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Truth be told, no one fancies a grubby rug! Imagine having spent hundreds of dollars on a carpet just to see it fail in its very purpose. A rug surely can bring a room together and enhance presentability, but only if it is clean. Given the cost and nature of creation, the stakes are ultimately higher if you own a Persian rug. A bit of context here, Persian rugs originated from Iran (only if it wasn’t obvious by the name). They stand out amongst traditional carpets on the elaborateness and variety of their design. Thanks to textural designs, the menace of dirt accumulation is much more predominant in Persian carpets (comparatively), only if Persian rug cleaning isn’t done right.
Persian carpet cleaning and maintenance can conjure many advantages. For starters, a clean rug is ultimately more aesthetically pleasing. A clean rug with no foot traffic lanes or a grubby rug with grime inundated fibers, which one would you choose? Cleaning Persian rugs can increase the lifetime of the rug, hence offering greater value for your investment. To conclude, don’t downplay the importance of cleansed rug to a healthy environment. Getting rid of the bacteria and dirt every now and then can potentially save you hundreds of dollars of medication!
Cleaning your Persian rug isn’t the most daunting task either and given the perks, it’s totally worth it. You can employ any of the many cleaning methods with utmost ease depending on the situation. However, before we move on to those methods, let’s shed some light on some cleaning essentials!
Describing cleaning frequency as an ‘important metric’ is an understatement. Too low a frequency would lead to accumulation of dirt. Too high a frequency can wear the fibers out. A middle ground is needed, but then again that’s not the only factor that you need to account for. Hand-knotted rugs tend to be masterful at storing dirt, grime, and soil. All in all, you need to maintain a middling frequency while also cleaning before the rug seems like needing one.
An average household Persian rug needs minor cleaning (vacuuming) at least once every two weeks. This can vary! In case of a rug in a dark, closed room with no footfalls, you don’t need to clean it for months (assuming that moths stay away). On the other side of a spectrum, if you have kids and pets toddling, you may want to step up your cleaning game. The Placement of the rug does play an important part!
To be on the clearer side, the above-mentioned information relates to self-cleaning. As far as Professional rug cleaning is concerned, the metrics are generally similar but the cleaning frequency varies. Rug owners are advised to get their types of rugs examined by professional Persian rug cleaners at least once a year (ideally twice). Professional carpet cleaners do come in handy, only if you are prepared to bear the additional cost. In that regards, how much does it cost to clean a Persian rug? While there isn’t a fixed scale, companies do tend to charge around $4-6 per square foot. This can vary on account of your location and the company’s services. Their cleaning techniques and expertise, however, really do bring your rug to life. Want to know more of these? Well, we do have a post dedicated to professional rug cleaning.
Professional cleaning can be expensive and often uncalled for. Minor stains and dirt are easy to clean by. While the nature of the rug warrants a professional clean each year, taking precautions and cleaning of grime can help keep your rug in pristine condition for longer periods of time. Is rug cleaning a daunting task? Yup, as daunting as vacuuming can be! So, how do you clean a Persian rug?1- Vacuum It!
In order to remove dirt and debris off your Persian carpet, vacuum it! As mentioned earlier, you should vacuum your Persian rug or wool rug at least once every two weeks. This would make your rug look and smell new for a greater period of time.
All you need to do is to lay your rug on the ground and vacuum slowly to remove excess abrasives, pet hair, and dirt. Repeat the process at least thrice(both sides), so to remove all the dust within your rug. Here are a few things that you need to consider while vacuuming:
Quite a few people are skeptical over the use of vacuum on Persian rugs, and rightly so. With the investment that goes into the rug, it’s better to be safe than to be sorry. So, can you vacuum a Persian rug? Definitely! Vacuuming is on cards, no doubt about that. In case you have a really antique rug or expensive piece, we would suggest you go for a dedicated carpet tool like an electric sweeper. If you still want to persist with the vacuum, you may want to turn off the beater bar. The beater bar grabs loose fibers, and can potentially worsen up minute damages. The vacuum has its pros, but it is always better to have a dedicated carpet cleaning tool.
Dry Cleaning uses a vacuum coupled with a cleaner(micro-sponges with an organic solvent) to kill bacteria, remove grime and to give your rug a refreshed feel. So, given the nature of wool fibers, can you dry clean a Persian rug? As much as you can vacuum it!2- Sweep It
And while people tend to beat their rug to cleanliness, we at Rugknots advise you to gently wipe the dirt off. This prevents wear and tear and hence increases the lifespan of your rug. Just get a broom with straw bristles and sweep it from one end to another. Don’t move your broom back and forth or you may end up damaging the rug. The very purpose of sweeping is to intermittently clean the dust away and to give the fibers a refreshed feel. Isn’t this as easy as it gets?3- Shake the Dust Away
And you thought sweeping was the easiest way to have your Persian rugs clean. Just take your Persian area rug out and shake the dirt out. You could always use an extra hand if the rug is too big. An alternative is to beat the rug, but as emphasized earlier, this can lead to wear and tear.4- Deep Cleaning- An alternate to Professional Clean
Your rug needs professional cleaning at least once a year, but you can always go the DIY way. You need to consider a couple of things here. Is your rug color-fest (does it bleed color when submerged in water)? You can run tests on each color (good luck with that Einstein) or you can lift the rug to read instructions on the label. Persian rugs are sought for the ease of handwashing them. Hence, this shouldn’t be an issue. So, how to perform handmade rug cleaning DIY way?
Once you are sure of the safety of the rug, vacuum/swipe/shake the rug to remove dirt. Now spray both sides of the rug with cold water. Garden Hose would be suitable equipment for the task. When done, fill a bucket with cold water and mild liquid soap (rug shampoo would work too). Now rinse the rug lightly with the cleaning solution using a long-haired soft brush or a non-shedding sponge. It’s best to lather your rug in the direction of the nap (in the direction of fibers). Spray water to remove both dirt and detergent. Leave the rug to dry, preventing mildew. A squeegee or a fan can speed things up!
You can also go through our post on wool rug cleaning and find useful cleaning tips or you could try and do it yourself at home5- Removing Odors
Does your rug give off a pungent musty smell? One solution is to go for the vinegar +water+ detergent method mentioned above. Not only will this remove odors and stains but also give your rug a refreshed feel. An easier method is to go for talcum powder. Sprinkle some powder over the rug and leave it as such for the night. Talcum powder absorbs all the pungent odors, so you can just vacuum it for a refreshed scent.6- Call in Professional Help
Leading body for maintenance cleaning and restoration, IICRC, advises you to get your rug cleaned by a professional at least once a year. Professionals clean rugs using dry, deep or steam cleaning to restore your rug to pristine condition. While the former have already been discussed over the course of this article, let’s get some context of the latter. Steam Cleaning is a two-step cleaning process. Firstly, the rug is sprayed with a solution that treats stains and gets the residue out of rugs. Then a steam rug cleaner is used to extract residue with high heat. So, can you steam clean a Persian rug? Well, if it’s good for the professionals, it’s surely good enough for you. You can do the entire process at home too, given that necessary equipment is available.
Don’t let the above text fool you though. Regardless of the number of articles, you have read or videos you have watched, replicating a professional’s craft is no joke. They have spent years mastering their craft, and you owe your rug at least one professional clean a year.
Cleaning Persian rugs is one thing, caring for you rug is another. Understandably, the better you care for your heirloom, the longer it will last. Efficient maintenance can even save you a few cleans, and subsequently some bucks. Precautionary measures are almost always better than corrective ones. So, how do you care for Persian Rugs?1- Spot Cleaning
It is best to tend to spills as soon as the mishap occurs. This prevents the stain from getting deeper, in which case they would be difficult to remove. You have lesser than 15 minutes to man up, so here’s what you should do. As soon as the spill occurs, blot up as much liquid as you can. Use tissues,paper towels, squeegee (preferably) or anything you can get your hands at. Once you are done, use a damp rag to blot the stain again with warm water. Be careful; don’t rub back and forth for you may end up deepening the stain.
While cold water works just fine in most cases, you want to use white vinegar plus clean water pet, grease or coffee stains. Mix quarter cup vinegar and ½ teaspoons of mild detergent with excess water and clean harder stains. A plus point is that this method removes musty odors too!2- Never Walk on a rug with shoes on
This is a no-brainer. Walking is proportional to the accumulation of dirt. Be careful; take your shoes off before walking on your piece.3- Frequently clean for Dust
Sometimes you just can’t help walking on the heirloom. Other times the surrounding gets your piece dusty. So regularly vacuum/ wipe/shake the dirt away.4- Rotate your Rug Every now and then
In case a portion of your rug receives uneven footfalls, rotate your rug to even out traits. Professionals recommend you to rotate your piece once every 6 months, yet there is no harm in doing it every 2 months. If you have heavy furniture over the rug, you can also rotate the furniture. All that is needed is the balancing of traffic traits.5- Don’t wash your rug FREQUENTLY
There is a limit to a rug sustaining exposure to water. Once that is submerged, the rug undergoes wear and tear with fibers falling off. In case you have washed it, don’t leave it damp. Leaving it so can lead to the creation of mildew and give out a musty smell. Hence, just suck the water out as soon as you can.
Here is a guide that can tell you more about washable rugs6- Don’t Leave your Persian rug in Direct Sunlight
If your rug is color-fest, this can dampen the shades. This adversely affects the presentation and longevity of the rug.
All in all, Persian rug cleaning may seem like a daunting task on first glance but is as easy as it gets. All you need is some general knowledge, common sense and a bit of patience. You can do fairly well with money too! Persian rugs are one fine décor for your house. Treat them as such; be kind to your one of a kind.