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A Guide to Cleaning Handwoven Rugs: Tips and Precautions

Updated: Aug 19, 2023

Handwoven rugs are cherished for their intricate designs, durability, and cultural significance. Proper cleaning and maintenance are essential to preserve their beauty and extend their lifespan. However, due to their delicate nature, handwoven rugs require special care during the cleaning process. In this article, we will provide you with a comprehensive guide on how to clean handwoven rugs effectively while paying attention to important considerations.

1. Regular Maintenance:

To keep your handwoven rug in top condition, it's crucial to establish a regular maintenance routine. Here are a few simple steps you can follow:

a. Vacuuming: Use a vacuum cleaner with a brush attachment to gently remove loose dirt and debris. Avoid using the beater bar as it may damage the delicate fibers.

b. Rotating: Rotate the rug periodically to ensure even wear and exposure to sunlight. This will help prevent uneven fading and extend the rug's lifespan.

2. Spot Cleaning:

Accidents happen, and when spills occur on your handwoven rug, immediate action is essential. Follow these steps for spot cleaning:

a. Blotting: Use a clean, white cloth or paper towel to blot the spill gently. Avoid rubbing, as it can push the liquid deeper into the fibers and potentially cause damage.

b. Mild Cleanser: Mix a small amount of mild liquid soap or specialized rug cleaner with lukewarm water. Test the solution on a small, inconspicuous area of the rug to ensure colorfastness.

c. Blotting Technique: Moisten a clean cloth with the cleaning solution and blot the stained area gently. Repeat the process until the stain fades, ensuring that you do not oversaturate the rug.

d. Drying: After spot cleaning, remove excess moisture by blotting with a dry cloth. Allow the rug to air dry completely before placing it back in its original position.

3. Professional Cleaning:

While regular maintenance and spot cleaning can go a long way, professional cleaning is recommended every 1-3 years. Professional cleaners possess the expertise and equipment to handle handwoven rugs effectively. Look for a reputable cleaner experienced in working with delicate textiles and consult with them about the best cleaning method for your specific rug.

4. Precautions to Consider:

When cleaning handwoven rugs, it's crucial to take the following precautions to avoid potential damage:

a. Avoid Harsh Chemicals: Harsh chemicals, bleach, and strong detergents can damage the fibers and fade the rug's colors. Stick to mild cleansers specifically formulated for delicate textiles.

b. Sunlight Exposure: Prolonged exposure to direct sunlight can cause fading and deterioration of the rug. If possible, place your handwoven rug in an area with limited sun exposure or use window treatments to protect it from UV rays.

c. Pet Care: If you have pets, make sure to address any accidents promptly. Pet urine can cause discoloration and odors if left untreated. Blot the area immediately and consider professional cleaning for more severe stains.

d. Rug Pads: To prevent slipping and cushion the rug, use a high-quality rug pad. It also helps protect the rug's underside from potential damage caused by friction with the floor.


Woven History and Silk Road offers professional hand cleaning services for oriental carpets.


Cleaning handwoven rugs requires a delicate touch and attention to detail. By following a regular maintenance routine, promptly addressing spills, seeking professional cleaning periodically, and considering the necessary precautions, you can preserve the beauty and longevity of your handwoven rug for generations to come. Remember, when in doubt, consult with a professional cleaner who specializes in delicate textiles to ensure the best care for your rug.

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