly with running water. Do not squeeze, wring, or twist the rug in attempts to remove water. Use a squeegee in the direction of the nap to remove excess water. Then lay out flat to dry out of the sun or use a hair dryer set on cold. When one side is fully dry, turn it over. When completely dry on both sides, gently comb or brush the rug in the direction of its nap.



Jacobsen, Charles W.. Facts About Oriental Rugs. Carmel: Naismith Press, 2008. Print.

Eiland, Emmett. Oriental Rugs Today: A Guide to the Best New Carpets from the East. 2 ed.  Berkeley Hills Books, 2003. Print.

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