Cleaning Tips

Oriental rug cleaning: The little known procedure for oriental rug washing at home

oriental rug cleaning   Oriental rug cleaning is mostly perform by professional service, which will cost you hundreds of dollars. Unless you are seriously requiring your Oriental rug to be cleaned perfectly, home washing could be a prominent solution to preserve your rug for everlasting. Let’s discover how to save your budget but still keeping your oriental rug clean all the year.


  1. What is an Oriental rug
  2. Cleaning Oriental rug is completely different with normal carpet
  3. Oriental rug care
  4. Oriental rug cleaning: professional service cost
  5. Can you clean Oriental rug at home like a pro?


  1. What is an Oriental rug


    Oriental rug is a general term that referred to heavy textile, made by “Oriental countries” ( As the Oriental rug brings exotic and mysterious theme to the home, many of use nowadays choose an Oriental rug for our living place decoration. The rug is mostly used in living room, master rooms where a lot of daily activities happening on it. In addition, a lot of US families pass the rug from generations to generations, reserving the Oriental rug as a family tradition. Therefore, Oriental rugs maintenance has  far more important than other carpeted textiles in the house.

2. Cleaning Oriental rug is completely different with carpet

   There is a common misconception that cleaning industrial produced carpets with Oriental rugs is somehow similar. This misunderstanding is sometimes causing troubles to your precious rugs. Actually, cleaning Oriental rug is far more a meticulous and careful process than other domestic rugs, because the woven types, materials, dyeing colors for Oriental rugs are mostly coming from the nature. Therefore, a lot of attentions should be taking into account to avoid any mishap could destruct the natural beauty of your rugs.

   Just for example, the traditional variable dyeing colors for Oriental rugs are mostly made from plants and insects.

  • Red color : from madder roots
  • Yellow color: from plants, such as onion, chamomile
  • Black color: from oak apples, oak acorns, Tanner’s sumach
  • Green color: to have green color, the rug is dyed first with Indigo, then overlay by yellow dye
  • Carmine (bright-reddish color): from insects (interestingly). The carmine color for Oriental rug dyeing will be varied from regions to regions.

   The introducing of synthetic colors give Oriental rugs an artistic value that is quite similar to those dyed by natural colors, yet the utility is better since the color is long-lasting and easier for cleaning process.

   How far cleaning Oriental rugs will be different with commercial carpet (rug) cleaning?

   Home carpets and Oriental rugs are exposed to similar dirt and stains, however cleaning Oriental rugs are far more than a normal cleaning process.

    First, you need to check the fasten level (or called dye-bleed test) of your rugs.

 oriental rug cleaning  For a commercial carpet, regular cleaning detergents at any store could easily treat your carpet dirt and stains easily, without harming to the carpet colors or fibers. For Oriental rugs, especially natural dyed rugs you should test the fasten level of a small part of the rug, to see if the detergents or cleaning formulas are safe to the rugs. For professional Oriental rug cleaning, the service will apply various testing techniques on the rug to justify dye bleeding level. Afterwards, they will appoint the most suitable cleaning procedure (and cleaning detergent) to the rug.

   Second, cleaning process is more laborious

   Oriental rug cleaning will treat the rugs back and front differently. There is an array of tools that professionals use during cleaning, such as roller squeegee, rotating scrubber, compression tools, vacuum tools, air dusting tools and so on. Compared with carpet cleaning, just a commercial carpet cleaner or an upright carpet cleaner could do the whole cleaning without any hassle.

   Third, cleaning formulas for Oriental rug and domestic carpet are varied

   Oriental rugs require mild cleaning substances, and each type of rugs will need a specific mild cleaning formula. Using the wrong cleaning formula can ruin your rugs.

   Last but not least, drying process is complicated

   The Oriental rugs should be dried in a warm mild condition, where the rug is hanged and the gravity will play a role in removing the water and maintaining the woven structure of the rug during drying. Drying too fast or too slow will possibly damage the rugs

   So far we can see, cleaning an Oriental rug require a lot of careful steps and rug’s understandings. But do not be frightened, there are proven Oriental rug cleaning procedures at home has been provided for DIY people that professionals have recommended.

3. Oriental rug care  


   Why is Oriental rug care? Because it is the first simple step that adds a lot of benefits to Oriental rug cleaning actually. With proper care, your Oriental rugs could last for decades. Here are some practical tips to maintain your Oriental rug properly

  • Rug rotation: frequent walking/ sitting on the same area will make the rug wear excessively on a section. Therefore, it is recommended to rotate the rugs on a quarterly basis.
  • Direct sunlight avoidance: the sunlight will cause the dyeing color to react, transform and fade away. Do not put your Oriental rug in the area with direct sunlight.
  • Regular vacuum: for casual dirt removal to ensure your rug is clean and matt over years.
  • Spot clean:  In case of spillage, stains accidents or food fluid occurs, treat the spot immediately by using the towel to cloth the rug gently to remove excessive water. Use a bit soda + water mixture to blot and repeat until the spot disappeared. Do not use any soap, detergents because it could damage your rugs. Only use once you get the correct cleaning detergent for Oriental rugs.
  • Moisture removal: on quarterly basis. As long as the rug is used, the air moisture could set down on the Oriental rug, eventually leading to mold and mildew development. These microbes will destroy the fibers and colors irreversibly. You should lay your Oriental rugs outside for a few hours to remove precipitated moisture.
  • Use products for oriental protection. Many rug owners has recommended Scotchgard Carpet and Rug Protector, 17-Ounce, which is capable of blocking stains, resisting soilings and preserving the rug colors (this is Amazon 1st Best Seller in Dining Clothing Protector category)
  • One of the best way is to hire a professional rug cleaning and washing after several using years. They could clean the rug thoroughly and your Oriental rug could last longer.

4. Oriental rug cleaning: professional service cost

   There are plenty of factors co-contributing to Oriental cleaning service price. Specifically, the cleaning cost will depend on

  • Cleaning products you are choosing for your Oriental rugs. They could be the lowest cost products, standard products, premium products and eco-friendly products. These products could be as low as $4 or $15 per unit (normally one Oriental rug need one unit for a complete washing).
  • Labor work: The bigger the Oriental rug will need more treating time, and the more money you need to pay. For a small rug (e.g 3’ x 5’), cleaning service will charge you around $60-$70 per unit. The bigger rug (e.g. 8’ x 12’), the cleaning cost could be as much as $100-$120.
  • Equipment cost: the service will add this to the final price for Oriental rug cleaning, ranging from $40-$60.
  • Therefore, generally you have to pay around $100-$140 for a small rug ( 3’ x 5’) or $150-$200 for a big Oriental rug (8’ x 12’).


   Several Oriental rug cleaning service could offer the better price and seasonal promotions, check around your place to get the best deal possible.

    The rug cleaning service sometimes will charge on other cleaning requirements (e.g. odor removal, pet stain removal) whilst others have included into the price package. Ask them specifically to avoid overcharge and unexpected cleaning result.

5. Can you clean Oriental rug at home like a pro?

Full Oriental rug cleaning


   Yes you can, fortunately. With small Oriental rug, you could clean yourself at home at a spacious place (your garage, pavement or any place your find convenient). Before washing your Oriental rug, spend a few minutes to check if it is really dirty and need washing by three simple tricks

  • Kick off the back of the Oriental rug (hold a corner in your hand, then kick it off). If there is a bunch of dirt flying out, then your rug is really dirty and need to wash.
  • Roll the rug and observe the dirt embedded at the bottom of the rug. If there is still a lot of dirt and stains that the vacuum unreachable, then your rug is ready for a washing time.
  • Rub your hand on the surface of the rug. If your hand is dirty then it is also a signal that your rug requires cleaning.

Now, here is the washing process for your Oriental rug

  • First, vacuum the Oriental rug on both surface and back sides to remove dirt out of the rug.
  • Then, use a soft brush or non-shedding sponge to shampoo the rug with plain water and mild shampoo. Please make sure to use rug-approved formulas only and you should test color bleeding on a small part of the rug. This color run test will ensure the formula will not damage your rug (there are several Oriental rug shampoos on the market such as: Chemspec- Oriental Rug ShampooSteamway International – Cotton & Wool Prespray, etc.)
  • Pay attention to brushing way: you should brush the pile on straight direction, along with the nap to avoid wearing. First, wet the rug with plain water, followed by cleaning mixture and brush the rug firmly.
  • Subsequently, wash the rug with plain water until the cleaning formula is removed.
  • Use a squeegee to push excessive water out of the rug. It is recommended to use rubber window squeegee to brush along with the nap.
  • Lay your rug on a flat area for air drying. One the nap is dry, turn the rug over for drying the back.

Spot Oriental rug cleaning

   Spot Oriental rug cleaning should be performed as soon as possible. The longer time the spills stay on your rug, the difficult it will be removed. Therefore, spot cleaning is a mandatory task to preserve your rug for long lasting.

Food spillage and pet urine removal

   Leaving the food liquid or pet urine on the rug for a considerable time will not only make it difficult for later cleaning but these stuffs will detrimentally destruct the rug in many ways. The color could be faded; the rug foundation will be hard and brittle, which will be cracked when the rug is folded. The urine will leave a nasty smell, the food liquid may promote mold growth…Therefore, it is better to treat the spillage or pet accidents right way.

   First, remove the solid dirt out of the rug, then use a towel or a rug- friendly vacuum to blot/ to vac and remove excessive liquid as much as you can. Afterwards, make a mixture of white vinegar and water ( 1 cup: 1 Gallon) to wash the spots. After that, use the towel to blot and repeat until your rug is clean.

Pet stool, human liquids removal

   First, you have to remove the feces or any liquid as fast as you can, then blot the dirty area with dry towel

   Second, you should make the following formula

  • ¼ cup of white vinegar: white vinegar will ensure your rug will not be colored-bleeding by strengthen the connecting bonds between the rug and the dyes.
  • ½ teaspoon of dishwashing liquid: dishwashing liquid will help to remove the complex organic substances
  • 2 cups of warm water: warm water is more effective in cleaning than cool water.

   Third, brush or blot the rug with the above mix. Use the towel to dry the rug and repeat until the rug is clean.

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