Tips from Barry: How often to clean your rug

How often is oriental rug cleaning recommended for handmade, knotted Persian, Oriental rugs and other area rugs?

First, we should keep in mind that professional and specialized area rug washing does more than cleaning. In the old days regular rug cleaning was discouraged and limited to ‘when absolutely necessary’ due to harsh detergents that extracted some of the valuable oils in natural fibers lowering rug’s longevity. Today, with recent advances in specialty shampoos there is no fear of washing these rugs frequently. In fact these gentle shampoos not only leave beneficial oils and rug patina intact but also aid in hydrating and revitalizing natural fibers such as wool, silk and cotton. Invigorating rug fibers improve the carpet’s longevity and appearance.

The question of how often an oriental rug, Persian carpet or other hand-knotted area rug should be cleaned comes up regularly in calls from our clients and the public. The answer is relevant to how the rug is used. An area rug that is enjoyed in a family room where it is in daily use, with kids, food and pets may require cleaning every six to eight months while a rug covering the floor of a private bedroom that is walked on by bare feet a few hours each week could be washed once every few years.

Other factors can also be important. If you live in a desert or dusty environment where sand and dust are around, regular vacuuming and more frequent professional area rug cleaning becomes a necessity. Keep in mind dust, sand, grit and other particles that end up on your rug act as abrasives and their ‘sandpaper’ type action as the rug is used will shorten rug’s life

A crucial and necessary step in our area rug cleaning process is the removal of deep dust, dirt, sand and allergens and other foreign matter that are trapped in tight spaces between foundations and knots of Persian and oriental rugs and carpets. This is not a task even for commercial vacuums used by in-house wall to wall or broadloom carpet cleaners. In the past, dusting area rugs was often attempted by hanging the carpet, perhaps on a fence, and using a rug beater (looked like a tennis racket) to beat the back of the rug, forcing the deep dust to jet out from the front. The drawbacks were unhealthy air, potential damage to the carpet and incomplete dusting. Today, our area rug dusting is done using a specialized modern machine based on the same principle of the manual rug beater. The rug is placed horizontally upside down and is advanced while small finger sized hammers or leather straps gently beat the back of the carpet forcing the dust out the front surface where vacuuming removes all the released dirt.

Follow some key points about maintaining your rugs at our Rug Care Guide. Professional, proper cleaning of your rug is an important maintenance that will allow your rug to give you many years of utility and enjoyment.

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