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Kilims and Rugs.How to Care for and Prevent Damage

Aug 17, 2007
There is nothing worse than seeing your prized possesion with a spot or a mark on it and you do not know how it got there or what to do. This article will help you by giving you tips, suggestions and good ideas to take care of this beloved object.

To start with, your hand made Oriental rug or your kilim can survive for decades depending on a number of factors. One determining factor is the quality of the rug you have, if it is a good quality one and you treat it with care, it will surely last a lot more than if your rug or kilim is of an inferior quality. Moreover, there is large number of damages which typically affect rugs, by learning about them and taking the necessary measures to prevent them from happening you will ensure a long lasting life for your treasured rug.

The most common damages are the following ones:
Water damage: It is one of the most frequent. People usually place potted plants over rugs. Once the plant is watered the pot leaks and the rug under the pot remains constantly wet. In a few weeks the foundation of the rug weakens in such a way that it can be easily broken into pieces. So, if you are going to place a potted plant avoid putting it directly over the rug, you can use a stool or some kind of support so as to keep the humidity of the plant away from the rug. Just in case the advice comes too late and you notice that the rug is already wet you should remove it as soon as possible, clean it and allow it to dry completely to avoid damages in the foundation. Another problem related to water is triggered by damp floors (often if the floor is made of cement). Maybe the floor seems to be dry, but just a bit of moisture can produce the proliferation of micro-organisms which can spoil the foundation of the rug.

Moth damage: These insects do not eat rugs, but their larvae consume the fibers and even the knots of the rugs. They prefer to live in areas under furniture, where it is not always vacuumed or in areas with little traffic. In order to avert this, vacuum the surface once a week and several times a year vacuum the back side, the pad and the floor. For areas which are difficult to reach with the vacuum cleaner spray a proper household insecticide for moths. Besides, do not rely on moth crystals, balls or flakes since they are not effective to kill moths, they just repel them.

Dogs and cats damage: Puppies usually chew rugs. To avoid this sprinkle some moth flakes under the rug. Likewise, cats love sharpening their claws on rugs. Though it sounds a bit absurd, the best prevention is to try to control the cats' activities.

Sun damage: The light of the sun can affect and diminish the colors of the rug. If this is your case, try to avoid direct exposure to sunlight or rotate the rug so as to make the color equal in its entire surface.

Vacuum cleaner damage: Cleaning your rug using a vacuum cleaner is a positive practice but be cautious if your cleaner is equipped with a power brush since a raking effect can be caused on the surface. It is better to use just the plain vacuum nozzle.
Chemical damage: Sometimes rug cleaners bleach the fringe before delivering it. Although the fringe looks nice after that, the process and the substance used weakens the fibers destroying them little by little. If you still want to have white fringes you could dilute the solution used for bleaching.

Storage: If you are about to store your rug, make sure you clean it, spray it with some insecticide and wrap it in plastic before doing it. Most kinds of damages are not difficult to repair, but prevention is better (cheaper and easier) than restoration. If you follow these hints as well as inspecting your rug often and cleaning it only when it is needed your rug will be part of your house for ages.

If you do get a spot or an area that is spilled upon here is what you can do:
Blot, never scrub spots on a rug. Scrubbing can damage the nap on a carpet. Test all spotting products in an inconspicuous area first and look for color change. If the color bleeds or you are unsure how to proceed consult a professional. Remove as much of the spill as possible before adding spotting products. Work from the outer edges of a spot to the center. Never saturate a spotting area with a liquid. Only spot with small amounts of cleaning products. Drying small areas can be accomplished with a hair dryer with the heat setting off.

Spotting Guide
Beer - Use mild detergent followed by rinsing with vinegar solution, rinse with water
Blood - Blot with ammonia solution followed by vinegar solution, rinse with water
Candle wax - scrape excess off, cover are with paper and iron on low setting, then spot with dry solvent.
Chocolate - spot with dry cleaning solvent and let dry, apply mild detergent, rise with water.
Coffee - Blot with mild detergent and rinse with water.
Egg - Spot with mild detergent, rinse with water
Fingernail polish - Blot with dry cleaning solvent

Fruit juices, jam & jelly - Blot with mild detergent, rinse with water
Grease - Spot with dry cleaning solvent, spot with mild detergent, rinse with water
Gum - Scrape off excess and apply dry cleaning solvent, apply mild detergent if needed and rinse with water.
Ink - Spot with dry cleaning solvent, spot with mild detergent, rinse with water
Milk - Spot with mild detergent rinse with vinegar solution, rinse with water, spot with dry cleaning solvent if needed
Paint - Apply dry cleaning solvent followed by mild detergent, rinse with water
Soft drinks - Spot with mild detergent, rinse with water
Soot - Spot with mild detergent, rinse with water, if not removed, spot with dry cleaning fluid
Tea - Spot with mild detergent, rinse with water
Urine - Spot with mild detergent, rinse with vinegar solution, and rinse with water, repeat process if needed
Vomit - Spot with mild detergent, vinegar solution, rinse with water
Wine - Fresh wine spills use white wine to spot followed by mild detergent and rinse with water.

If in doubt,consult your local rug professional.they can clean it for you.

Take care of you rug!
About the Author
Rugs ,antiques and Rug care.Come and enjoy the mystery and beauty of the past
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