Rug’s considered antique are usually over 50 years old which means that their pile can be especially susceptible to various damages and wears. This might make cleaning them an especially challenging and stressful experience. Before you do that there are quite a few tips which will help you facilitate the whole process.
First of all, make sure to thoroughly check if your carpet is really made of wool. Utilizing wrong cleaning methods can irreparably ruin an otherwise beautiful carpet. Beauty of woolen rugs lies in lanolin – wax secreted by wool-bearing animals such as sheep. It adds a unique sheen to the pile which can be lost in dry or deep steam cleaning. If your carpet is in a dire need of washing, use cold water and cleaning solution, designed specifically for this type of fiber. Although some recommend washing your carpet every two years, you might want to adjust it depending on the rug’s state.
In order to prevent dirt from damaging the pile, vacuum your carpet regularly but not too often – once or twice a year should be enough. Of course you should be as gentle as possible during cleaning as harsher vacuums can tear delicate surfaces. Preferably, instead of a vacuum, you should be using a soft and clean dust brush – this way you can clean your antique rug more often! If you are not sure if it is dirty enough, rub a fragment of it with your palm – upon seeing any dirt on your skin you can be sure that this carpet needs to be cleaned.
Any spills have to be cleaned immediately! Use paper towels to gently daub the spill and place them under the carpet to prevent any further damage. Never use harsh chemicals such as bleach or even soap to clean! Although they might get the spill out it will be at the cost of your carpet’s pile and colors. In case of spills that are extremely hard to clean, such as wine or red fruit juices, consider hiring a professional cleaner.