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How To Clean Rugs At Home 

Can I clean my oriental rug at home? 

Today we are going to bypass all the rug drama and talk about cleaning rugs at home. I'm a nearly 35-year veteran rug cleaner, educator, and consultant to rug cleaners and producers abroad.So, can you clean your rug at home?

Sure, but cleaning your rug at home has some considerations and limitations to consider before you try, such as how you will dry that wet rug. 

Let's talk a little about the types of rug cleaning methods and rug cleaning processes.  

Dry Cleaning 

The three big names in dry rug cleaning are Host, Capture, and Arm and Hammer dry cleaning compounds. Dry-cleaning

compounds are the least effective cleaning products and also the safest. The powder is applied to the carpet, scrubbed in with a brush given dwell time, and then vacuumed out; dry cleaning a carpet is simple, right? 


Not so fast; once you put these on your rug or carpet, they work their way to the base, and you never get them completely out. The dry cleaning compound you use to remove soil becomes soil in your rug!

 I know; slick marketing says differently. I own a professional area rug cleaning facility I see the end results of rug dry-cleaning compounds. More importantly, they affect our cleaning, some can cause dye in rugs and carpets to run or bleed, and others leave perfume odors that are hard to remove. 

They are not very effective at removing heavy soils. If you have a carpet, it's likely going to fit the "heavy soil,"  a number of these dry cleaners are baking soda-based products, and they are alkaline, that's harmful to wool rugs and their dyes over time. 


How to dry clean an Oriental carpet at home? 

I suggest that the lackluster cleaning performance and the residue aren't worth the headache, and they provide an illusion of cleanliness.  

Carpet in Living Room

Cleaning a rug can be a challenging task, and there are several mistakes that people make when attempting to clean their rugs. Here are some common rug-cleaning mistakes you need to avoid:

  1. Not testing for colorfastness: Rugs are made from a variety of materials and to varying quality standards, Vintage rugs may have color touched up with ink or paint to hide wear that may bleed or fade when exposed to water or cleaning solutions and dyes yes can be unstable and bleed. It's essential to test for colorfastness by wetting a small area of the rug with your cleaner of choice and blotting it with a white cloth before attempting to clean the entire rug.

  2. Using harsh chemicals: Strong detergents or cleaning solutions can damage the rug fibers and colors. Use a mild detergent and avoid any products that contain bleach, ammonia, or other harsh chemicals.

  3. Scrubbing the rug too aggressively: Vigorous rubbing or scrubbing can damage rugs and fray fibers, Instead, blot the rug gently with a clean white cloth to remove any stains or spills.

  4. Not vacuuming the rug first: Failing to vacuum the rug front and back to remove dry soil before cleaning makes it harder to get a rug clean. Be sure to vacuum the rug thoroughly, front and back, before attempting to clean it.

  5. Using too much cleaning product and failing to rinse the rug properly. Natural fibers like wool are very absorbent and can be challenging to rinse. A failure to rinse properly causes rapid re-soiling slows drying, and causes stiffness in a pile.  

  6. Carefully consider how you will get your rug dry; rugs are dense and highly absorbent materials that can be hard to dry. Not drying the rug properly: Leaving the rug damp or wet can cause mold, mildew, and odors. Be sure to dry the rug thoroughly by removing excess water and allowing it to air dry completely.


 If you're unsure how to clean your rug or if it's heavily soiled, it's best to seek professional help from a rug cleaning company that specializes in your type of rug.


How To Dry A Rug ?

A soaked wet rug left wet too long is the ideal environment for the growth of mold, mildew, and bacteria. I want you to consider where and how you will get the rug dry at home, even with spot cleaning a natural fiber carpet drying can be an issue.

Your home isn't created to dry rugs like a professional rug cleaners workshop. 


 Professional rug cleaning companies have specialized equipment to pull mosture from rugs fast and effectively for optimal drying but, more importantly, it is part of the cleaning process. This type of technology is out of the grasp of home rug cleaning. In our wash plant, I can take a thick soaking wet wool rug and, in 1 minute, remove 95% of the water in that rug. 

The larger the rug, the harder it will be to move and get dry my suggestion is clean smaller, thinner, and easy-to-move rugs and work up to bigger rugs as you develop some understanding and skill. 


It's important to pull as much mosture from a rug as possible after cleaning. 

Airflow is essential for the fast drying of a rug. You must use fans, do you have enough fans?

Even on a hot day, you need air movement, not just heat, to dry your rug

I won't mince words; professional rug cleaning isn't cheap; it's a laborious task, a trade skill, and most people don't understand the time, energy, and labor it takes to clean a rug.  

Many things can go sideways in the cleaning process from start to finish, color run shrinking, stalled drying, poor finishing, tea dyes, and ink painting of rugs. 

The best way to find a good rug cleaner is through a cleaning association such as ARCS (The Association of Rug Care Specialists 


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