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Persian rugs are an investment! I hear so many people say they don’t want to purchase a “nice” rug because they have kids or pets, but here is the thing, if you purchase a Persian rug, it will last for YEARS when taken care of regardless if you have kids or pets. I’ve bought so many cheap, machine made rugs that I had no way to clean, and they ended up going in the trash can. With a good professional cleaning, a handmade rug with pile will look brand new. Here is how to take care of your Persian rug investment:
Use a Felt Rug Pad
Carpet pads protect antique rugs from wear, tear and fading. I highly recommend a felt carpet pad, especially if you have wood floors. The sticky, foam and plastic ones can damage your hardwood floors (trust me, this happened in my first house on brand new bamboo flooring). You can order affordable felt rug pads in the size you need from Amazon.
Avoid Direct Sunlight
Hand knotted, Persian rugs are often made out of natural dyes. Direct sunlight will cause the dyes to fade where the sun hits. You might notice that some vintage and antique rugs are much darker and richer in color on one side versus the other, and sun damage is why! If direct sunlight is simply unavoidable, rotate your rug once per month. This will allow the colors to fade evenly.
Rotate Your Rug Regularly
Another reason to rotate your rug is to avoid heavy wear in high traffic areas. Think about it, if you have furniture on your rug, you are always going to walk in the same spots and never where the furniture is. I like to compare this to those who have a dog that runs the fence in their backyard. They likely have a beautiful, muddy strip in their lawn.
Vacuum Your Rug Frequently
Vacuuming your rug regularly will keep the wool or silk fibers from getting packed down. I always recommend turning off your vacuum’s beater bar when sweeping hand knotted rugs. The bar can grab and pull the rugs fibers and foundation. With the older rugs, you may have some threadbare spots and these will easily catch on a beater bar. I prefer to use the vacuum attachments on my own rugs. I also recommend vacuuming the backside of the rug! It can collect direct and dust and wear down the rug if left uncleaned.
Clean up Spills Immediately
Hey, it happens. We will spill something now and again. Grab a towel or rag and place it on top of the spill. Apply direct pressure from straight above to soak up the spill. DO NOT RUB the spill. This can cause staining! Be very cautious in what you use to clean up a spill. Club soda will often do the trick. Many solutions are not safe for wool. We have a little spot shampooer with solution designed specifically for wool rugs. It works great and has never caused the natural dyes to fade!
If your rug is in really bad shape, I highly recommend getting it professionally cleaned. There are cleaners that specialize in oriental rugs, but I used to use a local dry cleaner. They would pick the rug up at my house, dry clean it and bring it back fresh and clean in a big, huge box.
Quick Tips for Rug Care
- Use a felt rug pad
- Avoid direct sunlight
- Rotate your rug once in awhile
- Vacuum rugs regularly (front and back)
- Clean up spills immediately (with wool approved solution)
- Beat rugs once a month
- Get your rugs professionally cleaned once a year
A high-quality, handmade, Persian rug is well worth the investment. If you take care of your rug, it will last for generations! I’m linking everything below that helps us keep our Persian rugs in great shape. Don’t own a Persian rug yet, but thinking about making the investment? Head on over to my shop, Thoughtfully Thrifted, and browse my hand selected vintage rugs.
Photography: Sweet Lemon Drop