Preparation for Cleaning Area Rugs
Before cleaning area rugs, take them outdoors and give them a brisk shake. Treat larger pieces of carpet to a thorough vacuuming which removes any dust or loose particles of dirt, thereby simplifying the area rug cleaning process. Be sure to vacuum the rug thoroughly. Do both sides.
Prior to actually cleaning the oriental rug, take it outside to a patio or paved surface and wet it thoroughly with water. HELPFUL HINT! If you can use a carpet shampooing/drying vacuum unit (available through many food chain stores), the entire process of wetting, shampooing and drying is made much easier.
VERY IMPORTANT! Choose your area rug cleaning solution carefully. The Unicorn Fibre range of fiber cleaners are Earth friendly, biodegradable and easy to use with normal tap water temperatures. They are strong enough to clean oriental rugs of heavy soils -- they are used by car detailers on interior carpeting, as well as professional rug cleaning services (tackling very large oriental carpet cleaning).
Area Rug Cleaning/Oriental Rug Cleaning
Always test for color fastness by using a white, dampened cloth. Normally, there will be minimal dye loss. If your rug displays significant dye loss with this simple test, it may not be able to be cleaned by wet-cleaning processes.
Next, you'll want to spot clean the area rug to address the dirtiest parts by applying a dilution of a low-sudsing natural fiber cleaner like Unicorn Fibre Wash (for normal dirt buildup) or Unicorn Power Scour (for more greasy soil buildup), to the area. These products do a great job of dissipating heavy soils without drying out the rug fiber. Keep in mind that some old stains may be impossible to remove - and that dye color changes, especially from urine, may be permanent.
Pour the area rug cleaner into a bucket of warm water. Agitate the mixture and apply gently with a clean, soft brush or sponge. Never vigorously clean or scrub your oriental rug, since such scrubbing may change the fibers' look and feel, possibly leading to excess dye loss.
Rinse the fiber detergent out of the rug with running water until the water runs relatively clear. At this point we've found it very helpful to use Unicorn Fibre Rinse as an anti-static texturizing bath. It helps to "relax" the rug fiber resulting in a softer feel after drying.
Roll the rug up in dry, clean towels to soak up the excess water. Lay the rug out flat to dry. When the front feels dry, flip it over to dry the back.
When dry you can brush the fibers gently with a laundry brush to remove any stiffness from the washing process.
In the future, remember that if you remove the spills immediately after they happen, wool rugs often do not permanently stain. By spot cleaning area rugs with Unicorn Fibre Wash (for normal dirt buildup) or Unicorn Power Scour (for more greasy soils and stains) your rug will be easier to maintain.