Care and Cleaning Tips for your Hand Knotted Rug

Care and Cleaning Tips for your Hand Knotted Rug

Posted by The Mission Motif on Mar 21st 2020

Your hand knotted rug is an investment and proper care and cleaning can go a long way.   Here are some tips that we recommend to extend the life of your rug. 

  1. Vacuum your rug regularly. Sand and grit work down to the base of the pile where abrasive action damages the wool and results in loss of pile. Always vacuum your carpet with the suction attachment only (NEVER USE THE BEATER BRUSH) to remove surface dirt. Beater brushes remove a small amount of pile with each use and can destroy fringe in no time.
  2. SPILLS: If food or liquids spill onto a carpet clean the spill as soon as possible. First, blot up any excess fluid. Use club soda or warm soapy water and a clean cloth or towel to remove the remainder. NEVER USE A CLEANING AGENT as these may affect the dyes and produce permanent colors changes. BE sure that the top, undersurface of the carpet, and the pad are completely dry before relaying the carpet. Failure to do so can result in mold, mildew, and dry rot with significant damage.
  3. RED WINE: If red wine or red dyed drink (kool-aid) is spilled use club soda immediately. Pour on stain and blot with a clean towel. Repeat (maybe 20 times) until all the red color is removed.
  4. Animal urine is very damaging to a handmade rug. It is not only unpleasant to smell but can result in dry rot and permanent staining or de-colorization of the dyes. Whenever accidents occur, use club soda and/or clean water to thoroughly flush the area. Elevate the soiled area over a pan or bucket and run water through the carpet until clean. You may use a towel and a mild detergent like shampoo but be sure to rinse thoroughly. Make sure the carpet is completely dry before replacing it flat on the floor. Pets tend to go again repeatedly in the same places. When long-term use is discovered, consult a professional cleaner.
  5. When should you have your carpet professionally cleaned? This depends upon the location and traffic patterns in your home. Obviously, higher traffic exposes carpets to more dirt. You can check the grit load in the carpet by placing a clean piece of paper on the surface near a corner. Fold the corner over the piece of paper and whack the back of the carpet on top of the paper several times as hard as possible. Pull back the fold and examine the paper to ascertain the amount of grit and dirt that was knocked out of the carpet. If appreciable, the carpet should be professionally dusted and cleaned. When your carpet is noticeably soiled, it is time to have it cleaned. Otherwise, have it cleaned every 5 years on average.
  6. How should carpets be cleaned? Handmade carpets should never be “dry cleaned” using powders, as this simply polishes the surface and leaves a large quantity of gritty residue. Handmade carpets should NEVER be “steam cleaned” as this will cause dyes to bleed and can shrink wool fibers. Handmade carpets should always be thoroughly DUSTED to remove dirt and grit prior to washing. This can’t be achieved by vacuum cleaning. If not properly done, the dirt residue hardens in the foundation of the rug and makes them stiff and brittle. Handmade carpets should always be washed using an appropriately formulated detergent. They should be washed on both front and back surfaces. After washing, it is very important to thoroughly rinse the rug until all cleaner is removed. You should never simply surface shampoo your carpet. This will merely brighten the surface and leave the shampoo and dirt in the carpet.
  7. Every quality hand knotted rug needs a rug pad to extend its life. This quality premium felted rug pad is twice the thickness of our standard pad, and it helps avoid accidents by keeping the rug in place. The rug pad will also reduce wrinkles and prevent scratches or staining on your floors. Designed to use on hardwood floors, tiled floors, concrete floors and carpeted floors.
  8. Moth damage can occur anywhere but is usually under furniture in dark areas that are not regularly vacuumed. The only long-term effective moth proofing is zinc or magnesium fluorosilicate, which last until a rug is cleaned. Other moth treatments lose their effectiveness in a few months. Be sure that any of your carpets partially concealed by furniture are properly treated.
  9. Your carpet should be rotated 180 degrees periodically to minimize wear from traffic patterns and to even out any sun fading.
  10. Any carpet will fade if exposed to direct ultraviolet sunlight. Most modern windows are Low E and mostly eliminate this problem. Older windows may be coated with UV blocking film to minimize this problem.
  11. If you follow these suggestions, your hand knotted Arts and Crafts rug will look beautifule, retain its value, and wear well for many years.