Rug Care & Maintenance

How to Handle Spills and Stains Specific to Handcrafted Rugs

How to Handle Spills and Stains Specific to Handcrafted Rugs


Handcrafted rugs are a blend of tradition, craftsmanship, and beauty. They are not just decorative pieces but are often considered heirlooms, passed down through generations. Given their value and delicate nature, dealing with spills and stains on handcrafted rugs can be particularly daunting. Here’s a guide to help you navigate these incidents:

  1. Immediate Action is Key:
    • The faster you address a spill, the easier it will be to remove. Always blot (never rub!) the spill immediately using a clean, white cloth.
  2. Use Lukewarm Water:
    • For fresh stains, dampen a cloth with lukewarm water and gently blot the stain, working from the outer edge towards the center to prevent spreading.
  3. Natural Detergent Solution:
    • Mix a teaspoon of clear dish soap with a cup of lukewarm water. Dip a cloth into the solution and blot the stain gently. Make sure you rinse the area with another cloth dipped in plain water to remove any soap residues.
  4. Avoid Harsh Chemicals:
    • Handcrafted rugs can be sensitive to chemicals. Avoid using bleach, ammonia, or other strong solvents that might damage the fibers or cause discoloration.
  5. Club Soda for Acidic Spills:
    • If you spill something acidic like wine or coffee, club soda can help neutralize the acid and lift the stain. Dab it on the stain gently.
  6. Cornstarch for Greasy Stains:
    • For oil-based stains, sprinkle cornstarch over the affected area and let it sit for 20 minutes. It will absorb the grease, making it easier to remove. Vacuum gently afterward.
  7. Limit Sun Exposure:
    • After treating a stain, avoid exposing the rug to direct sunlight, as this can cause fading, especially on a damp rug.
  8. Raising the Pile:
    • Sometimes after cleaning a stain, the rug’s pile might appear flattened. To raise it, hold a steam iron above the spot (don’t let it touch the rug) and steam the area, then fluff the fibers with your fingers.
  9. Professional Cleaning:
    • If a stain proves stubborn or if you’re uncertain about how to treat it, it’s best to consult a professional rug cleaner who is experienced in handling handcrafted rugs.
  10. Prevention:
  • Consider using a protective spray designed for rugs, which can help prevent spills from setting in. Also, ensure your rug is placed in an area where it’s less likely to be exposed to frequent spills.

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