Is It Time to Get Your Persian Rugs Cleaned?

Persian rugs cleaned

It’s springtime, approaching summertime, in Sydney and that brings new growth and warm weather, great for tourists and natives alike to be out and about. This can also be a time when a lot more outside debris is being tracked indoors and onto your beautiful Persian rugs. A dirty Persian rug will not reveal the vibrant colors that it should.

Did you know that some wool rugs can hold up to a kilo of dirt per square meter, before you can even see it? That’s a lot of dirt being ground in, causing a negative effect to the carpet fibres. This sand and dirt gets into the warp and weft of the carpet and causes lots of damage. Because it’s hard to see, rugs are often not properly cleaned as frequently as they should be.

Is it time to get your persian rugs cleaned download

Protect Your Investment

A Persian rug is often the focal point of a room. As such, it can receive a lot of wear and tear. Persian rugs are works of art. They are often heirlooms, passed down from generation to generation. Or they’ve been purchased as a long-term investment. A high-quality Persian rug can last for decades with proper care and cleaning.

It’s a good idea to get your Persian rugs professionally cleaned at least once every three to four years, depending on traffic, use, location and other factors. If you’re not sure whether your rug needs cleaning, there are some steps to take to determine how dirty it is.

  1. Very lightly dampen a clean white cloth and gently rub it against the rug’s surface a few times. If dirt shows on the cloth, the rug needs cleaning. Be careful not to use too much water in the cloth in case the rug’s dyes are not colourfast.
  2. Pick up the corner of the rug and kick the underside. If there is a cloud of dust, it needs cleaning.
  3. Fold a corner of the rug over, with the backside facing you. You’ll be able to see the crevices where your vacuum can’t reach. If you see dust and debris lodged there, get the carpet cleaned.

Should You Have Persian Rugs Professionally Cleaned?

It’s generally a little less expensive to clean your rugs yourself and you can probably find tips to do so. However, because your Persian rugs are an investment, it’s important to know that there are mistakes you can make that are difficult and expensive to fix. For instance, some rugs are not colourfast and it’s possible to cause the colours to run. Wool rugs, as another example, need to be dried in a way that prevents shrinkage and damage to the structural fibres.

Mistakes made in cleaning can be very costly to fix and in the worst case, impossible to recover. Surface cleaning your rug occasionally is fine if done carefully and the rug is well maintained, but nothing is a substitute for professional rug cleaning.

A well-cared-for Persian rug can last a century, remaining beautiful and functional. However, its lifespan will be considerably shortened if it’s not properly cleaned and maintained. Professional Persian rug cleaners have the knowledge and experience that is necessary to clean, as well as preserve the long-lasting beauty of the rugs.

Will Any Professional Carpet Cleaning Company Suffice?

When we refer to “professional Persian rug cleaners”, that doesn’t mean your regular carpet cleaning company who comes into your home for the cleaning. These professionals don’t have the knowledge and experience needed to properly clean a Persian rug, which requires special treatment. They will not know to dust your rug, nor will they use cleaning chemicals and materials best suited to valuable wool or silk rugs.

Standard carpet cleaning companies may not use the required washing process on your rug. Failure to do so may result in colour runs. These flaws may show up immediately during the improper cleaning or happen the next time the rug is cleaned. Because these companies clean carpets in the home, they will not be dried properly, leaving the fabric brittle and at risk of degradation.

Many standard carpet cleaning companies use steam to clean carpets in your home. This process uses a hot water extraction machine. This method saturates the top part of the rug, never reaching the bottom half. The cleaning solution is sprayed on the rug, then immediately extracted by the vacuum, thereby leaving the bottom layer of the rug still dirty.

Steam cleaning can be especially harmful to Persian rugs made of wool and silk. The dirty water remaining in the carpet leaves it soggy, causing browning or wicking, mildew, shrinkage or damaged backing.

Steps to a Professional Persian Rug Cleaning

There are specific steps followed by professionals in the rug-cleaning process.

1. Inspection
The rug will be carefully inspected for wear and tear, stains, small tears, structural integrity and UV damage. They will recommend any repairs or restoration they deem warranted. They will also detail the cleaning plan to you.

2. Dust Removal
Thorough dusting is a very important step in rug cleaning. The professionals will vacuum the rug with a powerful commercial vacuum cleaner that sucks up the fine, accumulated dirt and dust that most home vacuums cannot. But even that process cannot remove all dirt and dust particles. Most rugs will require additional steps, including placement on a vibrating machine and manual beating with a length of hose. In Iran, they often use a branch from a pomegranate tree. In some cases, even these techniques can leave some dirt behind and, in this case, they may be soaked in water dissolve any remaining particles.

3. Spot Treatment
Any spots or stains will be treated, as appropriate. Specialized cleaning materials and processes will be used, based on the type of stain encountered. All cleaning products are specifically made for Oriental and Persian rugs, so they will not harm or discolour them. As with the dusting step, treating stains prior to washing the rug is important in making sure the rug is cleaned uniformly.

4. Washing and Rinsing
Only after thorough dusting and stain removal is complete, the washing process begins. The rug is soaked with water and cleaning solution. Only cleaning solutions that are intended specifically for Oriental and Persian rugs are used because they maintain the lustre of the fabric. The solutions will be applied and hand-brushed into the fibers of the rug, in the direction of the rug pile. The rug is then rinsed with clean water to remove all cleaning solutions.

5. Extraction
Commercial suction machines will extract as much water as possible from the rugs. Modern techniques now even include the use of a centrifuge to spin excess water out.

6. Drying
Finally, the rugs are hung to dry in a temperature-controlled room. Because the cleaning solutions used are quick-drying, the rugs are normally completely dry within 24 hours.

Bijan Exclusive Rugs uses an ancient Persian method which is to dry the rugs on a flat surface in the sun. Sunlight, in modest quantity, can help revive some colours and is the most environmentally sustainable option.

7. Final Inspection
The Persian rug cleaning professionals will inspect the carpet to make sure that it is thoroughly cleaned and stain-free. They will also ensure that any strands of high-pile are carefully clipped. Lastly, the rugs are combed with a special brush to align the pile to its  natural path and fringes are combed and trimmed. Silk rugs are also ironed in the direction of the pile.

Note: A thorough professional cleaning process will take 2 to 3 week to complete.

Stains Can Be Very Harmful if Left Untreated

Accidents happen and they sometimes cause spills on your Persian rug. To learn how to prevent and treat stains on your rug, check out our blog on Preventing Stains on Your Persian Rug for some tips.

As noted in the previous blog, there are stains that are relatively minor and can be cleaned up yourself. The key is catching it as soon as it happens. If left to penetrate and dry into the carpet fibres, it becomes more difficult to treat and remove.

Persian rugs cleaned

Pet stains are especially challenging. To most people, their pets are a part of their family. But pets can sometimes have accidents. If left untreated on your Persian rugs, they can result in damage above and beyond an unpleasant odour.

Pet urine doesn’t stay on the surface of rugs; it penetrates the fibers and spreads to the backing and floor beneath. Because pets can sense where the previous incident is located, they tend to continue to urinate in the same spots. You may not even be able pinpoint the spot until several incidents have occurred.

When the urine dries, it creates concentrated crystals that can intensify the odour. It is almost impossible to remove these crystals without specialized pet urine cleaning products. And if additional moisture is added, the crystals are re-activated. Left untreated, urine and its crystals will cause permanent color damage to your Persian rug.

The professional Persian rug cleaners have the knowledge and cleaning products needed to break down the urine crystals, after which the rug will be thoroughly soaked to remove all contaminants.

How Is Bijan Exclusive Rugs Different?

Bijan Exclusive Rugs knows Oriental and Persian rugs. We understand the importance of maintaining these fine additions to your home. We are experienced and knowledgeable in the cleaning and restoration of Persian rugs, using only the proper procedures, specialized cleaning products and equipment to ensure they are thoroughly cleaned, while protecting their quality.

We inspect the rugs and present a cleaning plan for you. We pretest every rug prior to cleaning to prevent colour runs and other damage. We make sure every step is taken to produce results that will satisfy you. From stain treatment, to thorough dusting, to drying, to final inspection–we don’t skip any necessary steps.

Cleaning oriental rugs is an intensive process that takes time. Don’t trust your beautiful investments to amateurs. Have your Persian rugs cleaned by the professionals at Bijan Exclusive Rugs to ensure they will last a lifetime! Contact us today to schedule a professional carpet cleaning to keep your rugs beautiful and lasting for decades!

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