The essence of cleaning is the minimization of risk – wile thoroughly removing all soil. We careful analysis and individualized strategies in order to create reliable step-by-step approaches to cleaning Oriental rugs, All cleaning is done exclusively by hand.
The aim of conservation cleaning is to preserve the intrinsic qualities of an oriental rug through an individualized treatment & detailed hand cleaning, individualized approach results in – not only a thoroughly clean rug – but a healthier rug that will maintain its beauty far into the feature.
Improper cleaning is a leading cause of damage to Oriental rugs. The danger presented by most commercial companies is due to the harshness of over the counter cleaning formulations, hot water, mechanical brushing, inadequate cleaning & incomplete rinsing.
Flower pots, pet dishes and patio doors are the worst cause of rot. Water staining is caused, not by the water itself, but by material dissolved in and transported by it. Wool silk and cotton react with many substances. These may, in effect, dye the material & resist being removed. Flooding brings tannins, iron & dyeing substances into the rug from floors, roofs, furnishing etc. When the rug is wet more than a week, mold fungi can grow & weaken the rug, both bacteria & fungi may irreversibly damage a rug.
All wavelength of light contribute energy that accelerate chemical reactions in dyes. The strongest reactions occur with light near the blue & ultraviolet end of the spectrum. In time with exposure to light natural fibers become brittle & breakdown. Dyes fade Sunlight provides a large amount of UV light & windows should be filtered to eliminate it. Fluorescent lights also radiate UV in great amounts & should be filtered if used. Modern conditions of lighting are one of the worst hazards to natural fibers.
It will often happen that we will be faced with a spoil on an Oriental rug. Here is the general technique that is most often successful. First absorb as much liquid as possible without adding anything to it. Remove as much solid matter as possible. Use a thick cloth or pads of paper towels – do not use salts, baking soda, corn meal or similar products. Press & bolt – do not rub. Work from the outside of the spot towards the center. When the liquid is absorbed, you can choose between rinsing with plain lukewarm water or adding 1/4 teaspoon of hand dish washing liquid to quart of water for a washing solution. If the spill is oily, then the soap is required. Sponge the cleaning solution onto the area & bolt dry. If washed follow by a through rinse. After drying with the pad, groom the pile in the appropriate direction and lift the affected area off the floor for final drying. The assist of the fan is advisable.
It is important to guard against color run by not over wetting. If a stain remains, call a professional conservator.
A wet / dry vacuum or a small spry & vacuum machine (a portable extractor) are useful to have on hand. When vacuuming a fragile rug, use a screen such as fiberglass window screening – between the vacuum & the rug. Do not use hot water. Do not use any cleaning solution in the device.
Note that this is only general guidance & might have to be modified for a specific situation. There are many variables & it is difficult to advise without examining the rug.