Cleaning Antique Rugs

Antique and Vintage Rugs Require Special Care

One thing that professional rug cleaning experts agreed on is that chemical cleaners are totally off-limits when it comes to cleaning antique or vintage rugs. If not used or applied correctly harsh chemicals may damage a rug. Professional cleaners use warm water and gentle, chemical-free solutions that ensure colors of your precious rugs won’t bleed and materials won’t break down.

Finely woven carpet may be classified as oriental or Persian based on its design, only rugs that are at least 80 years old or more can classified as antique. However, even though your rug may not be classified as an antique or vintage, if you paid a lot of money for it, you will want to preserve it by consulting a professional rug cleaner. While regular vacuuming and spot-cleaning are recommended, a professional rug cleaner has the skills and equipment to do a full cleanse of your rug and ensure that it dries thoroughly in a temperature-controlled setting.

Antique rugs are primarily woven with wool, while cotton is a close second. Other materials, including silk and goat hair, are less popular but still appear on the antique market. The care may not vary greatly for rugs made from untreated wool, silk or cotton. There are, however, small differences. For example, heat should never be applied to silk rugs, which are more delicate and require separate care. Stains are more visible on cotton rugs, so take extra precautions to avoid spills. Wool is the easiest to clean and therefore a great choice for high volume areas in your home.

To preserve your vintage or antique rugs between professional cleanings try and place your rugs in low sun exposure rooms, away from pets. In addition, do not place heavy furniture on them and keep the humidity in the home as low as possible as moisture can damage your valuable rug as well as invite mold growth. You may vacuum an antique or vintage rug but do not use the beater brush. It’s best to use the upholstery attachment so as not to cause damage to the fibers.

An additional precaution is to keep moths out of your home, as moth lay eggs on rugs and their larvae can eat away the fibers of your rug. Although they do give off a non-desirable scent, moth balls or cedar chips help to keep bugs away especially when storing valuable rugs.

Clean up spills immediately by placing a dry cloth on top the rug to seep up the spill. Call a professional as soon as possible as some colors may bleed with scrubbing or applying liquid to the rug. If color does bleed, it’s best to call in a professional rug cleaner to prevent further damage. Call ServiceMaster Clean® for a professional assessment of all your rug cleaning needs.