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How Do You Take Care of an Antique Rug?

‘The old that is strong does not wither, deep roots are never reached by the frost’ – JRR Tolkein.



Using the age old adage, ‘old is gold’, might be just a little cliché but in the case of carpets, it is aptly appropriate. Some museums and art collections, house rugs that predate most modern day religions. Even more impressive is that these works of art have retained much of their attractiveness, even after a couple of thousand years. With that in mind, you might be tempted into purchasing an antique rug. I am not suggesting you try to get your hands on a rug that has a manufacturing date with the letters B.C in it. There are plenty of antique Carpet stores in Toronto that will give you a fair price on a piece which is 75 to a 100 years old. Antique rugs require special attention, so it is important to be well versed in carpet cleaning.


Basic Spills: According to North York carpet cleaning professionals, older Persian rugs are made up of lanolin-rich wool, which has natural stain repelling capabilities. The wool has naturally occurring proteins that stop seepage into the core of the fibre. It is the first line of defence, kind of like the bodies white blood cells. So most spills can be cleaned by using a paper towel to blot up the liquid. If a stain does pop up, this is one of the rare occasions you can use shampoo. Since wool is similar to human hair, shampoo makes for an effective cleaning agent. You can also use colourless detergent and plain white vinegar to treat stains. When cleaning the rug you have to be careful, you are dealing with a product that has a few miles on it. Since the fibre is older, try to resist the temptation to scrub, it will result in irreversible discolouration. Always try to blot the stain and make use of a non-electric carpet sweeper. A deadly nemesis of modern day carpets is red wine, the elderly members of the carpet family are more resilient to the alignment. Wine spills can be removed with just paper towels.


Tumbling: Try not to clean an antique rug too frequently. Antique rugs should almost never be vacuumed, sweep the carpet with a brush a couple of times a week. Let the rug’s natural defences take care of itself. Something you would want to do every five to six years is hire a professional cleaner to tumble the carpet. A tumbler is not to be mistaken with the bat mobile from Christopher Nolan’s trilogy. According to the North York carpet cleaning gurus, a carpet tumbler is a large clothes drier that has slower revolutions. It gently removes, dust and dirt from the roots of the carpet without leaving behind abrasions. Mississauga carpet Cleaners claim that most professionals have this machine in their repertoire.    


Sunlight: Older carpets are impervious to bouts of extreme sunlight. That being said as they age, they become more prone to fading. Use a clear plastic film on your windows, it will not change the colour of the glass or reduce the lighting in your room. What it will do is reduce the amount of UV exposure on the surface of the carpet. Rotate the carpet a couple of times a year to even out the gradual softening effect of sunlight and the wear and tear of foot traffic.


Moths: Moths are deadly to older rugs and the remedy has nothing to do with the carpet. Moths like cold, damp and dark environments, preferably with a bit of decomposition. Keep your room clean and well ventilated and you will not have a moth problem period.


Other useful tips include, brushing with a straw broom, keep the rug on a padded surface rather than directly on the floor, do not place heavy furniture on the rug and keep the room dry. Antique rugs do need special care; then again this is not an investment of a lifetime but one that could possibly transcend generations. As many North York carpet cleaning experts say, over time the carpet may get worn but you can be certain it will never get old.

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How Do You Take Care of an Antique Rug?


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