Persian rugs are the epitome of beauty and sophistication. Perhaps surprisingly for many first time owners, they’re also remarkably durable. In fact, if properly cared for a high quality Persian rug can last for centuries. The key phrase there being “if properly cared for”. Because, although they’re hand woven from the finest materials and are made to last, owners still need to be mindful of the things that could undermine their long-term integrity and value. At Steve’s we’ve been helping Colorado homeowners care for their Persian rugs for more than 40 years. And in that time we’ve learned everything there is to know about Persian rug cleaning and maintenance. Below, we’ll share some of those things we’ve learned.
There’s More to Caring for Your Oriental Rug Than Just Rug Cleaning
The following are some of the ways people damage their Persian and Oriental rugs without even knowing.
- They expose them to direct sunlight - The power of the sun should never be underestimated. And just as you would never hang a Rembrandt in direct sunlight so too you should never lay a Persian carpet in a place where it will be exposed to direct sunlight. UV rays are incredibly powerful and over time, they’ll act as bleach on the colors of your beautiful Persian. The problem becomes particularly acute if only one part of the rug is exposed to direct sunlight during the day. In no time you’ll notice that half your rug looks faded while the other half has deep rich colors. And once gone, no amount of rug cleaning will restore those faded colors.
- They expose them to too much foot traffic - You don’t buy a Persian rug to hang it on the wall (at least most people don’t). You get it to lay on the floor. So it’s a given that it is going to have to endure at least some foot traffic. But if you really want your expensive rug to last you’ll place it in an area where foot traffic is at a minimum. For instance, placing it in the dining room or den instead of the living room or entryway will greatly reduce the damage done to the rug over time. And no matter where you place it you should try and rotate it at least once or twice a year to encourage even wear and tear.
- Not dusting or vacuuming enough - Colorado is a beautiful place but with all the dust, dirt, tree pollen and more in the air it’s also tough on rugs and upholstery. Dust finds its way into all the homes here and ultimately winds up settling into the pile of your carpet or Persian rug. Oriental rug cleaning will certainly remedy this situation but you can’t be sending your Persian off to be cleaned every month. In between cleanings the rug needs to be dusted and vacuumed on a regular basis. When we say “dusting” we mean gently working the rug using a soft bristle broom. You should do this once a month and then follow up with a light vacuuming to collect dust and dirt loosened by the brush.
- Not addressing spills when they happen - Any time a food or drink is spilled on the rug it must be addressed immediately or you run the risk of the stain settling in. Once that happens it will be devilishly difficult to remove, even for a professional. If you spill something on the rug take a clean, damp cloth and press it into the spill or soiled area. If there is a great deal of liquid to be collected wring the cloth out, rinse it with clean water, wring it again and apply it again to the spill. Do this as many times as necessary to soak up all the liquid.
- Hanging the rug to dry - Sometimes people take Persian rug cleaning upon themselves. This by itself will likely contribute to shortening the life of the rug. But where they really mess up is hanging the rug to dry afterward. A Persian should never be hung to dry for any reason. The weight of the wet rug will cause the fabrics to stretch and can potentially distort the rug in a way you’ll never be able to fix.
- Improper storing - This is one of the most common ways people damage their beautiful Oriental rugs. They’ll roll them up, wrap them in plastic and then stand them the corner of the garage or attic. There are so many things wrong with storing a Persian rug this way it’s hard to know where to begin. But the main problems are that wrapping the rug in plastic is going to seal in any moisture and promote rot and the development of mold. And standing it up (presumably to save space) will cause the weight of the rug to press down on one side, permanently disfiguring the rug and damaging the edge it’s standing on. In a perfect world the rug will be rolled loosely, not wrapped and stored laying down in a dry, cool place.
The Bottom Line
Take the above tips to heart and your beautiful Persian rug will enhance your lifestyle and add value to your home for decades to come. And if you need Persian rug cleaning, standard carpet cleaning, air duct cleaning or dryer vent cleaning make sure you call the pros at Steve's Carpet Care. We’re Colorado’s premier Oriental rug cleaning experts.