How to Hand Wash an Oriental Rug

Washing Oriental rugs removes dust and grime from foot traffic which can cause friction to the pile and premature wear to the rug.

Vacuum backside of Oriental Rug

1. Flip the rug over and vacuum the back side of the rug with a beater bar type vacuum cleaner.This loosens dirt and sand that has penetrated the rug’s pile and is trapped near the foundation. You will need to sweep the dirt that has fallen out of the pile underneath the rug once you are done vacuuming. If it has been a while since your last rug cleaning you may need to repeat this step twice.

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Vacuum top of Oriental Rug

2. Vacuum the surface of the rug thoroughly. 

3. You will need a liquid cleaner specially made for woolen fabrics, such as Woolite, a small bucket, a scrub brush with nylon bristles and warm water. Mix the cleaner with warm water to produce a sudsy combination.

Washing an Oriental Rug

4. Scoop up a brush full of the suds with a small amount of water and begin to scrub the wool pile in the direction from bound edge to bound edge in approximately one foot strokes. Try to wash one square foot at a time.

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5. After you have washed each square foot of your rug, use a brush to comb the pile straight in the direction you would pet a cat.

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6. Let the rug air dry on a flat, clean surface. You can use a fan on the rug to speed the drying time. This can take at least two days. Another option is letting your rug dry in the sun if it is a nice day. You will have to rotate your rug periodically so it dries faster. There is no need to worry about fading if you are only putting it outside for a day or two. 

7. After the area rug is completely dry, vacuum the rug thoroughly to remove any soap sediment. You should notice the highlight colors in your rug are more vivid and the pile has a lustrous appearance now that the wool is free from grime.

Cleaned Oriental Rug

Notes On Hand Washing an Oriental Rug:

Silk rugs should be dry cleaned by an experienced professional

Wool weakens when wet and should be handled with care until it has dried

Check out how to remove stains.

All content provided above is for informational purposes only. Neither the author nor Jessie's Oriental Rugs LLC assumes any responsibility for errors, omissions, or contrary interpretation of the subject matter. See Terms and Conditions for more information.