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Thread: How to clean your oriental

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
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    Alexandria VA
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    Default How to clean your oriental

    I've often asked how to best clean expensive oriental rugs? I can tell you that you don't want to use a rug shampooer on it, any rental equipment, or any of the chemical cleaners such as the HOST system, and if you send it out to a cleaning surface, be SURE you know how they are going to clean your rug. Some commercial cleaners will put your rugs in a vat with other customer's rugs, and you will get a dye transfer into your rug from that. Most noticeably, your rug will be clean, but lost some of its color vibrancy, and have a 'grayish' look to it overall. That's what happens when washed with other rugs.

    You don't really need to send your rug out to clean it. Its surprisingly simple to do yourself, all you need is:

    * Water
    * Liquid Tide
    * Soft scrub brush
    * Elevated Drying Station outdoors
    * Two days of mid-70 degree weather with no rain and low humidity.

    I have washed all my rugs in my house for the past 20 years after learning how to do it from my rug supplier (or rather watching how they did it at their import facility).

    Take your rugs outside on the deck or patio and if they are over a 5' x 7" size, place them atop some elevated structure so air can flow underneath (old wood shipping pallets are ideal for this, and easy to get).

    Flood the rug with water. Get it completely saturated.

    Take your Liquid Tide (not too much!) and dilute in a bucket of water, then scrub the rug down with your soft brush, using plenty of rinse water as you go. You'll see the dirt and stains come out as you scrub and your colors brighten noticeably.

    When done scrubbing, flood the rug with rinse water until all the soap is gone. Then leave outside to dry (will take 24 to 36 hours for most rugs on low humidity days).

    Smaller rugs can be draped over a balcony railing to dry, but 7' x 9' and larger are too heavy to move when waterlogged, and you won't be able to pick them up. Hence the need to have them elevated off thr ground level in some manner to allow air flow underneath.

    When you bring them back in the house, you won't believe how much brighter they will be and cleaner smelling as well. Best of all, costs you virtually nothing to do but a hour's work and your rugs stay pure and not contaminated by others.
    Duane Collie
    Straight answers from thirty-six years in the business.
    My Private Messages are Disabled - Please ask questions here in the forum.

  2. #2
    organic_smallhome Guest

    Default Re: How to clean your oriental

    Thank you so much for this information. I've been putting off sending my two largest rugs (5x8) off to be professionally cleaned because it's so expensive. Does this system work with Karastan rugs, too, Duane? The one thing I would be worried about is fading from the sun because I have no shaded area outside my house for them to dry.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
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    Alexandria VA
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    Default Re: How to clean your oriental

    Absolutely. It will work on Chromium based dye rugs like your Karastan's and the Vegetable dye runs like I have in my home. No worry about sun fade, they won't be out there long enough for that to be a concern. Karastans are not too thick, so they're dry quicker, too.
    Duane Collie
    Straight answers from thirty-six years in the business.
    My Private Messages are Disabled - Please ask questions here in the forum.

  4. #4
    zheng Guest

    Default Re: How to clean your oriental

    Hi Duane, I just bought a used silk rug. It is 14 years old, and in a good condition overall. I want to give it a wash before I place it in the house. I read some online information and it seems that cleaning silk rug is pretty tricky (no hot water, no chemicals etc...). Can I just follow the instruction you give in this thread to clean silk rug? Thanks.

  5. #5
    Join Date
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    Default Re: How to clean your oriental

    I have zero experience cleaning silk rugs...none! Best call a few dealers that sell silk rugs and chat with them about it....good luck!
    Duane Collie
    Straight answers from thirty-six years in the business.
    My Private Messages are Disabled - Please ask questions here in the forum.

  6. #6
    zheng Guest

    Default Re: How to clean your oriental

    Thanks Duane. Read a lot information online. Going to try a water and vinegar mix next weekend. Hope it will work out fine.


    Quote Originally Posted by drcollie View Post
    I have zero experience cleaning silk rugs...none! Best call a few dealers that sell silk rugs and chat with them about it....good luck!

  7. #7
    alexradden002 Guest

    Default Re: How to clean your oriental

    Thank you so much for the helpful information...this will definitely come in handy

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2024
    Location
    Portland, Oregon
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    2

    Default Re: How to clean your oriental

    Hi, all

    A general reply

    I am a "professional rug cleaner." I have been for over 35 years.

    One of the most crucial steps in the rug cleaning process is dry soil removal. This step is the key to eliminating insoluble dirt from rugs. We use commercial machines for this, but a vacuum with a beater bar front and back to dislodge silty, sand-like soil. Neglecting this can significantly impede the cleaning and drying. Frankly, for some rugs we spend more time removing this dry soil than actually washing of rugs.

    I suggest NOT using Tide. It's formulated for cotton and synthetic clothing, not natural fibers with perborates and enzymes that are not ideal for wool. Hand dish detergents are milder and work better. Planet, Seventh Generation, Orvus paste, and Dawn all work well.

    The biggest issues we see with home cleaning is color bleeding, incomplete cleaning ( usually not enough dry soil removal), which causes soil to wick to the fringe or knap of the rug, leaving it crusty and dingy, and stalled drying.

    Since most rugs and oriental rugs are made of highly absorbent materials, wool, silk, and cotton, they can weigh 6X their dry weight when wet and are difficult to move. A large rug with the idea of draping over a fence or hand rail is met by a rug now too heavy to get it there.

    Living in the NW, we have days that are 70-80s and nights in the 40s with high relative humidity that can stall drying and facilitate mildew growth. So. check your weather before you clean. In my area, from March to June and September to October, we do a fair amount of drying and cleaning of home-cleaned rugs.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Washington State
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    27

    Default Re: How to clean your oriental

    We live near Portland Oregon. There is a company here (Atiyeh Bros) who have been here since 1900. They specialize in selling, cleaning and repairing oriental rugs. Including had made Persian rugs. They have a dedicated cleaning and repairing facility. We have brought our wool Oriental rugs there a few times over the last 20 years. They have a partially automated facility that is impressive. After inspection, first step is feeding the inverted rugs into a machine that agitates any debris out of the fiber. The last step is drying the rugs. There is a very tall drying room, where they hoist up the rugs for a few days. I remember it smelled like wet dogs in there. Here is a short video of the process start to finish. https://youtu.be/voBkppDsBUg?si=hf722P2ujd96mfs4

  10. #10
    Join Date
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    Default Re: How to clean your oriental

    Wet wool rugs are pretty smelly, indeed. And so heavy in larger sizes when wet.....I put mine on pallets in the driveway so air can get underneath them and only wash them when there are two to three sunny, over 70 degrees and low humidity days in the forecast.
    Duane Collie
    Straight answers from thirty-six years in the business.
    My Private Messages are Disabled - Please ask questions here in the forum.

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