How to Care for Persian Rugs

A Persian rug adds beauty and warmth to a home. The difference between a carpet and a rug is whether or not it is an attached floor covering. Wall-to-wall floor coverings attached to strips along the wall are carpets. Persian rugs are usually accent pieces. They may be antique, contemporary, or handmade. 

persian rug

Persian rugs can become damaged, even when cleaned properly. The rugs are made of fabric that is sensitive to wear-and-tear. Rugs sometimes degrade due to aging. There are things to do to delay the aging process. Taking care of Persian rugs protects your investment and prevents damage. Protect the beautiful rugs from harm with the following techniques. 

All these rugs fall under the category of oriental rugs, thus maintaining them requires professional services every 2 years that specializes in oriental rug cleaning and all aspects of it such as stain removal, fringe repair or color restoration. 

Six Basic Steps to Protect Your Persian Rug 

  1. Keep the rug out of direct sunlight to protect from sun damage. Sunlight causes a rug to become lighter or fade where it is hit by the sun. Antique rugs and those with colors made of natural substances are particularly susceptible.  
  2. Rotate the rug frequently. If direct sunlight cannot be avoided, rotate once each month. The rug will fade uniformly. If not in direct sunlight, four times per year is recommended. Rotate the rugs with the change in seasons. 
  3. Vary the pathways in the room. Placing furniture on a rug creates a frequently used path. Move your furniture to create new walkways to stop damage caused by a wear pattern. 
  4. Do not comb the natural-fiber fringe of a Persian rug: combing damages, the fringe. Grab one end of the rug and walk it to the opposite side. Fringe straightens out when rug is upside down. You can gently shake the rug to aid in straightening the fringe. 
  5. Vacuum the rug regularly. It keeps the fibers from becoming packed. Turn off the beater bar if the rug is expensive, antique, or old. It will grab loose threads and cause runs and tears. A threadbare spot is made worse by a beater bar. Vacuum both sides of a Persian rug. Push and pull over every area except the fringe. The setting should be high enough to clean the rug but not damage it. If a beater bar is used, make an adjustment that has as little contact as possible. 
  6. Address all spills immediately. Bleach and soap cannot be used on valuable Persian rugs. Absorb the spill by using paper towels to gently daub from the outside of the spill to the center. This technique keeps the spill from spreading. Put paper towels under the rug in the area of the spill to prevent damage to the backing. Only use water when cleaning an antique or valuable Persian rug. Seek the help of an experienced rug cleaning professional if you cannot remove the stain. 

Additional Steps to Take to Care for Persian Rugs 

Follow these steps to preserve the longevity and appearance of a Persian rug. Place a plastic carpet cushion or pad under the rug. It helps protect against fading and wear-and-tear. Other steps to take to protect the Persian rug include turning the rug over every year. 

Exercise caution when allowing small children or pets around a Persian rug. Wetness and moisture can cause permanent damage. Repair the rug if necessary. Carpet beetles and moths pose a threat to the rug’s appearance. If signs present themselves, ask a professional to deep-clean and repair the rug. Spray your home to rid it of remaining insects.  



  • Rosie

    I’d love to have a real Persian rug, there is a store in our area. I’ve checked them out and they are so sumptuous, I’m not surprised they need extra care, it would be worth it. I think I’d only want to have one where it wouldn’t have much traffic or a lot of sun,

  • Mary Gardner

    I never thought about needing to rotate the rug often but it certainly makes sense to keep the sun from fading one particular spot. Thanks for the information.

  • Diane K. Brimmer

    I never thought about that they would really wear out like that. Of course I never owned one. I couold really use one now as we pulled out the old carpet that was here when we moved in and found hard wood flooring from back in the late 1800s. Our home was a Sears and Robuck Catalog Home. It was erected in late 1895.

  • Kate Sarsfield

    This brought to mind one of our house moves. We’d just got a new carpet so it was put into storage until we’d moved. Lo & behold when we unrolled it in the new room there was a nest of baby mice in the middle! They had made a hole & so we put the piano over that patch (don’t ask about the mice …).

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