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How to Clean an Oriental Rug

How to Clean an Oriental Rug. It's imperative to have your oriental rugs cleaned, either professionally or by you, to preserve their quality, beauty and value. How often you clean your oriental rug depends on how dirty it is. To determine this, take your hand and powerfully rub the rug's pile for about ten seconds.

Your rug needs cleaning if your hand is covered in dirt.

  1. Vacuum your rug on both sides while still in its original location. Then hang your rug and beat out any remaining dirt and dust.

  2. Move your oriental rug to a clean, flat space for washing. A garage floor, clean driveway or patio work well.

  3. Wet down your rug with cool water, then test a small area for color run with an extremely mild rug shampoo. If colors don't run, shampoo your entire rug, front and back, using a soft, long-bristled brush.

  4. Brush shampoo in softly with the grain of the rug pile. Make sure you completely wet the nap with your soapy water.

  5. Clean your rug's fringes. Using a soft brush and your soapy water, lightly brush your fringe away from the rug. Repeat until clean.

  6. Rinse your oriental rug with a hose running cool water. Make sure you completely rinse out all shampoo from the front, back and fringes.

  7. Remove standing water from your rug using a clean rubber window squeegee. Run the squeegee along the rug's grain until you've removed all excess water. Lay flat to dry.

  8. Tip

    When vacuuming your rug, use the suction attachment. The beater brush in an upright vacuum damages oriental rugs. Get a rug shampoo recommendation from a local oriental rug dealer. Make sure your rug is thoroughly dry on both sides before moving it back to its original location. After moving the rug, vacuum lightly to smooth it out.


    Never use any rug cleaning agents, products containing ammonia or strong cleaners on your oriental rug. These cause permanent color damage to your rug's dyes.