How to Clean Oriental Rugs

How to Clean Oriental Rugs

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How to Clean Oriental Rugs

An oriental rug is an excellent addition to your home. They brighten up your room, give you an interesting talking point, and are usually totally unique so that you can be confident in the value of your rug.

As an art form, oriental rugs can actually gain value over time, as long as you keep them looking great and restore them to their former glory if they age or become damaged.

But because oriental rugs can be delicate, it’s not just a case of scrubbing away any stains. For this reason, it’s a good idea to ask for the help of a professional rug cleaner or restorer to ensure your rug’s fibers don‘t become damaged and irreparable during the cleaning process.

Oriental Rug Restoration

Oriental rugs are perfect for any room in the home. However, this means that they can become damaged if you have children or pets or if they’re laid in high-traffic areas such as hallways. The fibers could also develop a misshapen appearance if they are placed underneath heavy furniture, which warps the material.

In these cases, it’s not as easy as patching a hole or scrubbing a stain. That’s why it’s important that you understand the repair process in full, so you know exactly how to improve your rug’s appearance without causing further damage.

Professional Oriental Rug Cleaning

While rug cleaning can be done in your own home, it takes a lot longer than you’d think to clean an oriental rug so you may need specialist cleaning solutions to do the job properly.

For this reason, it’s probably cheaper and definitely less time-consuming to hire a professional oriental rug cleaner to do the job for you.

The process they go through is split into several stages:

Debris Removal

Because your rug is underfoot, and not just yours, but the feet of your child who has just come home from football or your pet who was swimming the in the lake, there will be a lot of debris on your rug. Sometimes the particles are small and not visible but leaving them there can cause mold to develop later.

Running the hoover over the rug with the beater bar set as high as possible will pull anything obvious out of the rug without scraping away pieces of the fiber.

The direction of the fibers must be followed to prevent excess pulling and pattern movement.

For the edges, an upholstery attachment should be used to avoid sucking up the fringes and causing extra damage.

Some professional rug cleaners will go for the old-fashioned hanging and beating method, which also works, and gives it that traditional cleaning edge.

Cleaning Solutions

Most oriental rugs are made of wool, while some thinner and more expensive variations are silk. For this reason, it’s recommended to use cool water, rather than hot and to purchase a neutral pH cleaning solution that is specifically designed for rug cleaning.

Harsh chemicals or hot water could cause the colors to bleed, especially if your rug is authentic, as it’s made from natural dyes.

Apply the suds to a section of the rug with a soft cloth and work in with one finger to get any stains out. But don’t scrub! Scrubbing damages the fibers which can ruin your rug.

Fringe Cleaning

You will notice the fringes on your rug getting dirty before anything else. That’s because they’re the sections of the rug that move around most and pick up most dirt.

How to Clean Oriental Rugs

A professional rug cleaner will comb out your fringes using a soft brush and then use a combination of vinegar and baking soda to remove any stains or odors. They will then wash off your fringes with a solution of cold water and pH-neutral detergent to remove any vinegary smells. This solution also locks in the fiber and strengthens it, meaning it’s less likely to fray when it’s walked on.

Rinsing Detergent

Once the rug has been cleaned, a squeegee will be used to remove any leftover water. This should be done in the same direction as the fibers in the rug to prevent fraying or pattern distortion. Removing any left-over cleaning products will bring out the colors in the rug, restoring it to a brand-new feel.

Drying Your Rug

One of the most important steps to cleaning a rug is to make sure it’s well and dry before it goes back onto the floor. Leaving the rug damp could lead to mold and fungus, which may ruin your rug forever. The damp smell can also be quite unpleasant in your home.

How to Clean Oriental Rugs

Wool retains water, so it’s a good idea to air out the rug as soon as possible. Leaving the rug outside on a sunny day will work as long as it’s hanging. However, if you want to clean your rug in the winter, this may not be feasible.

A professional rug cleaner will have a drying room that is equipped to dry your rug perfectly in any weather.

Deep Cleaning Your Oriental Rug

One of the biggest benefits of using a professional rug cleaning service is that they’ll have special tools and equipment designed to deep clean your rug without causing any damage.

One of the most used items is a type of steam cleaner. Although no hot steam is used, as this could damage the fabrics, the machine lightly sprays the cleaning solution at a speed and potency that gets the solution right into all the crevices. This is much more effective than anyone could do with their hands and makes for a great deep clean.

The service will also consider your rug as a whole. While most people concentrate on the upper side of the rug, the underside is actually incredibly important for maintaining the strength of the fibers. A professional rug cleaner will hang your rug and use a deep cleaning solution and top-notch drying techniques on both sides of your rug.


Conducting a regular deep clean of your oriental rugs is necessary for maintaining their value and amazing appearance. However, the whole process can be time-consuming and requires a lot of patience.

If you don’t have the time to dedicate to the cleaning, or you’re worried about damaging your rug, then a professional rug cleaning service is the best option. They know exactly how to treat a rug to restore the colors and beautiful patterns and are guaranteed to give your rug the time, care, and attention that it needs.