A good Oriental rug or carpet resists stains owing to the wools high content of lanolin. It is your best protection against stains. Never apply ‘stain guard’ products to your rugs.
Unfortunately the wools of many modern mass-produced rugs are heavily washed with chemicals, stripping away natural protective oils. These are less likely to resist stains and respond to remedial treatment, but if following this guide you will have the best chances of success.
The first rule: Soak up any liquid immediately. Soft towelling is ideal for this purpose. Depending on the kind of spill, the simple steps below will help you protect and preserve your treasure.
One or more of the following solutions will be required, along with some white absorbent cloth or tissue:
- Detergent solution — One teaspoon full of a neutral detergent (e.g., Fairy Liquid) in two cups of warm water
- Detergent-vinegar solution – Add one teaspoon full of white vinegar to the basic detergent solution
- Ammonia solution — One tablespoon of household ammonia in one cup of warm water
- Dry cleaning solvent — such as Dab-it-Off
Before using a solution test it on a small, out-of-the-way area of the carpet, then tackle the stain by working from the outer edges toward the middle of the stained area.
BLOOD, CHOCOLATE, FRUIT, GLUE, GRASS, GRAVY, ICE CREAM – Scrape up excess with a blunt knife. Use detergent solution, starting with the outer edge and blotting dry. Follow with an ammonia solution, then blot dry.
ALCOHOL, WINE – Blot up spillage, then clean with detergent solution. Work from outer edge of the stain, using a little solution at a time and blotting frequently with dry cloths NB: Never use salt on your rug for wine spills (an old wives’ tale?) Salt will rot the foundation eventually. A good rug should repel red wine stains if soaked up immediately.
CHEWING GUM, NAIL & SHOE POLISH, TAR, WAX, VOMIT FATS, GREASE OIL – Scrape up with blunt knife. Use dry cleaning solution, followed by detergent-vinegar solution. Blot dry.
COFFEE, TEA, PERFUME, LIQUID FOOD – Blot up the spillage, use detergent-vinegar solution a little at a time working from the outer edge of the stain blotting frequently with dry cloths.
EGG – Scrape up excess with blunt knife. Use detergent-vinegar solution starting at outer edges of stain and blot dry. Follow with ammonia solution, blot dry.
MILK, SOFT DRINKS – Blot up surface spillage. Use detergent solution starting at outer edge of stain, working toward the centre. Follow with ammonia solution, blot dry.
URINE – Blot up spill. Clean with ammonia solution using a small amount working from outside to centre of stain. Blot frequently with dry cloths.
LIPSTICK – Scrape with blunt knife. Use dry cleaning solvent, followed by ammonia solution. Blot dry.
If you have any other queries please do let me know and I’ll do what I can to help.