Do Hand-Knotted Rugs Always Need to Be Professionally Cleaned?

Having a hand-knotted Afghan rug is one of the greater joys in life. It brings an undeniable vibrance to any room and feels comfortable underfoot. But, because it is literally something walked upon, you may be wondering if your Afghan rug needs to be professionally cleaned every time. Another question you might be asking is the frequency in which the rug needs to be cleaned. Because a hand-knotted rug is quite often a sizable investment, it needs to be properly cared for – including cleaning. The labor that goes into hand-knotting makes each and every rug unique. Each knot of the rug is tied directly to the yarn, ultimately creating the length of the rug. Finally, these knots add put to create the surface of the rug. Based on the way Afghan rugs are constructed, they are extremely durable. When properly cared for, knotted rugs can be passed down for many generations. In order to preserve your hand-knotted Afghan rug, you should get it professionally cleaned at least once a year. Every six months is ideal. Keep reading to learn how to maintain your rug in between professional cleanings.

General Maintenance

Never deep clean your hand-knotted rug yourself unless it is a “disposable rug.” This is the name for rugs that are under $500 new and cost more to professionally clean than to replace. These types of rugs are typically made with synthetic fibers and do not last longer than a decade. In fact, they are value engineered for sheer replacement reasons. All hand-knotted rugs that are wool, silk, and natural fiber should only be professionally cared for, which includes washed by expert trained hand-knotted rug specialists. There is no doubt your hand-knotted rug will get dirty prior to the next cleaning, so be sure to do the following regularly. 

Vacuum Your Rug

Your rug will accumulate various debris from dirt to dust in the pile foundation. If not removed, this can damage the wool or other natural materials. Twice a month you should vacuum your rug with a hand-held suction add-on. Remember to never vacuum from end to end. Always go from side to side and never use the beater brush.

Remove Spills Promptly

When spills happen, clean the area immediately by blotting up the mess. Then use warm water and plain soap to remove the stain. Never us a harsh cleaning agent as it can permanently cause color changes to your precious rug. Hang your rug on a drying rack and be sure it is completely dry before placing it. Failure to do so could result in mold and mildew. If a knotted rug remains wet for too long it will rot. Avoid using powders and steam cleaners on your rug.   

Use a Rug Pad

A rug pad can significantly help extend the life of your hand knotted rug. Not only does it keep the rug from slipping, but it helps to absorb spills whenever they occur. 

Check for Infestations

It might make you cringe to consider this, but insects are your rug’s worst enemy. Moths can cause severe damage to your hand-knotted rug and then move on to other carpets and furniture in your home. Ants and other insects can be attracted to spills, pets, or plants in the home. 
The best repellent is magnesium fluorosilicate or zinc. These treatments can last for months. 

Regularly Rotate Your Hand-Knotted Rugs

In an effort to reduce wear and sun dying, be sure to rotate your rugs 180 degrees every few weeks. This will ensure that they do not always get walked on in the same spot and furniture marks get removed. If your rug is placed near a window, it also helps to avoid fading. Hand-knotted rugs are extremely resilient due to their high-quality. Rotating them regularly helps to keep them looking their best at every angle.

Caring for your hand-knotted rug in between professional cleanings is important to maintain the look and feel. But when in doubt, the best option is to talk to the experts. Depending on how often your rug is used, the area in which it is placed, and exposure to spills and accidents, it may need more frequent professional cleanings. It is important to remember that cleaning a hand-knotted rug is a difficult process and you should not take it into your own hands.