Persian rugs have a long history dating back to the 12th century. Persian carpets come from various regions in the Middle East, like Iran (or what used to be Persia), Azerbaijan, and Afghanistan. 

It can take up to 8 to 12 months to complete weaving one of these carpets – knowing all this; you’d want to know how to clean a Persian rug. Persian carpets, like many rugs, pick up dirt and dust after some time. 

The issue with cleaning a Persian rug is that they are somewhat fragile. While sweeping and vacuuming these carpets, you must follow a specific methodology. 

Keep reading this Persian rug cleaning guide if you want to know how to keep your carpet in tip-top shape. 

How Often Should You Clean a Persian Rug? 

One of the first Persian rug cleaning tips we have for you is to have it professionally cleaned at least once a year. You should vacuum your rug at least every two weeks, or pet hair, dirt, and residues will accumulate.

Most people put Persian rugs in areas with heavy traffic – entryways or near children and pets. But a carpet somewhere secluded and out of the way may not need biweekly vacuuming. 

How to Clean a Persian Rug

The most important Persian rug cleaning tip is to check the label before you begin cleaning. You should find the label near the carpet’s corners. The label will provide information on how to clean your Persian rug. 

Rug makers craft Persian rugs from sheep wool, cotton, or silk, which take considerable effort to clean properly. It’s possible to DIY clean a wool or cotton Persian carpet, but you should leave silk ones to professionals.

Check the Carpet for Dirt and Dust

Here’s some Persian rug cleaning advice. Grunge builds up surprisingly quickly inside Persian rugs, so you may have to check for grime occasionally. First, run your hands over the fibers for a few moments to check for dirt. 

Next, you should separate the pile and examine the base of each fiber. If you see dirt, you can proceed with cleaning your rug. 

Vacuum Cleaning a Persian Rug

The first step to vacuuming your Persian rug is to lay it flat on the floor. Next, slowly suck away dirt and pet fur from the rug’s center and sides. It’s important to note that your vacuum needs to be on the “low” setting. 

Run the vacuum over the center and sides of your rug at least three times to remove all the embedded dust and grime. Here’s a bit of Persian rug cleaning advice when vacuuming your carpet:

  • Avoid the fringes, so they don’t get sucked into the vacuum
  • Vacuum toward the rug fibers, not away from them
    • You could damage the rug if you vacuum in the wrong direction

Vacuuming will not reliably clean all Persian rugs. For example, you may want to avoid vacuuming a damaged or antique carpet.

Beater bars and rotating brushes may pull fibers from older or damaged Persian rugs. An electric sweeper is a bit weaker than a vacuum, but it’s less liable to ruin your carpet. 

Sweeping Your Persian Rug

One thing to note when you clean a Persian rug is to keep it gentle. Many people beat the dirt out of their carpets, and while that works on some rugs – you should avoid that on Persian rugs. 

Manually sweeping your Persian rug is an option if you’re worried about potential damage from vacuuming. Sweeping gives you more control during cleaning a Persian rug because it’s easier to spot-clean with a broom. 

Take a straw broom and gently sweep from one end of the rug to the other. You can repeat the action several times to ensure you’ve gotten all the dirt. Do not move the broom back and forth; you might damage the fibers.

Handwash Your Persian Rug

You can expose your Persian rug to water, but you must be careful what detergent you use. You cannot use a harsh detergent on Persian rugs because alkaline mixtures can damage them. 

One Persian rug tip you may not have expected is that these carpets are easily hand-washable. These rugs existed before washing machines were invented, so people used to clean them in rivers. 

If you’d like to wash your rug, here’s what you should do:

  • Check that your carpet is colorfast
    • You find this by reading the label
    • Contacting the previous owners or retailer
  • Gently shake your rug to remove loose dirt
  • Vacuum or sweep away stubborn dust
  • Mix a cleaning solution of cold water and mild detergent
  • Use a non-shedding sponge or soft brush to apply the cleaning mixture
  • Rinse your Persian rug with the garden hose and leave it to air dry

Please know that air drying your carpet can take up to 42 hours. It’s also vital you understand how to arrange your rug for drying. The area rug won’t catch much morning dew if you dry it over your clothesline or railing.

Another piece of Persian rug cleaning advice is to dry it reverse-side-out. If you leave the fibers facing the sun, the color may fade.

This next tip doesn’t necessarily pertain to cleaning a Persian rug, but you should rotate your carpet every few months. Rotating the rug keeps one side’s color from fading faster than the other. 

After a day or two, you can check if your carpet is dry. If the fiber bases are dry, you can separate the fingers until they’re straight again. 

Do You Need to Clean a Persian Rug?

Persian rugs are luxury items that require care while cleaning. Hopefully, this article has thoroughly demonstrated how to clean a Persian rug. 

If you need a thorough house cleaning, contact Dirt Busters today! We clean rugs, kitchen counters, microwaves, bathroom sinks, and more. Book a cleaning with us if you’d like our deep-cleaning services.