How to clean Indian rugs?

There are a number of options for cleaning rugs from India. Whether you're looking to practice good routine maintenance on the material or you have an emergency spill on your hands, cleaning Indian floor rugs on a regular basis is essential to preserving the condition of the knots and fibers. The following tips can be helpful for ensuring your Indian rug always looks and feels its best.

Vacuuming a handwoven rug

While this is something you should really do once every two weeks, many rug owners are skittish about using a vacuum on the material. This is due to the delicate nature of the fibers and the beater bar on most vacuum cleaners can quickly snag and even damage the rug. The solution is to use one of the many brush attachments that are often included with the vacuum cleaner. That will allow you to pick up all the loose dirt and debris hiding in the fibers while keeping them safe from potential pulls and tears.

But if you're still worried or your vacuum cleaner didn't come with those fancy attachments, you can use a broom to sweep away the dirt. This can be particularly useful on the fringe of your rug. A vacuum is better but, in a pinch, give it a sweep.

Pick up messy spills fast

When something spills on your Indian rug, you need to act fast. The quicker you pick up the liquid or substance that's been dropped, the less time for stains to set. First things first, always blot a spill, and never wipe—as this will cause the stain to penetrate the fibers. A towel or paper towel should be sufficient for absorbing the spill and once you've picked up as much as you can, it's time to clean.

A combination of white vinegar and baking soda usually does the trick. First, test any cleaning solution on a small, hidden piece of the rug to make sure it won’t react poorly. Then, mix a quarter cup of white vinegar with a quarter cup of water and mix. Apply a small to the area of the spill and let it sit for about five minutes before blotting it up with a clean towel. If you need something a little more powerful and penetrating, then add baking soda and put some of the mix on the rug. Let it sit for a while and then blot it up. The stain should be gone. If it still lingers a bit, repeat the process.

Drying an Indian rug

Once you've finished cleaning the rug you must be sure it is thoroughly dried before you lay it down again. The most effective way to dry an Indian rug is by hanging it over something like a fence or a clothesline to allow excess water to drip from the material and proper airflow to circulate through it. The sun is your ally; helping to naturally bleach and disinfect the rug, but make sure you don’t leave it out for too long if you don’t want the color to fade slightly. Cool air is the best method for drying an Indian rug, warm air or heat will only promote moisture and not remove it. Depending on the size of the rug, it could take anywhere from one to four days to achieve the desired result.

What are Indian rugs called?

There is a long and storied history of rug making throughout India going as far back as the 17th century. The country is still exporting rugs today, producing Indian rugs for sale across the world with some of the most productive areas being Agra, Kashmir, and Bhadohi just to name a few. Although the rugs themselves can be classified as Oriental, they are sometimes called by the region from which the rug originated. As an example, a Kashmir rug is an Indian rug that was woven in Kashmir. The same goes for an Agra rug. These are products of India made from any number of materials from cotton to silk.

How expensive can Indian rugs get?

Some Indian floor rugs can cost thousands of dollars. But what determines how expensive these rugs can get? Size is one, the materials used is another, combine those with the time it takes to weave the rug and you have some of the critical factors that go into the price of an Indian rug. Another crucial and classic aspect of rug pricing is the knot count. Much like with a thread count on your bed sheets, the number of knots in the rug will drive up the price, because a higher knot count requires more time and yarn, and also feels more luxurious, augmenting the rug’s aesthetic, texture, and durability.