Oriental rugs can be the centerpiece of a room. The walls might be painted neutral colors, but it’s the rug that brings personality to the space. Oriental rugs are usually chosen with care because they often require a hefty investment. How can you care for your oriental rug to prolong its life?
We know it’s important you keep your favorite rug fresh and clean. These tips should help you maintain it for decades.
1. Dab spills. Don’t smear them.
The most important carpet cleaning hack is knowing how to clean when there is a new mess on your oriental rug.
We all have the occasional accident, especially, if you have young children at home or visiting grandchildren. The saying goes “don’t cry over spilled milk.” It’s true. The carpet isn’t ruined if you spill your drink, but you’ll have to move quickly.
In an emergency, take a lightly dampened cloth and dab at the spill. Start from the edges of the spill and move inward. Elevate the rug or the portion of the rug with the spill, and provide adequate ventilation to dry the spot.
Avoid using chemical cleaning solutions, because it might start loosening the fibers of your favorite rug. For more difficult spills, use a light solution of water, mild soap and plain white vinegar. Rinse the spot again thoroughly with water and allow the rug to dry for up to two days.
Dry to the touch isn’t always enough. Lingering moisture can cause just as much damage as the spill, so make sure it can adequately dry.
2. Plants- just not near your rug.
It’s best to keep plants off of your rug. Dirt and debris from the pot can spill over staining it. Even worse, the dirt provides a perfect place for microorganisms to grow. You also don’t want to inadvertently water your rug. Even if there is a leak-proof container to hold extra water, condensation can still form on the other side and drip down.
You also don’t want the pressure of a potted plant on your rug because it can damage the fibers.
Side note, if you do keep something heavy on your rug. Move the item around instead of keeping it in one spot. It will help prevent compression spots from becoming a permanent feature of your oriental rug. A pad under the rug or a furniture cup can also help alleviate any compression induced stress.
3. Inspect for insects.
Keeping plants off your rug is a good way to avoid insect damage, but some bugs will still find a way. Certain moths and beetles prefer to lay their eggs in the fibers of your rug. They’ll form their cocoons in your beautiful filaments.
These bugs will seek out less traveled areas and dark corners. Keep an eye out for any moths flying in your home as this may be an indication of a bigger problem. Look for bare spots, sand-like particles, cocoons and webs on the rug for evidence of creepy crawling critters.
Suction vacuuming once a month can help remove any eggs and larva from your rug. If there is any part of your rug that is covered with furniture, specific insecticides can prevent any damage from a bug infestation. If you’re storing your rug, a cedar trunk helps for short-term storage.
We recommend calling the professionals for long-term storage of your favorite rugs.
4. Vacuum the rug often.
When vacuuming your rug, it is best to use suction only. The power brush head on a standard vacuum cleaner can tear the weaves and fibers in your rug. Vacuuming up debris and dust is a good way to keep it healthy throughout the year. If there is heavy traffic, you should be vacuuming it multiple times a week.
You should take the rug outside and beat the rug twice a year. This will knock out any embedded dust and dirt from the fibers. Take a vacuum and suction any additional dirt from the rug and give the floor a thorough cleaning.
The exception to the rule is for very old rugs and fringes. It’s best to avoid any vacuum on the edges of a rug, as it may shred the fibers and undo the weave at the edge. For older rugs, this is of particular concern as any damage is more difficult to repair.
5. Rotate your favorite rugs throughout your house.
You can actually rotate your rugs in two ways. First, turning the rug end to end can help evenly distribute the wear it normally receives. A rug is best used on a hard, flat surface. However, if it is on an uneven surface, regular rotations can help keep the integrity of the rug for longer.
The second rotation technique is trading the rug with another rug in the home. A seasonal change can help alter the look of a room, keeping not only your home looking fresh but your rugs as well. A spare rug can also keep a room looking just the way you like while professionals are cleaning it.
6. Hire professional cleaners.
Some rugs have significant meaning, especially if it is passed down through the family. If it is expensive and old, of course, you want to care of it. Professional cleaners know the right strategies to extend the life of your rug, and they can clean it without causing any damage. In fact, cleaning these rugs is almost as much of an art as the rugs themselves.
Are you in need of professional cleaning? One of our specialties is oriental rugs, so let’s chat. Call us at (405) 329-8999 to schedule a cleaning.