Five Facts You Must Know When Cleaning Your Oriental Rugs

Five Facts You Must Know When Cleaning Your Oriental Rugs


How does dirt damage your area rugs?

Dirt is as abrasive as sandpaper. Every time you walk on your rug, you grind dirt deeper into its wool or delicate silk fibers. It is as though you have thousands of tiny razor blades cutting the pile and, eventually, the foundation of your rug. Routine vacuuming helps, however, it is simply not enough. The longer you wait to have your carpet cleaned, the more damage you do and the faster it will wear out.

These photos below of a Persian carpet, which had not been cleaned for a few years, show damaged rug fibers released after proper dusting and washing. Figures 1 to 3, as seen under our high-powered digital microscope, shows household debris, hair, nails, sand, and food particles — a veritable feeding frenzy for pests, germs and bacterial growth. Vacuuming cannot remove these from the deep piles and knots of handmade rugs.


cleaning oriental rugs

Figure 1

Damaged fiber

Figure 2

Damaged Fiber

Figure 3

Household debris, hair, nail clippings, sand, pet hair, and food particles as seen under our high-powered laboratory grade digital microscope.


Rug cleaning gets out much more than dirt:

Where do I start? Let’s discuss all of the following contaminates from outdoor air to indoor pollutants. Outdoor air contains pollen, bacteria, air pollution from car exhaust, and hundreds of other chemicals. When you, your family and your pets come into your home, you carry all of these chemicals on your clothing, hair, skin and worse of all, the bottoms of your shoes. You know where they all end-up: your carpets and rugs.

E-Coli, harmful germs and bacteria from health care facilities, dangerous toxins from pesticides used on lawns, unsanitary urine-infested conditions of public bathrooms and subways, are just a few places your shoes travel in a day. Add the indoor bi-aerosols from cleaning products, cooking fumes re-circulated by your AC systems, pet dander and urine, hair, nails, tobacco smoke, and your shedding skin…well, I am sure you get the picture.

If you have allergies, asthma, emphysema or other breathing problems, one major source of those problems could be the pollens, fungus and chemicals in your rugs and carpet.

Rugs act like an air filter, which is a good thing, when properly cleaned; then it’s a great filter, and brings warmth and comfort to your home.


Are all area rug cleaning methods the same?  

No. Wall-to-wall carpet cleaning is not the same as having an area rug washed outside your home in a plant operation.

Some carpet cleaners offer topical in-home rug cleaning, but it is exactly that: topical.

Topical cleaning will never reach the foundation to clean Oriental, Persian, and handmade rugs, which have a pile, weft and warp foundation, and are tightly knotted. In fact, it actually can do damage to these rugs. Even if your area rug is machine made, this method is still not effective.

FYI: Beware of carpet cleaners claiming they have their own plant operations. Within the New York/NJ/CT metro area, there are a few places (revitaRUGS included) with actual area rug cleaning facilities. Everyone else just subs out at a commercial discount, but advertises as though they have their own operation. There’s nothing wrong with that, as long as their source does a great job.

For those few of us who have a rug cleaning operation, the facilities vary, as do the stories behind our establishments.

You cannot judge a rug cleaner by whether it is big or small, turn of the century or 21st century. It’s really just all about the results.

The best testimonial for any of us would be local/national rug merchants who use our services. Ask for references from these businesses as well as from gallery owners. Rug merchants always use the services of rug cleaners, and rest assured, they value their livelihood.


How to get an accurate quote for cleaning your rugs

You all have heard the apples vs. oranges story.

Do not compare topical in-home cleaning and so-called dry/foam cleaning with the deep cleaning in water done at an area rug cleaning facility.

If you are speaking with an area rug cleaning company, use the following tips and guidelines:

  1. Most rug cleaners wash area rugs per square foot. For example, $3.75 per square foot for a wool rug cleaning. Measure your rugs, then prepare your list of questions or concerns in advance.
  2. Prices will vary depending on your type of rug (wool, faux silk/viscose rug, silk rug, antique rug, etc.) Try to identify what type of rug you have. A newer rug may still have the tag attached on the back. The more information you provide, the better will be the cleaner’s ability to provide a firm quote. If you snap a photo from the front, back, and a close-up near the fringe area, and e-mail those to them, they can probably better help you identify the type of rug you have.
  3. If you have any heavy stains, pet issues, and/or repairs, discuss them up front. Different pricing will apply depending upon these issues.
  4. Remember, your rug is valuable to you and repair costs are subjective. However, you must be very objective when it comes to its proper care. You are sending the rug out for cleaning, to be free of dust, dirt, bacteria, and germs. Choose wisely.

How often should I wash my rugs?  

Rugs should be washed annually. If you have pets and smokers in the house, the EPA suggests semi-annually. However, revitaRUGS sees it this way: we shower daily, change our clothes daily, do laundry, change our sheets, dry-clean our clothing on a weekly basis, yet our poor wool rugs are left on the floor un-cleaned – aside from some vacuuming – year after year. Would you wear your wool sweater if it had been hanging in the family room for a year? Would you just shake off or vacuum up the dirt, then wear it? We know you are not actually wearing your rug, but your kids and pets are playing and rolling around on it, which is almost the same. This is a health and hygiene issue.


At revitaRUGS, multiple steps are involved in our rug cleaning process. Here are a few that you can’t find anywhere else:

  • We use purified soft water instead of tap, which contains an appreciable quantity of dissolved minerals such as calcium, magnesium, lime, and other deposits, and makes soap less effective. RevitaRUGS leads the way in soft water/water conservation rug cleaning that helps remove all excess minerals for a deep cleaned rug. Also, our extensive soft water purification system is by Culligan whose motto is: Better water. Pure and simple.
  • Our soaps are organic, effective, and tough on grease, yet soft on hands. It’s especially good for people with chemical sensitivities. Ask for a sample bottle when we pick up your rug, and we will bring one to you at the time of delivery.
  • Each rug is thoroughly inspected, photographed, and a report is e-mailed to you with our findings
  • Rug fibers are inspected under a high-powered, laboratory-grade, digital microscope to identify spot pollutants and foreign materials.


Ready To Clean Your Area Rugs in the Tri-State?

Get your fast, free, no-obligation quote today from one of our revita experts at the premier NYC revitaRUGS. Call us at 1.855.5.REVITA or fill out our contact form here.