How to Clean Oriental Rugs at Home

Dr. Harry Noland
12 Min Read

Oriental rugs are beautiful, intricate, and often expensive. However, they are also prone to accumulating dirt, dust, and stains over time. Hiring a professional to clean them can be costly, but did you know that you can clean your oriental rugs at home? With the right tools and techniques, you can maintain the beauty and longevity of your cherished rugs for years to come.

Key Takeaways:

  • You can save money by cleaning your oriental rugs at home.
  • Regular cleaning and maintenance will prolong the lifespan of your rugs.
  • There are different methods of cleaning oriental rugs, including rug shampooing, hand washing, and steam cleaning.
  • Preparing your rug for cleaning is important, which includes inspecting for any damage, vacuuming, and spot cleaning.
  • Following proper drying and maintenance procedures can prevent damage and mold growth.

Understanding Oriental Rugs and their Cleaning Needs

Oriental rugs are a stunning addition to any home, but they require special care when it comes to cleaning. Understanding the unique characteristics of your rug is crucial in determining the best method of maintenance.

Types of Oriental Rugs

There are several types of oriental rugs, each with unique patterns, colors, and origins. Some of the most popular types include:

Type of Rug Description
Persian Handmade in Iran, known for intricate designs and deep colors.
Turkish Handmade in Turkey, known for bold geometric patterns and bright colors.
Chinese Handmade in China, known for delicate floral motifs and soft colors.

Rug Materials

Oriental rugs can be made from a variety of materials, including wool, silk, and cotton. Each material requires a different cleaning approach to prevent damage.

Tip: Check the label or contact the manufacturer to determine the type of material your rug is made from.

Maintenance Tips

Regular maintenance is key to preserving the beauty and longevity of your oriental rug. Here are some tips to keep your rug in top condition:

  • Vacuum your rug regularly to remove loose dirt and debris.
  • Avoid placing heavy furniture or objects on your rug, as this can cause permanent damage.
  • Rotate your rug every few months to prevent uneven wear and fading.
  • Avoid exposing your rug to direct sunlight, as this can cause color fading.

Preparing Your Oriental Rug for Cleaning

Before you start the cleaning process, it is important to properly prepare your oriental rug. This will help to ensure that the cleaning procedure is efficient and effective in removing all the dirt and stains from your rug, without damaging it. Here are the steps to follow:

Rug Inspection

The first step is to inspect your rug thoroughly for any signs of damage or wear and tear. Check for any holes, tears, or areas with missing fibers. If you find any damage, you may need to seek professional help to repair it before cleaning.


The next step is to vacuum your rug thoroughly. This will help to remove any loose dirt, dust, or debris from the surface of the rug. Start by vacuuming the front of the rug, then flip it over and vacuum the back. Be sure to use a vacuum cleaner with adjustable suction power to avoid damaging your rug.

Spot Cleaning

If you notice any stains or spills on your rug, it is important to spot clean them before proceeding with a deep cleaning. Use a solution of water and mild detergent to gently blot the affected area with a clean cloth. Avoid using harsh chemicals or scrubbing the rug vigorously, as this may cause damage.

By following these steps, you can ensure that your oriental rug is properly prepared for the deep cleaning process, allowing you to achieve the best results possible.

Deep Cleaning Oriental Rugs at Home

When it comes to deep cleaning your oriental rug, you have several options to choose from. Rug shampooing, hand washing, and steam cleaning are the most effective methods for removing dirt and stains and restoring your rug’s beauty.

Rug Shampooing

To shampoo your rug, start by removing any loose dirt and debris with a vacuum cleaner. Then, prepare a rug shampoo solution according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Apply the solution to the rug using a soft bristle brush or mop, working your way from one end of the rug to the other. Rinse the rug thoroughly with water and allow it to dry completely before placing it back on the floor.

Hand Washing

If you prefer a more hands-on approach, hand washing your oriental rug is another effective option. Fill a large tub or bathtub with cool water and add a mild detergent or rug shampoo. Gently scrub the rug with a soft-bristled brush, working in a circular motion. Rinse the rug thoroughly with clean water and hang it over a clothesline or drying rack to air dry.

Steam Cleaning

For a more thorough clean, consider using a steam cleaner. This method is particularly effective in removing tough stains and odors. Start by vacuuming your rug to remove any loose dirt and debris. Then, fill the steam cleaner with water and a cleaning solution according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Turn on the machine and slowly move it over the rug, working in small sections at a time. Allow the rug to dry completely before placing it back on the floor.

No matter which method you choose, be sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions carefully and take appropriate safety precautions. When in doubt, consult a professional rug cleaner to ensure the best results.

Removing Odors and Refreshing Oriental Rugs

Even with regular cleaning, oriental rugs can sometimes develop unpleasant odors. Fortunately, there are several effective methods for removing odors and refreshing your rugs.

Natural Remedies

If you prefer natural remedies, there are many options available. One popular method is to sprinkle baking soda on your rug, let it sit for a few hours, and then vacuum it up. Baking soda is known for its ability to absorb odors, leaving your rug smelling fresh and clean.

You can also try placing a few drops of essential oil on a cloth and gently rubbing it into your rug. Lavender, lemon, and tea tree oil are all great options for deodorizing and leaving a pleasant fragrance.

Professional Services

If natural remedies don’t do the trick, or you simply prefer to leave it to the experts, there are many professional rug deodorizing services available. These services use specialized equipment and techniques to effectively remove odors and leave your rug looking and smelling like new.

Before choosing a professional service, be sure to do your research and choose a reputable company with experience in oriental rug care. The right service can make all the difference in restoring your rug’s beauty and freshness.

Drying and Maintaining Oriental Rugs after Cleaning

After cleaning your oriental rug, you need to dry it properly to avoid any damage or mold growth. Here are some essential tips for drying and maintaining your rug:

Rug Drying

Start by removing as much moisture as possible from the rug. You can use a squeegee or a clean towel for this purpose. Then, hang the rug in a well-ventilated area, away from direct sunlight, to allow it to dry completely. Avoid using artificial heat sources like heaters or hair dryers, as this may cause the rug to shrink or curl up.

Rug Padding

Once the rug is completely dry, it’s a good idea to place a rug pad underneath it to prevent it from slipping and to provide additional cushioning. This will also help to extend the life of the rug and protect it from wear and tear.

Rug Storage

If you are not using your oriental rug, it’s important to store it properly to prevent any damage. Roll the rug tightly, with the pile facing inwards, and wrap it in a clean, breathable fabric like cotton. Avoid using plastic materials, as they can trap in moisture and cause mold growth. Store the rug in a dry, cool place away from direct sunlight, and avoid placing heavy objects on top of it.


You’ve now mastered the art of cleaning and maintaining your oriental rugs at home! By following our comprehensive guide, you can ensure that your rugs remain in excellent condition for years to come.

Remember to inspect your rug regularly and vacuum it to remove any loose dirt and debris. If you notice any stains or spills, be sure to spot clean them immediately using the appropriate cleaning method.

If your rug requires a deep clean, choose the method that best suits your rug’s material and follow the instructions carefully. Don’t forget to deodorize your rug to keep it smelling fresh.

Once your rug is clean, it’s essential to dry it properly to prevent any damage or mold growth. Use a rug pad to protect your rug’s fibers and prolong its lifespan. If you need to store your rug, roll it up and store it in a dry place.

We hope you’ve found our guide informative and helpful. With regular maintenance and the right cleaning techniques, your oriental rugs can remain a beautiful centerpiece in your home for many years to come.

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