Care and Cleaning for your Persian Carpet

Tips to Maintain Your Hand made Persian or Oriental Carpet

  1. Vacuum your carpet regularly. Sand and grit work down to the base of the pile where abrasive action damages the wool and results in loss of pile. Always vacuum your carpet with the suction attachment only (never use the beater brush) to remove surface dirt. Beater brushes remove a small amount of pile with each use and can destroy fringe in no time.
  2. If food or liquids spill onto a carpet clean the spill as soon as possible. Use only club soda and a clean bath cloth or towel. Spills such as mustard, should be allowed to dry until hard and scraped off. Never use a cleaning agent as these may affect the dyes and produce permanent color changes. Be sure that the top, undersurface of the carpet, and the pad are completely dry before relaying the carpet. Failure to do so can result in mold, mildew, and dry rot with significant damage.
  3. Animal urine is very damaging to an oriental rug. It is not only unpleasant to smell but can result in dry rot and permanent staining or de-colorization of the dyes. Whenever accidents occur, use club soda and clean water to thoroughly flush the area. Make sure the carpet is completely dry before replacing it flat on the floor. Pets tend to go again repeatedly in the same places. When long term use is discovered, consult a professional cleaner.
  4. When should you have your carpet professionally cleaned? This depends upon the location and traffic patterns in your home. Obviously, higher traffic exposes carpets to more dirt. When your carpet is noticeably soiled, it is time to have it cleaned.
  5. How should carpets be cleaned? Oriental carpets should never be “dry cleaned” using powders, as this simply polishes the surface and leaves a large quantity of gritty residue. Oriental carpets should never be “steam cleaned” as this will cause dyes to bleed. Oriental carpets should always be thoroughly dusted to remove dirt and grit prior to washing. This cannot be achieved by vacuum cleaning. If not properly done, the dirt residue hardens in the foundation of the rug and makes them stiff and brittle. Oriental carpets should always be thoroughly washed using an appropriately formulated detergent. They should be washed on both front and back surfaces. After washing, it is very important to thoroughly rinse the rug until all cleaner is removed. You should never simply surface shampoo your carpet. This will merely brighten the surface and leave the shampoo and dirt in the carpet.
  6. An underlay designed for oriental carpets is important for the long life of your rug. Oriental rug pads should be nonskid and promote air exchange between your carpet and the floor. The pad should be designed so that dirt can settle to the floor and not damage the back of the carpet.
  7. Moth damage can occur anywhere but usually in dark areas under furniture that are not regularly vacuumed. The only long term effective moth proofing is zinc fluorosilicate, which lasts until a rug is cleaned. Other moth treatments lose their effectiveness in a few months. Be sure that any of your carpets partially concealed by furniture are properly treated.
  8. Your carpets should be rotated 180 degrees periodically. This is to minimize wear from traffic patterns and to even out any sun fading.
  9. Any carpet will fade if exposed to direct ultraviolet sunlight. Most modern windows are Low E and mostly eliminate this problem. Older windows may be coated with a UV blocking film to minimize this problem.
  10. Seek help at the first sign of damage. It is advisable, and in the long run cost effective, to have your carpet professionally repaired at the first sign of damage. It is the tension in the foundation threads that holds the rug together, if these are broken the carpet can unravel at an alarming rate. Also, never use glue or sticky tape on your carpet. Unfortunately glue is sometimes used on the back of carpets to prevent damage spreading. DO NOT DO THIS. The glue will soak into the carpet, and when it is dry, it will rot the foundations of the carpet, or set hard. Once this has happened it is impossible to repair the damage.

If you follow these suggestions, your carpet will look beautiful, retain its value, and wear well for many years. But if you have any questions, contact your nearest Persian Carpet Gallery for further advice.

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