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Don't Make These Rug Cleaning Mistakes

Don't Make These Rug Cleaning Mistakes!

We know, we know, you're busy! But handmade Persian and oriental rugs are investment pieces. So here's a quick review of what not to do and how to do it right. We love designers who take a rug seriously!)

1. Use the correct cleaning solution

Detergents carry various levels of abrasive qualities. Handmade rugs are constructed with natural fibers and dyes that won't hold up against everyday cleaners. Read the label and choose a cleaning solution that is made for fine rugs.

2. Don't use too much water

Often, using a lot of water can exacerbate a stain or spill. We suggest spot cleaning unless you intend to follow a professional cleaning process. Keep in mind that any moisture left in the rug fibers can result in mold.

3. Act immediately

Don't put it off - clean spills before they can stain. Allowing a spill to dry means you're letting the mess soak ever deeper into the foundation of the rug.

4. But don't clean too often

I know, right? Clean, but don't clean. It's true though. There is a balance. Vacuuming and scrubbing a rug too often will wear out the fibers and knots that have been so carefully woven. We recommend weekly vacuuming and annual professional cleaning.

5. Don't even think about deodorizing

The commercials are a little misleading. Deodorizing powders simply add a layer of material substance to your rug fibers. Unless you intend to vacuum immediately, we don't recommend using powders.

6. Check for "Extra Strength"

Always always read the label before applying a product to your handmade rugs. In general, over-the-counter cleaning solutions have harsh chemicals or may even contain trace amounts of bleach that will break down your rug fibers and distort their coloring.

7. DIY? DIY-Don't

We're all for the DIY revolution but keep in mind that most bloggers are not professional carpet cleaners with years of experience and fine carpet cleanings under their belt. If you're interested in a DIY idea, ask a pro first. It could save you from damaging your investment piece!

8. Check your equipment

Renting a carpet cleaning machine is a-okay. Except, check the machine before you pull it off the shelf. Often these machines have residue on them from the previous renters. While not a big deal for wall-to-wall carpet, it could damage your handmade rugs.

9. Do you really know how to spot clean

Sounds simple right? It depends. Don't spot clean with a wet vacuum or steam machine. These tools carry too much heat that could cause a stain to absorb deeper into the fibers of your rug. Thinking of using a wire, plastic, or natural brush? Don't! These too can damage your rug, by pulling about the woven yarns. So what to do? Use a white cotton cloth, and dab away. Add a little water if needed. Use a clean dry cloth to soak up any residual moisture.

10. Make sure you use a white cloth

Why? Because any material you place on your rug - and seriously rub - could result in a color transfer. This means the dye from one material bleeds onto another.

11. Over-the-counter carpet cleaners

OTC cleaners unfortunately tend to leave residue on a carpet. While this is just fine for wall-to-wall carpet, it's not okay for your handmade Persian and Oriental rugs. Over time this residue builds up to cause all sorts of problems, the least of which is attracting dust and soil and eventually resulting in a subtle brown stain.

Overall, Persian and Oriental handmade rugs are incredibly sturdy and durable. Just remember the rug weaving tradition originated a thousand years ago when things like vacuum cleaners and carpet cleaning detergents didn't exist. These relatively recent inventions were made for machine-made rugs. But, if treated properly, you'll see that your handmade rugs last for generations.

Feature photos in this blog are courtesy of Annabelle at www.trimdesignco.com. We love her work! Please check it out.

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