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How to Clean and Maintain Valuable Oriental Rug

With proper care oriental carpets have very long life - this antique Persian rug is a proof. Photo: Flickr

With proper care oriental carpets have very long life – this antique Persian rug is a proof. Photo: Flickr

Many people hesitate before buying an original Persian, Tabriz or other kind of oriental rug. Their main concern is that these original oriental carpets are hard to clean and maintain without deteriorating the fibres. It is true that these beautiful rugs require some specific care, because they are made from natural materials and often – natural dyes. This is why we decided to list what are the things that can deteriorate your oriental rug and how to deal with them. Quality oriental carpets can last really long time with good care.

Check also: How to green clean carpets and rugs.

This is what carpet beetle looks like. Photo: Flickr

This is what carpet beetle looks like. Photo: Flickr

Keep Insects Away

Carpet beetles and carpet moths are widely distributed around the globe. These two species are a real threat for oriental rugs and all the carpets with natural fibres. These bugs lay their eggs in dark, hard to reach corners of the house – most often behind furniture. When the larvae hatch they start eating their way through all natural textile items around. Sometimes when you notice them it is too late and the damage is done.

The good news is that with regular thorough vacuuming around the house you can prevent their appearance. Every now and then check the corners, and move the furniture around to clean and inspect for larvae. You can find professionals who repair oriental rugs, but once damaged the precious oriental loose their value.

Rotate your oriental rug to avoid unequal discolouration. Photo: Flickr

Rotate your oriental rug to avoid unequal discolouration. Photo: Flickr

Keep Your Oriental Rug Far from Sunlight

Most of the original oriental carpets are made from wool threads, and much more rarely – from cotton. Natural textile fibres don’t stand well direct sunlight. The light will make colours fade away, so if you want to protect your oriental rug you should keep it away from the window. You can also put thick drapes in the room where your carpet is. Another solution is to rotate your oriental rug every now and then to avoid colours wearing and fading unevenly. There is a third option as well – cover your windows with mylar film. A layer of this material will block the UV rays, which are causing discolouration.

Antique oriental rug. Photo: Flickr

Antique oriental rug. Photo: Flickr

Moisture Deteriorates Oriental Carpets

Contrary to many popular believes oriental rugs can be cleaned with water, although moisture can cause permanent damage. When the rug is washed it should be hang outside to dry completely. Always turn the carpet with backside up, when drying it outside in direct sunlight. If you have to treat a small spot, you can leave the rug inside, but keep your windows open until the rug dries. If the weather is cold and moist, keep the windows closed and run a fan in the room to dry the spot on the oriental rug. If you leave your rug damp for too long you risk mould appearance, which will cause a permanent damage of the fibres.

Placing original oriental carpet under dining table isn't a very good idea. Photo: Flickr

Placing original oriental carpet under dining table isn’t a very good idea. Photo: Flickr

How to Deal with Stains on Oriental Carpets

The sooner you act when there is a spill or a stain on the carpet the better. If the stain dried try to dilute it with some water. After that, blot to take out as much of the dirt and liquid as possible. Use mild detergent to treat the affected area. Never use regular carpet cleaning product – they usually are too strong and can cause discolouration of the dye. If the stain isn’t water soluble – like grease, or enzyme stain, better call professional carpet cleaners to deal with it.