A Cleaning Guide for Handmade Rugs

Vacuuming a handmade rug

When you're investing in buying a handmade rug, regular cleaning and proper care can significantly extend its lifespan.

General Rug Care Tips to Prolong Lifespan

  • Rotate the Rug: Regularly rotate your rug to distribute foot traffic evenly, preventing wear and tear in specific areas.
  • Use Rug Pads: Place rug pads under your rugs to provide cushioning, prevent slippage, and reduce friction between the rug and the floor.
  • Avoid Direct Sunlight: Protect your rugs from prolonged exposure to direct sunlight, which can cause fading and deterioration of the fibers.
  • Attend to Spills Immediately: For spot cleaning stains, act quickly when spills occur, blotting them gently with a clean cloth or sponge to prevent them from setting into the fibers. Use gentle cleaners, such as a combination of equal parts white vinegar and warm water. With a fresh cloth, brush, or sponge, blot the stain a little bit at a time with the mixture, and then blot with a dry cloth. Lay the rug flat to dry to prevent the dyes from bleeding. Do not hang dry.
  • Professional Rug Maintenance: Consider professional rug cleaning services every few years to deep clean and restore the rug's beauty and integrity. For rugs with natural dyes, dry clean to prevent the dyes from bleeding.

Tips for Pet Owners

  • Regular Grooming: Brush and groom your pets regularly to minimize shedding and loose hair, reducing the amount that accumulates on your rugs.
  • Stain Removal: Act quickly when accidents happen. Blot any urine or pet stains with a clean cloth, then apply a mixture of water and vinegar (1:1 ratio) to neutralize odors. Blot again with a clean cloth and allow the area to dry.
  • Odor Control: Sprinkle baking soda on your rug and let it sit for a few hours before vacuuming. Baking soda helps absorb pet odors and leaves your rug smelling fresh.

How to Clean Stains

When it comes to cleaning stains on hand-made rugs, prompt action is crucial. Follow these steps for stain removal:

  • Blot the Stain: Use a clean cloth or paper towel to blot the stain gently. Avoid rubbing, as it may cause the stain to spread or penetrate further into the fibers.
  • Test Cleaning Solutions: Before using any cleaning solution, test it on a small, inconspicuous area of the rug to ensure it does not cause discoloration or damage.
  • Use Mild Cleaning Agents: For water-soluble stains, such as food or drinks, create a solution of mild liquid detergent and warm water. Dab the stain with the solution using a clean cloth, working from the outside towards the center. Blot the area with a clean, damp cloth to rinse, and then pat dry.
  • Seek Professional Help for Stubborn Stains: If a stain persists or if you are dealing with a challenging stain like ink or oil, it's best to consult professional rug cleaners to avoid further damage.

Caring for a Hand-Knotted Rug

Hand-knotted rugs require special care due to their intricate craftsmanship. You'll know if your rug is hand-knotted if it has a raised pile, which means that you can feel the fibers standing up when you run your hand over it.

  • Vacuum with Caution: Hand-knotted rugs are typically more delicate than machine-made rugs, so it's important to use a vacuum cleaner with a lower or medium suction setting and avoid using a beater bar or rotating brush. Vacuum in the direction of the pile to remove loose dirt and debris.
  • Spot Clean Carefully: For small stains or spills, blot gently with a clean cloth or sponge dampened with a mild detergent and warm water solution. Avoid excessive moisture and always test cleaning solutions first.
  • Professional Cleaning: Due to their delicate nature, hand-knotted rugs should be professionally cleaned by experts who specialize in their care about every 1-2 years. They have the knowledge and tools to clean and restore your rug without causing damage.
  • Avoid Hand Washing: Improper hand washing techniques can lead to color bleeding, shrinkage, distortion of the design, or damage to the rug's structure. We recommend seeking a professional rug cleaning service.

Caring for a Hand-Woven Rug

Hand-woven rugs require different care techniques. Hand-woven rugs have a flat pile, which means the fibers don't stand up like in a hand-knotted rug.

  • Vacuum Regularly: Use a vacuum cleaner with a gentle suction setting and a soft brush attachment to remove dirt and dust. Vacuum both sides of the rug to ensure thorough cleaning.
  • Shake or Beat Out Dirt: Take the rug outside and gently shake or beat it to remove deeper-seated dirt. This can be done in addition to regular vacuuming.
  • Hand Wash with Caution: Our handmade rugs should not be washed, as their natural dyes may bleed. You can spot clean with care following the instructions above. If you choose to hand wash, do so carefully using a mild detergent and gentle agitation. Always test a small area first and avoid excessive moisture. Fill a large basin or bathtub with lukewarm water and a mild rug shampoo. Gently agitate the rug in the water, using your hands or a soft brush. Rinse thoroughly and squeeze out excess water, then lay the rug flat to dry.
  • Professional Cleaning: Hand-woven rugs should undergo professional cleaning every 2-3 years to maintain their condition.

Tips for Vacuuming to Protect Your Rug

  • Adjust the Vacuum: Set the vacuum cleaner to a low or medium suction level to prevent damage to the rug's fibers.
  • Vacuum in the Direction of the Pile: Always vacuum in the direction of the pile to avoid pulling or unraveling the fibers.
  • Be Gentle with Fringes: Avoid vacuuming over fringes or tassels, as they can get caught in the brush or suction. Instead, gently brush or shake them to remove dirt.
  • Vacuum Both Sides: Flip the rug over and vacuum the backside to remove embedded dirt and dust.

Caring for hand-made rugs on your own is achievable with the right techniques. Remember, when in doubt or dealing with challenging stains, it's always wise to seek professional rug cleaning services to ensure the best results.

Back to blog

Leave a comment

Please note, comments need to be approved before they are published.