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How to clean persian rugs?
Old 12-30-2010, 07:23 AM   #1
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How to clean persian rugs?

Has anyone ever attempted to clean a persian rug? I assume it should be steam cleaned?

We have a Yorkshire Terrier and when we first got him and were trying to house train he would occasionally pee on the dinning room rug. This 2 lb puppy would urinate such small amount that it was not easy to notice untill days later of which it was too late.
Ok onto to how to clean, there are two rugs sizes 9' X 12' and we got an estimate to professionally clean them in the amount of $1500.00. Say What!

Has anyone ever attempted this on there own?
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Old 12-30-2010, 07:44 AM   #2
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Has anyone ever attempted this on there own?
Calmloki on this board is a Persian rug expert.

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Old 12-30-2010, 09:43 AM   #3
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Eh, no expert at all and I much prefer old tribal Caucasian rugs, coarse weave, and lots of imperfection. That said, I've cleaned many of our rugs and it is a bunch of work. Also have ruined a few rugs when the dye bled. Urine stains call for special treatment, not something I would hazard a guess on.

The size of your rug alone makes it something I wouldn't attempt to clean myself - even if you could get the dirt and stains all out the weight of the wet rug makes it almost impossible to move around without fear of damage during the drying process, and you want to be drying that rug fast and well and in such a way that the dirt or stains don't wick into the fringe or light colored areas. Extra tough in the winter. Just letting it sit in a room won't do it.

If they are wool would NOT suggest using a "steam" cleaner on it. If they are man-made material do whatever you want, but do dry them fast.

I've never paid to have a rug cleaned, but just Googling "persian rug cleaning cost" pulled up this link, which estimates $2/foot or $216 per rug + shipping and I would think some extra for the pet stains. That seems very very cheap to me. Some good info and a great deal missing in the cleaning your own rugs section. No knowledge of this cleaner other than what's on the web.

Oriental rugs Washing repair How to clean your Persian Rugs Wash silk rugs restoration
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Old 12-30-2010, 10:01 AM   #4
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I've never paid to have a rug cleaned, but just Googling "persian rug cleaning cost" pulled up this link, which estimates $2/foot or $216 per rug + shipping and I would think some extra for the pet stains
Thanks for the information calmloki, we had two companies come to our house when they were in the area (since we weren't in a hurry) and both came in at around $1300.00 to $1500.00 including tax for both. I have no problems paying $500.00 including tax to clean both but find over $1000.00 unreasonable. I believe we paid maybe $2000.00 new for both around 15 years ago and to think it's almost the same amount to clean them, that makes no sense to me. Based on you explanation it seems it's not as easy as I thought and don't think it's wise for me to attempt it. I'm stuck now since I don't want to spend over $1000.00 to clean 2 rugs. I'm caught between a rock and a hard place.
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Old 12-30-2010, 10:44 AM   #5
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I would not steam clean it myself. I have a wool rug in the living room worth between five and ten thousand dollars. I clean it using a dry cleaner, like Capture. I just don't know about the pet stains/smells. I think that I remember reading that you should not use enzyme pet stain/odor removers on wool.

EDIT: I see your rug isn't really, really expensive. I'd try cleaning it yourself with a dry cleaner like Capture. If that doesn't do the job I might risk doing a do it yourself steam clean on a nice dry and sunny day and then take it outside to dry in the sun. I might even try the enzyme cleaners first but rinse well afterwards. Again, getting it outside to dry as quickly as possible. Though Loki is right, it might be tough to move the rug to get it outside. Do you have a deck that you could clean it on?
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Old 12-30-2010, 10:59 AM   #6
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Has anyone ever attempted to clean a persian rug? I assume it should be steam cleaned?

We have a Yorkshire Terrier and when we first got him and were trying to house train he would occasionally pee on the dinning room rug. This 2 lb puppy would urinate such small amount that it was not easy to notice untill days later of which it was too late.
Ok onto to how to clean, there are two rugs sizes 9' X 12' and we got an estimate to professionally clean them in the amount of $1500.00. Say What!

Has anyone ever attempted this on there own?

I have LOTS of experience with this, and have asked about cleaning Chinese rugs on this forum as you can clean those by yourself IF you know what to do. I didn't even with researching, so I paid someone to do those also.

IF those rugs are ancient and vegetable dyed do NOT touch them yourself. I have no idea what size city you are in, but--if it is a major one--find an oriental rug dealer or dealers and start asking who cleans rugs the best.

Here is my recent experience: I called a guy I was turned onto. Yes, he is Persian/Iranian and deals in rugs and would clean my 8x10 vegetable dyed rug and 2 Chinese rugs (6x8 each) for $750. I have had these rugs cleaned every 2 years or so for 25 years as that is about how much you have to clean them if they get alot of wear.

OK, so I start thinking that is pretty high as it should be around $450. I make some calls via phone book to anyone who sounds like they sell oriental rugs and are Persian themselves or of that descent. And what do I find? A guy who's family has been in this business for generations who does all the cleaning for the other two strictly oriental rug places in this town--who offers to do all 3 rugs for $440!!! The $750 guy just sends the rugs to him, and I can do that myself obviously.

Look around!!! $1,500 is a pure, blatant rip-off.

If you cannot find anyone in your area that does it, if it were me, I still would NOT touch it myself. Why? I spilled coffee on my good vegetable dyed rug and--not knowing any better--cleaned it with cleaning fluid and it pulled the color out of the rug, hence, lowered the value of a $6,000 oriental rug. Not smart and I ever will forgive myself for the stupidity.

The color is somewhat faded on the edge where I cleaned it now, and, to visitors, they probably don't even notice it. But I notice it. It's like the elephant in the room to me. Too late now..sigh.

To clean an oriental rug that is vegetable dyed professionally that is 8x10 or so it should cost about $220+/- and NOT $1,500, and my 2 6x8 Chinese rugs ran $110 apiece to clean. Don't use this rip-off but don't, please, try and do it yourself as you could unintentionally ruin that rug. And I am quoting prices that it usually goes for in a major metro (I've had these done in Chicago, Phoenix and Houston), so these are major metro prices.*

If it is a machine made rug and not all that valuable, I know you can clean it yourself as it is not made with vegetable dyes. Then just search around for a good rug cleaning piece of equipment and solution. Handle it like a carpet then.


*I just noticed you are in Ontario. You should have some good luck there. And remember: size of the rug makes a huge difference in pricing.


NOW FOR THE BAD NEWS: Once a dog pees on a rug you cannot get it out. Ever. Give up the dream.

My mother's miniature poodle peed on one of my seafoam colored Chinese rugs--top of the line and should have lasted for centuries--and the cleaner can get rid of the smell and fade the yellow stain somewhat, but the stain will never ever go away completely. Yeah...I know..disappointing, huh? I thought the same, but, after checking with antique dealers and other cleaners, realized it was a lost cause; so, my rug is now halfway under the guest room bed where I am hiding most of the yellow staining.
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Old 12-30-2010, 11:03 AM   #7
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$1500 is a lot of money. We had a bunch of carpets cleaned in '07 that had been rolled up in a storage bin for a couple of years, purchased 15 years earlier and moved internationally a couple of times. I don't recall the sizes but 2 were large - 9x12 and 1 or 2 were 4x6, the others were hallway, runners, and such. Most were wool but a couple were silk. They were cleaned by a business that sells eastern rugs but also cleans. They had good references on angies list in the chigago area. Pickup. cleaning, and delivery for 8 or so was less than $1k IIRC. The $2 per foot sounds about right.
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Old 12-30-2010, 11:15 AM   #8
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I just found another website you can check references other than yelp.com, and it's called Kudzu.com. You could give those a try when looking for some specific industry like oriental rug cleaning.
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Old 12-30-2010, 11:24 AM   #9
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Here is an explanation on how to do it yourself:

How to Clean an Oriental Rug | eHow.com

With the suggestion of cleaning them outside, with one critical comment on the use of a squeegee.
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Old 12-30-2010, 11:35 AM   #10
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EDIT: I see your rug isn't really, really expensive. I'd try cleaning it yourself with a dry cleaner like Capture. If that doesn't do the job I might risk doing a do it yourself steam clean on a nice dry and sunny day and then take it outside to dry in the sun. Do you have a deck that you could clean it on?
15 years ago I haggled the price down to around $2000.00 during this time of year, when we last checked they both went for around $6000.00 so expenisive can be a relative term. Yes we have a deck but I'm still not sure I'm comfortable cleaning them myself untill I know for sure I won't do any damage.
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IF those rugs are ancient and vegetable dyed do NOT touch them yourself. I have no idea what size city you are in. Look around!!! $1,500 is a pure, blatant rip-off.
If you cannot find anyone in your area that does it, if it were me, I still would NOT touch it myself.
NOW FOR THE BAD NEWS: Once a dog pees on a rug you cannot get it out. Ever. Give up the dream.
How can you tell if the rug is Vegatable dyed?
We live close to Toronto Ontario which has a population of maybe 3.5 million but it's still not easy to find someone that charges less then $1000.00 for both.
There is no pee smell which surprises us, I know you can get used to the smell once exposed to it but even when we're alway for several days and come back home there is no smell.
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The $2 per foot sounds about right.
Now to find that $2.00 per sq. ft person.
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I just found another website you can check references other than yelp.com, and it's called Kudzu.com. You could give those a try when looking for some specific industry like oriental rug cleaning.
I'll have to check it out.

Thanks for all the responses everyone.
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Old 12-30-2010, 11:36 AM   #11
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Yes, I think Martha's article is how they clean them, but I would be totally paranoid about which soap is mild enough myself.

One of my Chinese rugs that my son threw up on--and we could never get the red stain out (wine?)--took the oriental rug cleaning guy 3 times to clean it. He got it out totally. He's my hero today, of course. But think if you have to clean a heavy wet rug 3 times to get out a bad stain....aaaaargh...
In fact, this guy who has done this all his life told me he almost gave up at 1-1/2X but said to himself that no, he could do it...and he did. God bless...not everyone has that persistence.
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Old 12-30-2010, 11:39 AM   #12
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I don't know much about cleaning a wool Oriental rug myself , but I do have some fairly recent experience about how to ruin one trying...
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Old 12-30-2010, 11:44 AM   #13
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How can you tell if the rug is Vegatable dyed?
We live close to Toronto Ontario which has a population of maybe 3.5 million but it's still not easy to find someone that charges less then $1000.00 for both.
There is no pee smell which surprises us,
.

Wow..hard to explain in writing for me. If you cannot find an explanation on the net, if it were me, I'd go look at oriental rugs where they sell the expensive kind and ask the salesperson to show you some that are vegetable dyed and maybe some non-dyed types so you can compare. And ask to see machine made rugs vs. handmade so you can see the difference there, too.

I can tell now quickly, but I don't know exactly how to explain it to you. Sorry.

I had no smell in my house either, but I never put my nose next to it. The rug cleaning guy told me he got out the smell, so, since he got closer to it I assume he smelled it. Regardless, not getting out the stains totally was upsetting...darn dog.

If you end up having to pay that much money for a rug to be cleaned...darn, I'm glad I'm not living there. Is it too hard to try some major city in the States where you could fold the rug and drive it there? I'm assuming you come down to visit us here once in awhile? Just thinking it might be cheaper here is all.
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Old 12-30-2010, 11:50 AM   #14
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Regarding soap - less is more. Rinse. Rinse again. keep rinsing. and again. Also, bleeding can easily take place before shampooing - reds in Navajo rugs are particularly problematic. Wet a white handkerchief, wring it out, and rub the area you are testing to see if you get color transfer.

I like a horse mane shampoo for rug cleaning - not finding my jug, but Mane n' Tail should do well. Dilute it before use.

Amazon.com: Mane N Tail Shampoo 32 oz: Everything Else
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Old 12-30-2010, 11:51 AM   #15
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I have a 10(?)x14 Turkish Ladik. It might be 9x14, but either way it is wool on cotton and dyed with vegetable dye. We found a shop that sold hand knotted rugs that also cleaned them. We paid less than $300 to have it cleaned. That is the way I would go. Try to find a shop that sells the rug and try to have them clean it. $1500 is way too much. For that price you could almost drive to a big city and have it cleaned for less. Detroit has a very large Persian population and I'm sure will have shops able to clean it for you. Depending on where in Ontario you live, it might only be a couple hour drive each way.
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Old 12-30-2010, 11:54 AM   #16
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I have a 10(?)x14 Turkish Ladik. It might be 9x14, but either way it is wool on cotton and dyed with vegetable dye. We found a shop that sold hand knotted rugs that also cleaned them. We paid less than $300 to have it cleaned. That is the way I would go. Try to find a shop that sells the rug and try to have them clean it. $1500 is way too much. For that price you could almost drive to a big city and have it cleaned for less. Detroit has a very large Persian population and I'm sure will have shops able to clean it for you. Depending on where in Ontario you live, it might only be a couple hour drive each way.
Definitely come down to the US to have it cleaned. Plan on spending a few days, stay in a nice hotel, rent a car, see the sights, spend those Loonies like there's no tomorrow while you are waiting for the rug to be done...
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Old 12-30-2010, 12:01 PM   #17
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Thing is you will play hell trying to get normal dirt out of a carpet - once you have seen the rug beaters and drying rooms of the pros.... or seen the way an expert can tease color stains out using cleaners and sun and capillary action and masking and skill - they make their money.

I've been rinsing dirt and old soap out of rugs after 8-10 widely spaced rinsings - and gotten more after letting soak overnight again.

Rugs get shipped cross country all the time - Tyvek is your friend for light weight protection. Double layer and lots of good tape.
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Old 12-30-2010, 01:45 PM   #18
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Definitely come down to the US to have it cleaned. Plan on spending a few days, stay in a nice hotel, rent a car, see the sights, spend those Loonies like there's no tomorrow while you are waiting for the rug to be done...

Sarcastic jokes aside, for $1,500 they could drive down and stay in a hotel and have fun for a couple days I'll bet. That is just a totally ridiculous price to spend to have a rug cleaned I think. But I get your comment. They are in a spot with this rug it seems.

Calmloki is right. Rugs do get shipped across the country all the time. Heck, a friend of mine in Illinois sent his dead wife's china (to repeat a story recently) by UPS and nothing was broken--and they packed it for him--for $150 from Davenport, Iowa, to Dallas, Texas. It might be worth it to save $1,500. It would be to me.

If you need to ship it to an excellent quality cleaner in the States that you can totally trust (reviews on the net and all), I can give you the name of someone down here. I've had my rugs cleaned alot, and I haven't had anyone so superior as the guy here. He's been in business a long time, and his character I would say is above reproach. I would never fear sending him my rug to clean, anyway.
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Old 12-30-2010, 02:19 PM   #19
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Get a Persian cat to lick it?
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Old 12-30-2010, 02:28 PM   #20
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Believe it or not but Portland seems to be an Oriental carpet collector's Mecca. They are so common that at auction you don't get much.

Atyieh Brothers is the go-to place for cleaning them. Their prices are on their website, occasionally they offer discounts.
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