How to Vacuum Area Rugs and Oriental Rugs

By John Alderson
Cleaning your fine rugs at home may be easier than you think!  Now don’t go grabbing your favorite store bought cleaning product and a sponge the start going to town. Most natural fiber rugs today are woven out of wool and usually cotton. Wool has an amazing ability to hide soil because of its fiber construction. Wool rugs can be very soiled and not appear to be soiled at all.  Each square foot of a wool rug can hide as much 1 pound of dry soil alone especially the thicker pile area rugs. Just think an 8×10 area rug can have as much as 80 pounds of dry soil imbedded in the fibers with out even looking soiled!

The first step in any cleaning process is the removal of gross dry particulate soil. The best tool grab is the one that probably is sitting in your closet collecting dust… your vacuum!  80-90% of the total soil in area rugs and oriental rugs is dry and can be removed by vacuuming. You can also take your rug outside and beat the back with a broom to get the deep heavy soil out. Vacuum oriental rugs with this systematic way, I call it the “compass cleaning method”.  First slowly vacuum the width direction of the rug in the east to west direction then turn around 180 degrees and vacuum the opposite direction from west to east. Next take your hand rub it across the face yarns to determine which way the pile is laying. Then slowly vacuum the rug in the direction that the pile is laying  After this process you will have vacuumed the rug 3 times in 3 different directions and removed soil from all sides of the fibers. You will be impressed by how much better area rugs will look with only a vacuum cleaning!

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