A hand-knotted wool [rug](https://society6com/rugs?utm_source=SFGHG&utm_medium=referral&utm_campaign=8775) is a work of art -- a testament to the individual who crafted it. It's one-of-a-kind, and, as such, it should be treated accordingly.
Oriental rugs are the hand-knotted woolen rugs that you see most often.
The natural oils in the wool repel stains; the colors don't run; and the rug should be hand-washed. However, wool rugs are heavy.
A room-sized rug should be professionally washed every few years, depending on the amount of traffic it's experienced. A smaller, hand-knotted wool rug can be hand-cleaned and its nap returned to the shine it displayed when brand new.
The Dirty Test
Test the cleanliness of your rug by lifting a corner of it off the floor, bending it and **examining the base** of the fibers. If you see dirt, it's time to clean it.
Another method is to rub over the surface of the rug with a damp, clean white cloth. If dirt transfers, it's time to clean it.
Vacuum or Shake First
If the rug is small enough, **shake** out the **ground-in dirt** A vacuum will remove most of the dirt as well, but before you use it, turn off the rotary beater. [Vacuum with the nap](http://bashianrugcom/care-and-maintenance/) and be careful not to tangle the fringe in the machine.
Turn the rug over and **vacuum** the **bottom** to catch residual dirt and grit.
To completely wash a hand-knotted wool rug, take it outside and put in on the driveway or patio. Thoroughly wet the rug with a **hose** and **cool water**, and hand-rub gentle wool cleaner into the nap.
Using a large, soft sponge, scrub lightly in a **linear motion**, always going in the **direction of the nap**. Rinse thoroughly with the hose; then move the rug to a dry spot, preferably in the sun.
A rotating fan helps the wool dry. If the rug is small enough, spread it over a slatted lounge chair to air out the underside.
When the top has dried, turn it over to dry the back. Vacuum again to restore the nap.
**Water** is one of the best cleansing agents for a wool rug. A wet, color-safe cloth run over the nap should remove surface stains.
**Club soda** is another safe spot remover; the bubbles lift and help remove a stain. Always blot the excess fluid from the rug.
A light-duty machine also cleans the rug, but don't use a soapy solution. Mix 1/4 cup of distilled vinegar with a gallon of water to clean the rug, always cleaning in the direction of the nap.
If the rug is on a wood or laminated floor, **put plastic underneath** the rug to protect the flooring. Dry the rug by propping it up from the underside and allowing air to pass over the weave.
A hair dryer also works when drying a small spot.
Do not clean the fringe with anything except clean water. Bleach changes its color and destroys the fibers.