Maintaining Oriental Rug

Use the correct underlay

You should never put an oriental rug directly on an uncarpeted floor because, over time, the wool will become damaged from being pressed between two hard surfaces. An underlay protects the rug from this damage. The two best materials for an underlay are solid sponge rubber or one made from a combination of animal hair and jute (a type of vegetable fiber) with rubber coating on both sides.

Regular cleaning

Oriental rugs should be cleaned regularly and slowly. Use a carpet sweeper or a vacuum cleaner with beater bars. Vacuum the back of the rug first to loosen any of the dirt that is in the pile. Then, gently vacuum the face of the rug. Very powerful vacuums can damage a rug, so if you are unsure, it’s best to use a carpet sweeper or a brush. Very old or damaged rugs should be cleaned by a specialist.

Proper shampooing

Shampooing your oriental rug removes more ingrained dirt. It also restores some essential moisture to the fibers. Wool tends to dry out, especially if it’s in an area with central heating and air and when the fibers get too dry, they are more susceptible to breakage. However, too much moisture can cause mildew. To shampoo your rug, use good quality wool detergent and apply it with a sponge or a rag after the rug has been cleaned. Let the rug dry in the sun, then go over it with a hair dryer, making sure there are no damp areas in the foundation or pile. Old, delicate, or expensive rugs should be shampooed by a specialist.

Removing stains

To remove stains from your oriental rug, dab or sponge the area with a wool or silk compatible cleaning solution until you have removed as much of the stain as possible. Thoroughly dry the area. Never scrub an oriental rug. If you cannot remove the stain completely, consult a specialist.


Almost all repairs are best left to a specialist. However, very small ones, such as fringes or selvages that become detached, can potentially be done at home. Very carefully sew them back on by hand using a matching colored thread of the same material. Damages to the pile or foundation should always be handled by a professional.