Caring for Antique Rugs


One of the pleasures of having an older house is that you can fill it with antiques and quality older items and they look perfectly in place. Without doubt, antique rugs are one of the finishing touches to a room that showcase this idea perfectly. Perhaps the only slight downside to these beautiful creations is that they need careful and consider cleaning. Here we look at some tips and tricks for caring for antique rugs.

Cleaning time

One of the first things to say about antique rugs is that their very nature is that they are never completely clear of dust. A small amount of dust will always cling to them and you shouldn’t try to clean it away all the time – it’s a battle you can’t win. But how do you know at what point normal dust becomes excess dust and cleaning is needed? Pick up one corner of the rug and give it a sharp kick at the back. If there is a cloud of dust that flies into the air, then it is cleaning time. Alternatively, rub the pile vigorously with your hand in five or ten second arcs. If your hands are dirty after doing this a few times, then the rug is ready for a clean.

Professional help

Rugs of any size need a clean and with larger rugs, this can be a major undertaking. It can also go very wrong if you aren’t experienced in caring for these antiques. Therefore, for many people, the best option is to call in professional carpet cleaners found on sites like CCL, that have experience of antique carpet and rug cleaning, to deal with the cleaning. They may also be the best option is there has been a major spill or a stain on the rug as DIY methods may not be successful.

Gentle cleaning

Of course, that isn’t to say every tiny spot needs a visit from the carpet cleaner. Normal, frequent cleaning is relatively simple and even some spot cleaning can be undertaken with simple household products. Take the rug outside and give it a good vacuum clean to start. If the rug is small enough to manage, you may want to wash is with a mild liquid soap or a rug shampoo but remember, you need to be able to wring it out to get it drying so may not be suitable for larger rugs. Rinse with clean water and leave out to try.

Stain removal

Most professionals will advise against the use of home remedies for stain removal because these can have an unreliable effect on the antique materials used in these rugs. Even if you are using a commercial product recommend for the rug, always spot test somewhere in a corner before starting with the whole rug, in case there are any problems.

Other tips

Some Persian rugs recommend a manual sweeper rather than an electric vacuum cleaning for normal daily cleans as they can damage the sheen of the wool. Also, using pads beneath the rugs when on a wood or stone floor can also length their lifespan and help avoid dirt on the reverse side of the rug.