Silk oriental rugs are a beautiful addition to any home. But they will quickly lose their appeal if you don’t care for them properly. Silk rugs lend a touch of luxury and class, but the delicate nature of this material makes it vulnerable to dirt. And it can easily be damaged by conventional cleaning products.
Because silk rugs are expensive, you don’t want to risk damage with the wrong cleaning methods. In the guide below, we’ll teach you how to clean your silk rug, safely. Our tips will protect your investment and keep your silk rug looking its best for years to come.
What this article covers:
How to Clean A Silk Carpet At Home
We always recommend professional care for cleaning your silk rugs.
But when this is not possible, follow the instructions below to get them looking clean and fresh again. These general care and maintenance tips will work for all oriental rugs.
Sweep With Soft Broom
Depending on how dusty your home gets, and how much foot traffic your silk rug is subjected to, your frequency of cleaning will differ. But sweeping your silk rug every few days with a soft broom will remove most surface dust.
Don’t use a brush or broom that has coarse bristles, as this may damage your rug’s delicate silk fibers. You need to use a much softer brush or broom than you would for cleaning a cowhide rug.
Hang Rug And Beat It
Sometimes, just a sweep won’t suffice. But you can hang the rug over a clothesline and beat it lightly with the broom to remove trapped dust. Wear a disposable mask when you do this, to avoid inhaling the dust particles.
This is also one of the best ways to clean a shag rug, as dust can easily become trapped in between the long fibers. A silk rug, though, is more delicate than a shag rug. So don't use excessive force, and don’t hang the rug over a fence, as this will damage the underneath of the rug.
Vacuum Every Week/Second Week
Vacuuming is still the best way to remove household dust and debris from any carpet, including a silk rug.
But don’t use any heavy-duty brush attachments like you would when cleaning a large polyester rug. And never use a vacuum with a powerhead or beater bar on a silk rug, which will stretch and harm the silk.
Absorb Odors & Moisture
Silk rugs are just as prone to becoming smelly as other rugs, but there's an easy way to freshen them. Good old baking soda is a gentle yet effective natural deodorizer. It won’t leave a fragrance, but it will absorb any stale odors left behind by pets or cigarette smoke.
If the bad odor is caused by moisture in your silk rug, the baking soda can fix that too. Baking soda is a hygroscopic substance. This means it absorbs moisture very well. So you can target the moisture, and odor, with one easy step with something you probably already have in your kitchen.
Simply sprinkle the baking soda liberally over your silk rug. Sweep it across the rug with the soft broom, or move it around on the rig’s surface with your fingers. Leave it to sit for at least two hours. And then just vacuum it up. Ensure you vacuum all of it up thoroughly, or a whitish cast may remain on the surface.
No matter how hard you try to avoid it, at some point, your silk rug may become stained. Don’t worry, most household mishaps like food or beverage spills, remove any excess food with a spoon, and blot any fluid with a soft cloth.
Then, pour a little club soda on the affected area, and blot it with a clean, soft cloth. Allow to air dry. This is the best way to clean a rug made of natural fibers. Harsh stain removal products can often harm silk fibers. But club soda is gentle enough for silk and can even be used to spot-clean a wool rug.
Don’t soak the rug, though. Silk tends to absorb moisture more than any other carpet fiber. And any moisture left in it can quickly turn to mold and mildew. So while it’s okay to clean a faux fur rug with water, always keep this to a minimum with natural fibers such as real fur, wool, and silk.
How To Clean Silk Persian Rugs
Professional care is always best when it comes to stain removal on silk rugs. But simple, consistent cleaning with professional products at home will keep your silk Persian rug in good condition and smelling fresh and clean.
Use A Powder Carpet Shampoo
Silk is a natural fiber and needs to be treated with care. Although steaming is ideal for cleaning a sheepskin rug at home, it's not suitable for silk rugs. Because silk is so prone to heat and water damage, hot water extraction is also generally not advised.
Silk fibers, when they get wet, can stretch out a great deal. And although silk is very strong, it lacks elasticity. This means that once it’s stretched out of shape, the silk fibers won’t ‘bounce back’ again as some other fibers do. A dry-cleaning method works best for silk rugs.
Sprinkle the dry carpet shampoo, rub or sweep it over the rug, and then vacuum it up. This is also the preferred way to clean a sisal rug. And if you want to deep clean a jute rug, the dry powder method is best for that, too.
Carpet Shampoo Designed For Natural Fibers
Always use carpet cleaning products designed for natural fibers. Also, don’t treat your silk carpets, no matter how dirty, with heat cleaning treatments. It can cause damage to your silk Persian rug.
If there are very dirty areas on your silk rug, you can use some of our RSF Cotton and Linen Shampoo. It is a gentle, powdered carpet shampoo specifically formulated for natural and delicate fibers. This easy-to-use product will clean, brighten and refresh your rug in one step.
So whether you want to clean dirty patches or remove stale odors, this product will do the trick. But follow the directions on the packaging very closely. And do a test patch on an inconspicuous area of the carpet first, to check for colorfastness.
Silk Rug Care Tips
Make Your Sik Rug A Pet-Free Zone
Prevention is better than cure when it comes to keeping silk rugs looking their best. They are easily damaged, so make your silk rug a pet-free zone. The acidity of pet urine can damage natural fibers like silk.
In the event of an unavoidable pet urine stain, treat it immediately. Blot as much as you can with a soft cloth, and proceed with the club soda trick we recommended above. You will notice it bubbling when it gets absorbed into the carpet. This effervescence is what removes the stain and smell from your rug.
Don’t Eat Over Your Silk Rug
If you have young children, don’t let them play on the silk rug if possible. If your kids get used to relaxing on your oriental rug, they’ll eventually be tempted to sit and enjoy snacks there. Also avoid placing it in the dining room, where food and wine will inevitably make their way onto your rug.
If your wine is on your silk rug, the club soda trick is just as effective on wine stains. But unless it is a fresh stain, we cannot guarantee results. So always act on spills and stains as quickly as possible. That is key to avoiding the most stubborn stains, especially on silk rugs.
Limit Walking On Your Persian Rug
Most carpet and rug dirt comes from under your shoes, so you may want to remove your shoes when walking through a room with silk rugs. But silk Persian rugs are not ideal for high-traffic areas anyway, as constant wear and tear will show very quickly. Place them in an area where they will not be walked on much.
If you place furniture on your silk rug, for example, a coffee table, use protectors under the table legs to avoid damage. Don’t drag the furniture across your rug, but lift and move it instead. And place rug pads underneath your silk rug. It will prevent the rug from sliding and moving around, and getting damaged.
Keep Your Oriental Rug Out Of The Sun
When placing your silk rug in the home, position it in a spot that doesn’t get direct sun. The UV rays coming through a glass sliding door, food example, will cause the colors to fade. The effect will not be immediate, but in time the colors of your silk rug will be dull.
That will not be an easy fix. So use a protector to limit the damage caused by the sun’s harsh rays. And if it must be in a room that gets a lot of sunlight, rotate your rug regularly so that any color fading is even. In this way, the fading will be less noticeable to guests.
Silk rugs are more delicate, and therefore harder to keep clean than ordinary carpets and rugs. But with the right care, they can stay looking clean and beautiful. We have many years of experience with carpet, upholstery, and rug care. Trust us for all your rug cleaning and care needs.
Did you find our blog helpful? Then consider checking other guides:
- How to Clean an Alpaca Rug
- How to Clean a Cotton Rug
- How to Clean a Leather Rug
- How to Clean Synthetic Rug
- How to Clean Olefin Rug
- How to Clean Bamboo Rugs
- How to Clean Nylon Carpet
- How to Clean Handmade Rugs
- How to Clean Persian Rug
- How to Clean Braided Rug
- How to Clean Oriental Rugs
- How to Clean Woven Rug
- How to Clean a Moroccan Rug
- How to Clean a Kilim Rug