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Persian Rug Cleaning

Carpet Cleaning, Rug Cleaning, Upholstery Cleaning
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The sight of a Persian rug evokes thoughts of beauty, elegance, history, and the culture of the orient. Long considered the most luxurious of floor coverings, a Persian rug must be cleaned regularly to retain its most beautiful appearance. Especially on older, heirloom rugs, an overall cleaning may surprise the owners who see the rug's original color and vibrancy for the first time. Persian rug cleaning can be accomplished at home or by a professional in a rug cleaning shop.

Vacuuming Your Persian Rug

It's important to vacuum Persian area rugs frequently, at least two to three times per week. Vacuuming removes dust from the air, dirt carried in from outside, and any other debris that may be present. These particles, if allowed to stay on the rug, will settle and can cause permanent damage from friction against the fibers. Vacuuming should be done in an alternating pattern, never back and forth over the same area in the same direction. The vacuum's beater bar should be turned off or set to the highest height to prevent damage to the carpet fibers.

Stain Removal on Persian Rugs

Any spill should be taken care of it immediately. "Standing" matter that hasn't soaked into the carpet should be scooped up with a spoon or ladle. A clean, white cloth should then be blotted against the spill to absorb all possible liquid. It is recommended to work from the outer edges of the spill to the inside, to avoid spreading the stain to other areas of the rug. The cloth should be pressed against the rug, never rubbed. Rubbing can damage the Persian rug's fibers and may actually force the stain deeper into the rug.

A mild household soap or a commercial spot cleaner for carpeting can be worked gently into the stain. Some Persian rug owners have successfully used club soda to remove stains. Whichever cleaner you choose, it must be rinsed thoroughly with cool water. All remaining residue from the cleaning needs to be rinsed away to prevent any future damage. Warm or hot water can sometimes set in stains or bond cleaning residue to the rug fibers.

It can be helpful to place a shallow platter beneath the area of stained rug. The platter will catch any excess water, which will allow the rug to dry faster and will also protect the flooring under the rug. A fan can be used to speed the drying, but heat sources like a hair dryer or space heater should be avoided. Heat may cause irreparable damage to the rug.

Thorough Cleanings

Every 12 to 18 months, it's a good idea to have a Persian rug thoroughly cleaned. Vacuuming alone cannot remove all dirt, and rugs take on a faded or dingy appearance after a while. Rugs that receive frequent foot traffic will need to be cleaned more often than rugs that are rarely walked upon. Professional carpet cleaning services can give a safe and effective cleaning to Persian rugs no matter what kind of fibers are present. Professionals have the equipment and expertise necessary to clean wool, silk, cotton, and other fibers.

Persian rugs need a "wet bath" washing to clean away tiny particles that settle deep into the fibers. If you choose to wash your Persian rug at home, you will need a mild detergent with a neutral pH (5.0 - 8.0). The rug can be washed outdoors on a clean area, such as a patio or porch. It should be wet thoroughly with cool water and then gently washed with the detergent.

The detergent should be rinsed completely, and the rug can be left in the sun for a few hours to dry. Remaining in the sun for long periods can fade a Persian rug's colors, however. It may help to raise the rug off of the surface using shallow dishes to help speed drying. With this technique, the rug can be brought indoors to finish drying. Once it is dry, your Persian rug can be repositioned in its original location.

Old Fashioned Snow Cleaning

In the days before chemical detergents, Persian rugs were cleaned using snow. The method is not complicated, and some long-time Persian rug owners enthusiastically recommend it. The best snow for cleaning Persian rugs is new and quite dry. Very wet snow can transfer too much moisture into the rug and make it difficult to dry.

The rug should be left outside or in an unheated room until it reaches the same cold temperature as the snow. When it's ready, the rug is placed face down upon a clean area of snow. The back is then carefully tapped with a broom or similar tool. After beating for several minutes, the rug should be turned over to reveal all of the dirt that has shaken into the snow. To get the snow off of the rug, it can be held up by two corners and shaken gently.

The steps should be repeated on a new, clean area of snow until no more dirt is shed from the rug or until no clean snow is left. The rug should then be left in the same cold area as before to allow any remaining snow to evaporate. Once back inside, the rug needs to warm up before being repositioned in its home.

No matter which Persian rug cleaning method you choose, your rug will be made its most brilliant by periodic cleanings and prompt stain removal.

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