Cleaning Heirloom Rugs



Have you ever heard the phrase, “the best way to clean an heirloom rug is to not get it dirty in the first place“? I cringed when I hear or see that posted too. Ugh! What purpose would there be to buy a rug if you’re never going to use it.

You’re woven pieces of art are treasures you want to showcase in a formal setting, not keep rolled up in an air tight container so no one can appreciate them. They are meant to be walked on. To be enjoyed. To be shown off. These types of rugs tell a story. And they are passed from one generation to the next. I saw an extra expensive rugs in exclusive Koh Samui villa last year – they’re contemporary but look antique, perfectly fitted in modern luxurious interiors. And they are in rental villas – perfectly clean!

Heirloom rugs are an investment. Not in the actual fiber, but in the enjoyment they bring to those who show them off.

And they get dirty.

So how do you know when you heirloom rug needs cleaned?

Here are 3 signs to look for…

  1. Pick up a corner of the rug and while holding it, kick the back of the rug sharply. If a cloud of dirt flies out of the pile, the rug is dirty and needs cleaning. NOTE: some dust and wool fibers are normal!
  2. Kneel down on the rug and rub the pile vigorously with your hand for 5 to 10 seconds. Look at your fingers and palm: if your hand is dirty, the rug needs cleaning.
  3. With the pile facing UP fold part of the rug back upon itself so that the pile opens along a line of knots. Look down into the base of the pile at the foundation of the rug. If the warp and weft look dirty, there is dirt deep in the pile where a home vacuum cleaner cannot reach it. The rug needs cleaning.

Vacuuming your rug on a regular basis helps keep the soil from penetrating deep down and ruining the carpet fibers. But over time, your rug will need cleaned. And unless you’re a professional carpet cleaner trained in fiber identification or utilizing a cleaning service, what cleaning solutions can be used on wool vs silk and about color fastness I would refrain from trying to clean your own rugs.

At Parrot Rug Cleaning and Carpet Dyeing we are experienced in cleaning thousands of different rugs and our goal is make sure every customer is happy and every rug that leaves our shop is clean and ready to be used once more.

On a side note: we know there are a great deal of companies out there who purport to be cleaners and are graciously posting remedies on how to clean your own rugs. But what happens when you follow their directions and you mess up your rug or actually set the stain? Do it yourself methods don’t always work on heirloom rugs. Why? Well because not every instruction posted on the internet is designed to clean your precise rug. So why risk it? Call a professional who knows how to properly clean your rugs.