Vacuum your area rugs regularly, being sure to go back and forth in the same direction over the entire rug (avoiding the fringes). If you are vacuuming with a beater brush, we suggest you set the brush so it just touches the top of the pile and moves easily across the rug. When vacuuming with a carpet tool, ease the suction of the vacuum by adjusting it accordingly. Be sure to periodically vacuum the back of the rug.
Rotate your area rugs as often as possible (1-2 years), when you notice the high traffic areas of your rug starting to look dirty, or the nap has lost its original direction or shape. Rotating your rugs will allow them to wear more evenly, maintaining their original appearance and value. Also, rotate your rugs according to the amount of direct sunlight. Over time direct sunlight can fade the dyes of your rugs.
Padding will stabilize and protect your area rugs shape, enhancing the value and making your Rugs safer to walk on. We have investigated many different types and qualities of padding. For hard floor surfaces we recommend Blue Miracle Grip manufactured by Rug Hold Company and Durahold manufactured by No-Muv Company. On top of wall-to-wall carpeting we recommend No-Muv. If you are interested in purchasing padding from Alex Cooper click here.
Certain stains such as coffee, colas, juices, animal, medicines, milk, foods and certain dyes must be spotted immediately for best results.
First remove any solid materials from the area and then immediately blot the area with a clean Turkish towel. To neutralize the spot, blot with club soda or a mix of half-white vinegar and cold water. Repeat this if necessary and blot again to remove most of the moisture. A moderate amount of rug cleaning detergent is also recommended. Do not rub the spot. Some Oriental Rug dyes can bleed upon contact with liquids. Before the area dries you should comb the pile so that it blends with the rest of the rug. If the stain is caused by a non-emergency situation such as tar or dirt, a cleaning fluid similar to Afta is a great and easy-to-use product for eliminating hard to remove stains. For removing most dirt stains, a rug detergent similar to Stain-X seems to get the job done. A Turkish towel or toothbrush can be used to blot the area. Again, do not rub the spot. After blotting, follow the directions we mentioned above.
If you cannot seem to remove a stain, or if you notice that the area you have spot cleaned appears cleaner than the rest of your rug, it may be time to consult a reputable Oriental Rug cleaning specialist.
Rug Cleaning Specialists
Cleaning your area rugs properly enhances their look and value. To select an Oriental Rug cleaning specialist, you many want to contact your dealer and ask for their recommendation. From our experience in the Baltimore/Washington region, most carpet and wall-to-wall cleaning companies do not specialize in the cleaning of area rugs. If you decide to try to clean your own area rugs, you should be totally familiar with the process and be sure to test the dyes first. After receiving a rug from cleaning, you may notice some white areas. Dirt is good at covering up worn areas on your rug. You should discuss your options with your Oriental Rug dealer or weaver.
Restoration & Repair
When considering having a rug repaired, evaluate the cost of the repair to the value and your personal attachment to the rug. Only allow a reputable and knowledgeable craftsman/weaver to restore or repair your area rugs. The most common repairs are re-fringing and over-rounding the sides.
Re-fringingWe suggest re-fringing, where the weaver will use the selvage or a minimal part of the rug, rather than adding a fringe to the rug. [A stitch or blind-stitch should be used to hold the rug in place. If several lines of the rug are removed to make the fringe, the weaver should consider using a cashmere stitch (a line or two of wool to match the design around the rug) to enhance the look of the repair.] If the corners of the rug are damaged due to wear, we suggest having the weaver secure them or re-weave them.
Over-roundingWhen the entire siding of the rug needs to be repaired, the weaver either over-rounds by hand or by sewing a cord with a matching color to the sides. We would suggest repairing the rug the original way it was made. Make sure that the weaver is able to match the wool color. The colors used in Persian rugs should be easily matched but matching the colors in an old Chinese carpet may prove to be more difficult.
Re-weavingIf your Oriental Rug is worn or has been damaged, you will need to locate an experienced weaver with expertise in all the different types of knots and with an ample supply of wool colors. You may even want to look at some of the weaver's current projects because re-weaving can be the most costly repair done to your rugs.
Ideas for maintaining & improving the look of your rugs: