How to Care for your Persian Rug
Floor covering of all kinds is often subject to harsh treatment. Because of the tremendous skill involved in their creation, Oriental rugs are designed to withstand all kinds of traffic (depending on the wool quality and density) and require surprisingly little care. Nonetheless, soil will eventually work its way to the base of the pile. Proper care and cleaning will ensure years of continued enjoyment of the rug's beauty and utility.
In the countries that most of the handmade rugs are woven, it is customary to remove one's shoes and wear slippers when entering someone's home. Contrary to what you might think, the most destructive element to Oriental rugs is not the rubbing action of smooth soled shoes. It is the grit, rough, hard particles of dirt, which is tracked indoors and sifts into the base of the wool pile. When you walk on a rug, grit cuts against the strands of wool and sever small pieces of the pile. Removing your shoes and wearing slippers may seem impractical. Fortunately, there are other remedies available well worth considering described below.
Vacuuming: Regular vacuuming will help prevent the destructive grit action discussed previously. These rugs can be vacuumed every day if you want to; it won't harm the rug. Depending on the traffic on the rug, vacuum the rug from the back once or twice a year to get rid of the fine dust that is collected on the back of the rug.
Spills and Spot Cleaning: Whenever possible, clean a spill immediately before it has a chance to set. First, pick up any solid dirt then scrape off any liquid with a spoon from the surface of the rug. Then simply flip the rug over and place a bowl underneath the spot. Rinse from the back of the rug with cold water or club soda (the fizzing helps). Flip the rug again and with a small brush and woolite, shampoo the spot. Rinse once more from the back to get the soap out of the rug. Scrape the surface with a spoon again to get the excess water out. Then simply allow for the rug to dry naturally.
Professional Cleaning: Over time, grit and dirt become embedded so deeply that professional cleaning is required. Professional cleaning will remove this dirt as well as the surface soiling that gradually dulls the appearance of the rug. Depending on the amount of traffic the rug experiences, it should be cleaned every three to five years. The cleaning should NOT be done by a cleaner who is unfamiliar with the hand woven rugs. It is strongly recommended that cleaning NOT be attempted by a "wash at home" service.
Turning the Rug: To extend the life of your rug, turn the rug 180 degrees every year or two depending on the traffic that you put on the rug. This helps to even out your rug's exposure to traffic.
Your Oriental rug is a work of art and deserves the same care and attention you would accord to a fine piece of furniture. Your efforts will be rewarded time and time again through years of lasting satisfaction with the unique beauty of your Oriental rug.
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