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5 Top Tips for Cleaning an Antique Carpet

Antique carpets and rugs have stood the test of time. And if you want yours to continue to do so then you’ll have to give it a bit of care and attention.

A great quality vintage rug or carpet doesn’t require a lot of maintenance as long as it is treated well. If you want to know when your rug needs to be professionally cleaned give it a good beating. If lots of dust is seen coming off it? It is due for a clean.

On average most antique rug and carpet experts would advise you to get your rug professionally cleaned around every 3 to 5 years.

You can take your own measures to help maintain and clean it yourself. There’s even a basic Wikihow on it.

Again experts would recommend that the first time you clean your rug you get it professionally done but if you want to take the risk and give it a try here are 5 top tips for cleaning an antique carpet that might help you.


Over vacuuming is one of the many things that can damage your antique carpet. Due to the quality of an antique carpet it doesn’t ‘shed’ like a new one would and therefore only needs to be vacuumed once or twice a month.

If your ‘carpet’ is more of a rug and is possible to lift you could also help its care and cleanliness by flipping it over every few months and hoovering the other side.

A rotary vacuum is to be avoided if possible as they have a tendency to wear down the fibres of the carpet

Using Cleaning Liquids

Ask any expert and they’ll tell you the same thing. Rugs and carpets don’t like to be wet. It isn’t good for them but sometimes it is unavoidable.

If you must clean your carpet with a liquid then it should be only really done in the form of a ‘spot clean’ when the stain has just occurred and is still fresh and therefore easily treated.

Otherwise any sort of washing should be left to the professionals. If you are determined to use a cleaning liquid there are some that may be useful out there.

Clean Quickly

The best way to keep your carpet clean is to tackle the spills as soon as they happen. As we have seen this is the only time the experts would advise you tackling any carpet stains yourself.

If you get a damp cloth and act quickly you can avoid that stain becoming something a bit more permanent. If possible, avoid using any extra liquids and be careful not to have the cloth too wet. You want it to absorb the spill rather than the carpet or rug absorbing more water from it.

Steam or Dry Cleaning

This isn’t really a cleaning tip as such. It is more of a ‘whenever you are cleaning don’t do this tip’.

Antique rugs and carpets do not really like water and steam cleaning your rug would be like steam cleaning a woolly jumper. You just know it is going to end in disaster. Steam or dry cleaning can damage the rug and hurt it with harsh chemicals. Save yourself some trouble. Don’t do it.

Get a Professional

This option has to be included because, realistically, if you want a job done right, you get the right person for the job. Cleaning an antique carpet is no different.

There are plenty of antique rug and carpet experts out there with the knowledge and expertise you need. Why not get one of them to clean your carpet?

Cleaning an antique carpet or rug isn’t as straightforward as cleaning a basic carpet found in most homes. It is a far more delicate affair and must be tackled with care and attention. If you must clean your carpet yourself maybe these tips will help but remember to be careful so that lovely antique may continue to be so for many years to come.

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