How To Maintain Your Handmade Rugs To Keep Them Looking Good

Many homeowners are hesitant to purchase handmade rugs for their residences because rugs are believed to accumulate dust and be tough to clean. Contrary to popular belief, however, handmade rugs like vintage Persian Tabriz wool rugs and Sultanabad wool rugs can be really hard-wearing and long-lasting when properly maintained and cared for.

If you’ve been looking for a guide on how to maintain handmade rugs and keep them looking awesome, here are six tips to help you!

Regular Vacuuming is a Must

Dirt, dust, sand, and small stones will always get into a rug's base. If your handmade rug is not vacuumed regularly, these particles can cause damage with their abrasiveness and degrade the fibers. When vacuuming, only use the suction head to clean up the surface contaminants. The beater brush head should not be used because it removes a little bit of rug fiber with each stroke and can quickly damage the fringes.

Clean Up Spills and Stains Immediately

If you drop food or drinks on your handmade rug, immediately use club soda and a fresh cloth to wipe it up. Chemical detergents should never be used as they can degrade the natural dyes and create irreversible changes in color. Before putting the rug back, make sure that the top, base, and bottom are all fully dry. Neglecting to do this will lead to mold, fungus, and dry rot which can cause serious damage!

Wash with the Right Method and Shampoo

It's never a good idea to "steam clean" your handmade rugs because the darker dye colors will bleed onto the light-colored backgrounds like with beige vintage Persian Tabriz wool rugs. Powders should also never be used to "dry clean" them as they brighten up the top surface but leave behind a lot of grainy residues. Similarly, you shouldn’t simply shampoo the surface of your rug as this will just polish the top but leave detergent and grime inside.

Instead, handmade rugs should first be meticulously dusted to eliminate loose dirt so the deposits won’t solidify and make the base rigid. Then, rugs should be shampooed extensively on both front and rear surfaces using a suitable specialized detergent. It's crucial to properly rinse the rug down until all the detergent has been washed off.

Keep Them Out of Direct Sunlight

All rugs will naturally fade or discolor when exposed to direct sunlight in the long run. To mitigate this issue, most windows have low-emissivity coatings which reduce harmful UV effects. To combat this problem in older windows, a UV-shielding laminate can be coated onto them. Also, it’s good to routinely spin your rugs around 180° to balance out any sun discoloring and wearing patterns from your usual foot traffic.

Moth-Proof Your Rugs

Moth damage is common in dark areas beneath furnishings that are not cleaned on a regular basis. Make sure that any rugs placed under your furniture are moth-proofed. Zinc fluorosilicate is a reliable long-term moth repellant that lasts till the rug is washed.

Do Professional Repairs, Not DIY

You should never use superglue or duct tape on the bottom of rugs to stop torn base threads from unraveling further. The superglue will seep into the rug and, once dried, will harden and damage the base. Once this occurs it'll become impossible to professionally repair the rug!