The Complete Guide to Antique Rug Care

Published: Jul 6, 2020
Category: Rug Cleaning
antique rug how to clean

There’s a reason why fine oriental rugs become heirlooms and antiques. It’s because they are made of outstanding materials and durable textiles. With the right cleaning and rug care, your antique rug will look great for many years to come.

We’ve organized this complete guide to antique rug care to help you preserve your stunning rug so that it lasts for many years to come. Here’s a look at the day-to-day maintenance and accident prevention, as well as a professional cleaning schedule you should consider to extend the life of your rug.

Preserving the longevity of your rug

To preserve the long-term wellbeing and vivacity of your antique rug, start with a high-quality rug pad. Rug pads can help prevent rips and tears, which could leave you with costly repair bills. Plus, they’ll help reduce the wear on your rug and provide a more enjoyable experience when you walk across the rug.

Choose a rug pad designed for the type of flooring that you have. There are rug pads for wood floors, laminate, stone, etc. The thicker the rug pad you choose, the plusher your antique rug will feel. Be sure to read our full guide to rug pads before making a choice.

Secondly, it’s important to ensure that any furniture that rests on your antique rug has furniture cups. These will reduce the wear directly under your furniture feet. Furniture places a lot of stress on one specific area of a rug. Rug cups help reduce these high-stress areas to avoid matting that area down.

Before moving furniture, put sliders underneath the furniture legs to prevent snags and tears during the moving process.

Finally, how you store your rug is important. Always place them in a clean, dry place that is climate controlled to 60-75 degrees Fahrenheit. Make sure that the moisture in the room is low. If you need to, use a dehumidifier to prevent mold and mildew buildup on your rug while it is in storage. Even when your rug is not in storage, make sure it’s in a relatively dry room to prevent mold or mildew issues.

antique rug storing

Before placing your antique rug in storage, get it professionally cleaned. This ensures that you don’t have tough stains that set in while it’s in storage. Additionally, you should not wrap your rug in plastic as this could encourage moisture buildup. Instead, wrap it in paper so that the rug can breathe and dry out in case of any moisture in the room. Plus, a freshly cleaned rug is not as attractive to moths to lay their eggs in.

Moths pose a serious threat to antique rugs while they are in storage. That’s because moths seek out undisturbed dark places to lay their eggs. Once those eggs hatch, the larvae might consume your rug’s material.

To protect against moths, it’s a good idea to remove your rug from storage from time to time and clean it. If you notice a moth infestation within your rug, call a rug cleaning expert immediately. Your rug can be preserved but you’ll need to act fast to avoid costly reweaving repairs.

Antique rug accident prevention

antique carpet care

You want your rug proudly displayed in your home so that you can enjoy it. You certainly shouldn’t have it in storage permanently. While there will be some risks to accidents and mishaps with your rug, that should not prevent you from enjoying it within your home.

There are a few ways you can prevent damage to your rugs or accidents that leave permanent stains. First off, try to place your rug away from eating areas in your home and lower trafficked areas. Generally, this is in a living room where food is discouraged.

Secondly, do not place potted plants on or near your rug.

Water damage from plants can weaken your rug, potentially leading to tears and abrasions to it. By keeping your rug dry, you can preserve the fibers so that they can stay as strong of a foundation for your rug as possible. Too much exposure to water could later lead to dry rot if not treated and prevention measures put in place

Plus, if your potted plants get knocked over and the dirt goes into your rug, you could end up with dirt spots or further wear you’d rather prevent. It’s just better to keep your plants as far away from your antique rug as possible.

Finally, repeated exposure to UV rays can harm your rug. Antique rugs are made of high-quality dyes and materials to stand the test of time. These rugs can still look great even after continuous traffic. But sunlight can discolor or fade your rugs.

Place window coverings on all windows near the rug. Try to keep your blinds or curtains closed during the heat of the day to reduce sun exposure and keep your antique rug looking great for as long as possible. You should also rotate your rug so that it wears evenly and gets the same sun exposure on all sides. This will help it look good from every angle since the color fade from UV exposure should be even.

Everyday cleaning for your antique rug

antique rug preservation

Keeping your rugs clean will help you avoid pressing dirt deeper into your rug’s fibers and causing damage to its fibers. However, you should be very careful when cleaning your rug as improper care could do more damage than no care at all.

Never use a vacuum with a power brush on it. The brushes will rake your rug’s knots and put undue stress on it. Instead, manually brush your rugs to remove dust and debris every month. The best way to clean your rugs is to use an Everett-based rug cleaning company at least annually.

If you do spill something on the rug, don’t fear. Quality rugs are stain-resistant. Blot the spill with a moist, clean cloth. Once you’ve removed as much of the spill as you can, blot the area with a damp sponge. To avoid mold from the moisture, elevate the affected area off of the floor for faster air drying. You must never use chemicals or cleaners on your rug surface. You could harm the fibers or dye with such chemicals leaving behind permanent damage.

After the area dries, if you still see a stain, contact a professional rug cleaning company immediately. The less time the stain has to set in, the better chance your antique rug cleaning company has of removing the stain entirely.

Complete your rug care with an annual professional rug cleaning

antique rug care

Even with the best preparation, prevention and safe cleaning practices, you should get your antique rug professionally cleaned each year. This will reduce dirt buildup and prevent stains from minor spills or accidents near the rug.

Many things can wear down the fibers of your rug. Professionally cleaning can remove these foreign objects, including dirt and dust, to keep your rug vibrant and looking great. For professional antique rug cleaning in Everett, contact us. We have 20 years of professional rug care experience and will take good care of your antique or heirloom rug.


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