Cleaning Kilims: How to Wash Kilim Rugs?

Cleaning Kilims: How to Wash Kilim Rugs?

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Cleaning Kilims: How to Wash Kilim Rugs?

Kilim rugs, in simple words, are gorgeous pieces of art. Turkish Kilims make a spectacular floor covering. They are highly durable and can withstand heavy pressure. Although dust-resistant, cleaning them helps maintain clean surfaces more extensively. You don't need to hire cleaning companies to wash your rug. It takes only a little effort and time to keep Kilim rugs clean, and putting in the effort can make a massive difference in the long run.

A common mistake most Kilim owners make is that they use the same cleaning methods for Kilims as they would for other rugs. You need to know that Kilims need attention and care that is different from other floor rugs so that you don't accidentally damage the fibers. Depending on where your rug is placed, the frequency of cleaning needs may differ. For example, if it is in a space that is not heavily used, it won't need heavy cleaning. That said, it will still need regular maintenance with a gentle cleaning solution by professional cleaners. The right cleaning process impacts the durability of the rug. Make sure there is no leftover cleaning solution.

Two methods of cleaning a kilim rug are available:

  • Hand Cleaning
  • Vacuum Cleaning

Here's a step-by-step guide on how to care for your Kilim rugs.

Hand-Cleaning Kilim Rugs

If you're someone who prefers hand-cleaning your stuff, here's how you can clean your kilims with a gentle cleaning solution.

  1. Sweep The Sides

The first step in hand-cleaning a kilim is removing loose debris and dust from the surface. Place the rug on an even surface and run a dry brush or broom over it, ensuring you remove all the dirt and dust on its surface. Next, flip the rug over and repeat the process on the other side, taking care of all the loose dirt on your rug. While you can use any broom for this step, we suggest a handheld brush with bristles longer than a regular brush because they offer more control over your sweeping action.

  1. Make A Cleaning Solution

To make a cleaning solution for your kilim, you need the following materials:

  • Carpet shampoo
  • Warm water
  • White vinegar

Take half a cup of carpet shampoo and mix it with 4 ½ cups of warm water and one tablespoon of white vinegar. Stir the mixture well to blend the components. While a combination of carpet shampoo and warm water is enough to clean the rug, vinegar helps to prevent damage to the colorful design.

  1. Use The Solution to Clean Your Rug

Dip a brush in your cleaning solution. A scrub brush with firm bristles that are pretty long would make the best tool for this step. Make sure that the brush is not excessively moist or damp excessively. Take the damp brush and clean the entire surface using gentle, vertical strokes. Move the brush up and down from one corner to the other. Repeat this until the surface of your rug is clean. Then repeat the same process, but with horizontal strokes. Remember that you must brush your rug gently in controlled movements. Don't forget to re-wet the brush while cleaning rugs when it starts drying. Avoid harsh chemicals even while washing stubborn marks. Use the brush with soft vertical strokes at the fringe areas, and leave it at that. It is unnecessary to go over them a second time. Again, gentle strokes do the trick. Next, flip the rug over and repeat the process on the other side. This technique of deep cleaning ensures that the surface of your rug is dirt-free.

  1. Rinse

Once you have cleaned your rug with the cleaning solution, use a hose to gently rinse the rug to remove all the solutions from its surface. It is crucial to prevent the rug from becoming completely wet. Rinse your bristle brush in clean water to remove the entire rug, dust, dirt, and the cleaning solution. Once your brush is clean, dip it in warm water and apply a gentle, long stroke vertically to your rug. ​​Repeat the technique with horizontal strokes after that.

  1. Dry Your Rug

Lay the rug out flat to dry. An inclined surface is preferred. If you want, leave the rug out to dry under the sun, or if you choose to dry it indoors, a fan will help. Flip the rug once every six hours. It takes a kilim rug more than a day, or up to two days, to dry completely. If you notice residual dirt or solution, you can use a dry, soft brush to clean it. Allow it to get scorched before using it.

If the color of your kilim is fading, a simple mixture of vinegar and cold water in equal parts will do the trick. Use a household spray bottle to apply the mixture over the rug and perform the same scrubbing motions described above.

Vacuum Cleaning
  1. Vacuum regularly

If you regularly vacuum your kilim with the correct setting on your vacuum cleaner, you won't need to scrub and clean it too often. Use a vacuum to suck out any dirt or dust once a week. If you have installed your rug in a heavy traffic space causing heavy dust build-up, you might need to vacuum it a little more often.

Make careful to completely vacuum the flat area on both sides to get rid of any debris and dust.

  1. Set your suction properly

To avoid damaging a kilim rug, avoid using high suction settings when vacuuming. For optimal results, set the suction to a low level. If you have a handheld vacuum, it will work best as these devices are not built for heavy suction.

  1. Don't vacuum the fringes

Fringes are an element that adds to the beauty of handwoven kilims. Vacuums may cause damage and tear to the fibers of the fringe. So it is best to avoid vacuuming the fringe.

Minor Stains

Apart from the regular dirt and dust, your kilims may need cleaning due to minor stains from accidental spills, food spills, pet stains, or animal hair.

To treat minor food spills,

  • Remove solid spills.
  • Blot as much of the stain as you can with the use of a clean piece of cloth.
  • Place a tray or container underneath the rug and pour clean, warm water over the stain. If necessary, you can repeat the steps a few more times.
  • Use a clean cloth to blot away the stain again.

If food stains persist, you might need to hire a professional to clean the rug.

In the case of animal stains,

  • If the stain caused by pet urine is still damp, sprinkle a pinch of baking soda to cover the stain.
  • Step on the layer of baking soda while covering it with a white cloth or paper towel. Keep spreading the pressure for 2-3 minutes until the baking soda soaks up the urine. Remove the cleansing ingredient and repeat should there be a need.
  • Place a container or tray underneath the stain and wash it with clean water. It can be a routine for regular cleaning.
  • Lay the rug out to dry before using it.

If the pet urine stain has entirely dried on your flat weave, you might need to hire a full-service rug company to clean your kilim using special treatment with the help of cleaning chemicals. Suitable strong detergents can ensure that the geometric patterns are not damaged. 

Keep Your Kilims Clean

Kilims are beautiful additions to your homes that, if cared for properly, can transform the entire energy of your space. Authentic Kilims are in a league of their own, offering a sense of serenity to your home. Connect with a professional cleaning service and ensure routine cleaning.

Keeping a kilim rug hygienic requires attention and care, unlike other rugs you might find in your home. High-quality kilims demand high-quality maintenance, and while kilim rug cleaning and repair may seem like a hassle, we assure you it takes only minimal effort and labor to keep them in pristine condition.

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