How To Clean A Woven Rug

Woven rugs add an exotic touch to any home. As they are generally made from natural fibers,  you may be hesitant about cleaning yours. But you don’t have to worry about how to clean a woven rug once you’ve read our guide. 

With the right care, your woven rugs will look good for many years. But eventually, they will start to show dirt, or have been subjected to stains. So we’ve compiled the best methods for cleaning the most common types of woven rugs. 

We’ve also recommended both professional products and home remedies fit for the task. So you can get your rugs looking good as new again, no matter the circumstances.

How To Clean Woven Rugs

how to clean a woven rug

Here are some points to remember when cleaning woven rugs:

  • Woven rugs are seen as hard to clean for two main reasons: their design, and their materials. These rugs shouldn’t be subjected to rough treatment or vigorous scrubbing. Care should be taken to match their materials and fibers to the right chemicals for carpet cleaning
  • Most woven rugs are made of natural fibers, hence the carpet chemicals you use when you clean an Oriental rug at home must be suitable for natural fibers. This applies to both detergents and stain removers. 
  • You shouldn’t steam clean Oriental rugs, as the heat and water can damage them. This is especially true of woven wool rugs, which most Oriental rugs are. But, some rugs sold by less reputable dealers are clever synthetic imitations. Always check their authenticity beforehand.

The most common woven rugs are Kilims and Dhurries. Authentic products of this style are always made from natural fibers. Kilims are usually made from wool, while dhurries are generally made from cotton, or a combination of cotton, wool, and silk. 

Cleaning A Wool Kilim Rug

This method applies to wool Kilims, but can also be used for cleaning a Navajo rug because it is made of wool, too.

Use Cool Water Only

To clean a Kilim rug made from wool, the first thing to remember is that you should use products formulated for wool. And secondly, never submerge it in hot water. Heat can shrink wool fibers. 

Natural-Fiber-Friendly Detergent

how to clean cotton rug

Our Ultimate All-Fiber Rinse is, as the name suggests, safe for use on all rug fibers. While it is designed for hot water extraction machines, do not use hot water extraction to clean a Kilim rug. Rather use cool or room-temperature water. Mix this detergent with water as instructed on the packaging. 

Gently Dab It With A Cloth 

Apply the detergent mixture with a soft, clean white cloth. Don’t rub the rug too vigorously or apply too much downward force. You may also add some of the cleaning mixture to a spray bottle, and spray a fine mist onto the rug before blotting it with the cloth. Gently dab at the dirty areas of your Kilim to lift the dirt. 

Repeat the Process To Rinse

Repeat the process with clean water to remove any remaining residue. Don’t squeeze the water out, but rather place it over a clean wall outdoors, to dry naturally. This gentle method will also work when you need to clean a Persian rug, as Persian rugs are usually made of wool, too. 

Cleaning A Cotton Dhurrie Rug

This method will generally be safe for all cotton dhurries. But always check the care label on the back of your dhurrie to be sure of its materials and care. 

Use Cool Or Tepid Water

As with the wool Kilim, a cotton dhurrie rug must be washed with cool or room-temperature water. Hot water can cause cotton fibers to shrink. If your dhurrie is made of a combination of cotton and wool, follow the cleaning instructions for the wool Kilim woven rug, above. 

Detergent Formulated For Cotton Rugs

how to clean woven rugs

Rob’s Secret Formula Cotton And Linen Shampoo is specially designed to clean cotton, linen, and even wool rugs. Gently hand wash your cotton rugs, using the shampoo as directed on the packaging. Do not scrub too vigorously. 

Rinse & Dry

Once you have removed the dirt from your Dhurrie rug in this way, rinse it, once again with cool water. Don’t wring the carpet to remove the water. Hang it over something clean outdoors, to dry in the open air. Don’t use heat to dry your rug, as it will have the same shrinking effect that hot water would. 

Home Remedy For Cleaning Oriental Rugs

Dry-cleaning methods are usually advised for natural fibers or delicate fabrics. This is usually how professionals clean Oriental rugs. Alternatively, they use products specially formulated for the material the rug is made of.

But, when you’re cleaning your rug at home, you may not have professional carpet cleaning products. Unless the rug is extremely dirty or heavily stained, this home remedy will do the trick.

Vacuum /Shake Rug 

Vacuum the rug, or sweep it with a soft carpet broom to remove dust and debris. Alternatively, shake it outdoors to free the dust from the fibers. 

Sprinkle Baking Soda Over The Rug

clean woven rug

Then sprinkle a liberal amount of baking soda over your Oriental rug. Using your fingers or a soft, clean cloth, rub the baking soda across the rug in a very gentle sweeping motion. Don’t use excessive force.

Leave To Sit, Then Vacuum Again

 Leave it to sit for a few hours, and once again sweep or vacuum the rug to remove all the baking soda.  This will lift minor stains and dirt, as well as freshen your rug.


Woven rugs will serve you well for years if you keep them clean and care for them properly. And with over 30 years of experience in the carpet cleaning industry, we know what it takes to keep your carpets and rugs looking their best. 

Our comprehensive range of detergents, stain removers, and carpet cleaning machines will help you get the job done, perfectly, every time. So invest in these today, and keep your rugs looking clean and vibrant.

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