Oriental rugs strictly speaking are made of wool and hand made thru a painstaking process of hand weaving that is made to produce colorful, intricate and highly stylized designs. These can be hung or be strewn on the floor for utility and/or ornamentation.
When one thinks of oriental rugs people envision carpet like materials that are thicker in weave, and evoke Asian and Middle Eastern patterns. Oriental rug owners however envision highly priced ornaments that are expensive to clean but even more expensive to maintain. This is because the fabrics used are usually thick, natural, and soft, which means too little maintenance will not cut it but too much can ruin the weave and totally destroy the rug.
As the popular saying goes “prevention is better than a cure”, in like manner keeping an Oriental rug clean starts by preventing dirt from getting into contact with the rug. If an oriental rug is strewn in the floor, then shoes and slippers should be left outdoors. A useful tip is to leave Oriental rugs in a highly visible location but in a place that does not receive too much traffic so as to prevent wear and tear.
Oriental Rug Cleaning should be done sparingly or only when really needed, professional cleaning is also recommended for very expensive oriental rugs. But the trick is knowing when an oriental rug needs cleaning. A very useful tip to remember is that oriental rugs normally have some degree of dust and loose fibers on it, however if the rug is lifted and a light nudge on the backside create a dust cloud, or the bottom portion already abounds with dusts then cleaning is already needed.
As with all expensive things, professional care and cleaning is preferred but personal care should still be done regularly. Here are some useful tips on how to personally clean oriental rugs:
Regular vacuuming should be done on both sides of the rug, since in most cases dust build up subsides and settles to the floor itself. Agitating the rug with a vacuum and brush accessory should be done in moderation, with care and in regular strokes per quadrant. Regular vacuuming is the cleaning solution of choice if an oriental rug is hanged on a wall.
Spills should be cleaned off as soon as possible to prevent staining and odor from seeping in the weave. The longer the stain or spill is left in the rug the harder the stain is to remove and/or the odor to dissipate. A very useful tip on Oriental rug cleaning is to run the affected area with cool water, taking special care to wet and treat with shampoo or detergent only the affected area.
Any solution applied should be rinsed off as instructed since leaving a solution for a longer period of time can discolor the weave. After rinsing it is very important to spot dry the area affected with a towel, then keep the wool suspended in a well ventilated area until moisture is totally removed from the rug.
If an oriental rug is to be kept in storage the rug should be rolled not folded, then wrapped with clean and dry materials made of clothe and kept in a dry container with a few moth crystals. Using plastic materials and/or airtight containers is a definite no-no because plastic materials can trap moisture which can cause mildew and the rug needs a bit of circulating air. Lastly, remember Oriental rug cleaning need not be expensive if it is kept and maintained properly.
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