Here are some simple rules of thumb for proper care of your fine oriental rug. In general, oriental carpets are made to last for generations. If you take a few simple steps you can make your rug last a long time, and look beautiful throughout its life.
Keep your carpet clean
Dirt is the worst enemy of fine Oriental rugs. Dirt is abrasive, and when it gets packed into the base of the knots it will actually cut off the fibers from the pile. We recommend vacuuming your rug at least weekly. Your vacuum should have an agitator or beater bar, set so that it beats the surface lightly. Excessive pressure of the beater bar can cause extra wear. Every few years you should have your carpet professionally cleaned. Proper cleaning removes all dirt that has collected in the carpet, restores the original colors of the rug, and rehydrates the wool in dry climates. Professional cleaning can only be done outside your home, so never allow anyone to come to your house and clean the carpet. Most services that come to the home are set up to clean wall to wall carpets, and your Oriental rug is very different. Never allow anyone to "steam clean" your Oriental rugs. This can cause the colors to bleed, and strips vital lanolin from the wool.
We recommend having your rug washed every 2 years, and will wash it at half the normal price if we can do it every 2 years. This also allows us to catch small repairs and other issues before they become big, expensive problems.
Walk on your carpet
Oriental carpets are made to be walked on. In the Middle East, most people remove their shoes when they enter a home, leaving the dirt on their shoes outside. In America we generally don't do this, so timely cleaning becomes essential. Rubber soled shoes are hard on rugs, and tear at the wool fibers, wearing them prematurely. Bare feet or stocking feet are best for the rugs whenever possible. Walking on the carpet massages the lanolin through the wool, giving the carpet a beautiful luster. It also discourages moths from laying eggs on the carpet.
Moths look for dark, moist places to lay their eggs. It is actually the larvae which do the damage to any wool garment or rug, not the moths themselves. We spray a colorless, odorless solution that discourages the moths from laying eggs on any susceptible areas. Whenever a wool rug is hung on the wall it needs to have a moth repellent applied.
Protect your rug from sunlight
The desert Southwest has particularly harsh sunlight which can fade the rug. In and of itself this may not be a bad thing, but many rugs get exposed to sunlight unevenly, causing fading only on part of the rug. Turn your rug 180 degrees in the room periodically to avoid uneven fading. This also helps your rugs wear more evenly. There are window films available that reduce the ultraviolet radiation from sunlight. These films are applied to the window surface, and help block harmful rays. Look for "Low-E" films.
Blot up spills with clear cold water
Spills and stains are an inevitable part of a rug’s life. You should clean spills immediately, as many drinks can permanently dye the rug. Blot up the spill with a fresh towel, and use a little clear cold water to dilute the stain. Keep rinsing (not too much water) and blotting until the stain is gone. If someone spills milk on the carpet, it is probably a good idea to have the rug professionally cleaned, as the milk can sour and leave an unpleasant odor. Coffee, red wine, blood, and dark sodas can all leave permanent stains, so get to them as quickly as possible. If you have a "wet/dry" vacuum you can use it to suck out excess water from the rug.
Our beloved pets sometimes have "accidents". Urine is particularly bad about staining, because it is acidic. Also, left untreated, urine will leave an odor that is very hard to remove. For urine stains, use the same procedure as above, but be sure to rinse thoroughly. Give us a call and let us wash and sanitize the rug to eliminate long term odor and other problems.
Repair any damage quickly
Most repairs are very simple when they first appear. Attend to any tears or damage quickly. We find that often times people will procrastinate a simple repair on a rug. Left unattended, many simple repairs become major repairs.
Please don't hesitate to call us with any rug care questions you may have.
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Serafian's Oriental Rugs
1421 Wyoming Blvd NE
Albuquerque, NM 87112
(505) 504-RUGS (7847)
Monday - Saturday:
10:00am - 6:00pm
Serafian's offers New Mexico's largest inventory of fine hand-knotted rugs from the Middle and Far East. We also provide expert area rug repair and cleaning service via our "Deep Immersion Cleaning" method.
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