Looking after an Oriental or Area Rug
Rugs don't remain in good condition by chance. If you take the trouble to look after a rug properly, there's a good chance it will appreciate in value and continue to provide many years of service and enjoyment.
There are a couple of simple measures that should be part of your regular maintenance schedule:
The experts will tell you to never vacuum a rug against the nap (run your hand over the rug and the nap direction will be the smoothest) as this is more likely to push any dirt deeper into the rug rather than lift it out.
Never vacuum the fringes - they can be delicate and easily damaged. You can tuck the fringes underneath while vacuuming if you like.
Do not use a rotor vacuum or a beater bar.
And, one you may not know, turn the rug over occasionally and vacuum the back as this will help protect the threads
Sweeping with a brush can often be the best solution
To maintain the original colours, have your rug professionally cleaned every couple of years. Rugs should be hand-washed on both sides with natural soap and then dried under tension so the shape is unaffected. Never steam-clean or chemically clean yor rug and never be tempted to put it in the washing machine or immerse it in water.
Rotate your rug once a year
It's a good idea to rotate your rugs frequently - particularly in sunny rooms. Continuous exposure to bright sunshine, and even indirect sunlight, can quickly damage Oriental rugs. Rotating a rug will even out any effects the sun may have in a particular room.
Frequent rotation has another benefit in that wear is also equalised across the rug rather than being restricted to one area.
Use a good quality pad beneath your rug
Particularly important in high traffic areas: good quality padding will protect your rug and extend it's lifespan considerably. And stop it walking round the room.
Clean spots and spills immediately
Dry Spills - sweeping is usually the most effective
Wet Spills - whatever you do, do it quickly. The longer a liquid remains on the rug, the more likely it is to seep into the pile and stain your beautiful rug. Do not rub - blot with paper towels then dilute the remainder with cold water and continue blotting until the spill is no longer visible. If any traces remain, a small amount of a mild wool detergent may be used. Try to not increase the area of the spill.
Apart from wear and tear, the two biggest threats to your oriental rugs are moths and dampness: