Preserving a Classic: How to Clean a Vintage Rug

Posted On April 12, 2023

Authentic, hand-knotted, vintage rugs are known for their top-notch quality and sturdiness. Depending on the foot traffic in the room they’re draped in, they can last decades.

But just because they’re well-made and durable doesn’t mean you don’t have to do some upkeep to preserve their lifespan. Rugs are prone to collecting dust and dirt. Although a worn, distressed look can be considered chic, keeping your antique rug clean and tidy is crucial to ensuring it lasts a long time.

Dust collection and spilling liquids on your rug are inevitable, but this doesn’t mean it’s the end for your carpet. As long as you know how to clean a vintage Persian rug, you can enjoy its intricate design and unique woven pattern for years to come. 

Here’s how to clean a vintage rug, depending on how it was made.

How to Clean A Vintage Wool Rug

Wool is perhaps the most popular material in constructing authentic, hand-knotted rugs. Not only is wool durable and easy to weave because of its softness, but it also more effectively holds dye, keeping your rug’s color vibrant for a longer span of time.

But even if wool is known to be sturdy, it needs upkeep, too, so you need to know how to clean a vintage wool rug. The good news is that wool rugs don’t require a lot of maintenance. You just need to be consistent with your weekly clean-up, and it’ll be good to go.

Vacuuming your wool rug at least once every two weeks is a must. Cleaning your carpet often removes any dirt and debris on its surface, like dust, pet fur, hair, and more. You can drape your rug on the ground and vacuum the entire surface to eliminate all the excess dirt.

Once a year, you will want to deep-clean your rug, too. On a sunny day, you can bring your carpet outside and hose it down with water. You can also massage gentle detergent all over it and rinse it down again before letting it dry under the sun. That’s how to clean a vintage wool rug in the deepest, most extensive way when it’s extra dirty.

How to Clean A Silk Rug

Rugs made of pure, genuine silk are incredibly intricate and soft but still very sturdy. They’re also often the most valuable kind of vintage, handmade rugs. 

The fine silk fibers also create a more vivid and detailed image of the rug’s pattern. It would be a shame if you didn’t work to preserve it. But while wool rugs are low-maintenance, silk rugs are harder to maintain because of their delicate fibers.

The basics of how to clean an antique rug made of silk are quite simple. Daily upkeep requires vacuuming once or twice a week. Make sure you use a suction vacuum only, never a beater brush, which can loosen silk strands. 

In case you leave a big stain on your silk rug, you can blot it with warm water as soon as possible to remedy the situation. However, if the stain is severe, we recommend contacting a professional to clean it. The fibers may be too delicate to be brushed and scrubbed aggressively, and a seasoned professional will know how to treat your silk rug.

How to Clean A Vintage Persian Rug Made of Jute

Cleaning a jute rug is a little more challenging because of its thick, stiff fibers. Aside from that, they’re known to stain easily. And if you get jute wet, it releases its oils into the rug’s woven fabric, creating a brown tinge on your carpet.

In short, it can be stressful to think of how to clean an antique rug made of jute. But the technique for this type of rug is simple. You must stick with low-pressure vacuum methods and avoid moisture altogether.

As with wool and silk rugs, it’s essential to vacuum jute rugs once or twice a week. This frequency allows you to get rid of all the dust piling up on your carpet.

If you spill liquid on a jute rug, try to get it out as soon as possible, especially if it’s colored, which absorbs quickly into a rug’s fibers, like red wine.

To properly clean your jute rug, dilute a soft, delicate detergent in equal parts water. Dip a microfiber cloth into your mixture and blot it on the stained area. Wipe the solution gently on the rug, but don’t scrub too hard, as this can damage the rug’s fibers. 

Avoid getting a larger part of the rug wet as well. You can stick to the stained part. Simply blot it with warm water to rinse and let it dry.

Learning How to Clean an Antique Rug Preserves its Beauty 

Any hand-knotted rug deserves to be pampered and given proper attention, especially where cleaning is concerned. If you know how to clean a vintage Persian rug properly and religiously, you’ll be rewarded with a lifetime of rug use. Check out more tips on caring for your rug and extending its lifespan through the Cyrus Rugs blog.