Can One Safely Clean Handmade Rugs at Home?


We are sometimes asked if it is possible to thoroughly clean a Persian or Oriental Rug at home safely.  The answer is yes.  Indeed, in much of the carpet weaving world, few people send their rugs out to have them professionally cleaned; an at home deep cleaning is part of an annual or biannual spring cleaning process.  However, experience is needed to know how to control potential color run - experience that is gained through either trial and error, or from a previous generation's passing on of important know how.  The main risks the cleaning process entails is the chance of color run and the chance that the water will leave the wool misshapen.  Much can be done to mitigate both risks, including a color run test that should be done before any deep cleaning.  Once a rug passes a color run test, the rug can be cleaned with soap and water, always taking care to examine if color run is occurring and, if so, taking steps to make sure dyes don't settle onto adjoining colored sections.  The process can be tricky, but the results are often wonderful.  A good cleaning can result in a brighter rug that will be ready to be enjoyed by its owner for decades, if not longer.