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Aubusson Rug Cleaning

Alex Burke

Traditional Aubusson rugs are made of wool, silk or a blend of the two. Regular maintenance cleaning will keep an Aubusson rug from deteriorating over time. Stains should always be addressed immediately. Silk Aubusson rugs should never be placed in high traffic areas.

Handmade and older Aubusson rugs are fragile and should be handled gently and never hung up when wet.

Regular Maintenance

Vacuum the Aubusson rug on a regular schedule to remove grit, sand and dirt from the fibers. Dirt and debris will work its way into the pile, damaging the fibers and the foundation of the rug. Use vacuum suction devices and not a beater bar or a brush attachment on the rug. Beater bars roll across the fibers and can pull at them, removing pieces of fiber and causing fraying and eventual destruction of the rug. Periodically rotate the rug 180 degrees to break traffic patterns being worn into the rug. Always use a rug pad beneath an Aubusson rug to lift the rug up from the floor. This allows air flow so that moisture cannot be trapped below and mildew the rug. Rug pads allow dirt to fall out of the rug instead of staying trapped. Keep the rug away from direct sunlight to prevent fading.

Remove Stains

Always blot a stain or spill immediately from an Aubusson rug. Do not use commercial cleaning products on the rug. The chemicals can permanently damage the colors and dyes. Flush the stained area with plain club soda and press with a clean towel to soak up the liquid and stain. Do not use club soda that has been flavored or enhanced in anyway. Allow the rug to air dry by lifting the rug up and placing a support on either side of the wet carpet (several magazines or books work fine). The idea is to let air flow underneath so that the rug can dry from both sides. After it is dry, remove the supports and push the rug flat. Do not use a dryer or heating element to make the rug dry faster. Steam cleaning can alter dyes in the rug. Dry cleaning solutions can leave behind residue that can damage the fibers.

Clean Without Water

Baking soda can freshen and clean an Aubusson rug. Sprinkle the rug with baking soda, covering it from corner to corner. Use a bristle brush or broom to brush the baking soda into the rug's surface. Vacuum the soda from the carpet and the surrounding area. Salt can also be used to clean the rug. Using a fine grain salt, sprinkle it over the rug and use a stiff broom to work the salt into the carpet. After it is brushed in, vacuum the salt up. Salt helps kill moth and flea eggs and loosen dirt that is then vacuumed up.