How to Safely Clean A Silk Rug

silk rugs - the silk wormThe silk rug has been coveted for hundreds of years, going back to the Silk Road, a famous 6,400 km Eurasian trade route from BCE until the mid-15th century.  With so many new materials and textiles showing up in the world, the word “silk” is still considered to be the best of the best of fine fabrics.

The silvery, shimmery delicate look of fine silk is a preferred fabric for those with luxurious taste. Silk is made from the silk worm, otherwise known as Bombyx mori.

For at least 5000 years, the silkworm has been domesticated and producing silk beginning in China. This later spread to India, Korea, Japan and the rest of the world. Although it can rival the strength of steel yarn, silk is still delicate when it comes to stains and dirt.

Silk fibers are most sensitive to damage and stretching when they’re wet. Thus, it is best that they are not rubbed, heated or have strong chemicals poured on them.

Preventative Measures For Keeping Silk Rugs Clean

For those who love silk rugs, it is not uncommon for them to have their silk oriental rugs scattered throughout the house in almost any traffic area. It is recommended of course to limit the amount of foot traffic especially from pets and children on silk area rugs.

Having people remove their shoes at the entry is a lot easier than cleaning the dirt off the silk rugs.  However, vacuuming silk oriental rugs (minus the beater or roller brush) can pick up dirt before it is ground into the fibers. Another more traditional way to get out the dirt is simply to hang the rug outside and beat it to remove the dust and dirt.

How To Best Clean Silk Area Rugs

how to clean silk rugs

Before we get to how to best clean silk rugs, it is good to discuss the importance of avoiding problems from starting.  The enemy to silk rugs is

  1. High foot traffic
  2. Too much sunlight
  3. Pet urine
  4. Enzymatic Cleaners – (including pet urine stain removers)
  5. Hot water or steam
  6. Chlorine bleach
  7. Red wine
  8. Koolaid
  9. Other acidic liquids

To avoid too much sunlight on your silk oriental rug, it is best that you rotate it every 3-4 months so that the sunlight is exposing the rug in equal portions.

If a spill happens on your silk oriental rug, the best thing to do is to immediately take steps to remove the liquid. Unfortunately, if the spill is allowed to settle, the less likely you will be able to remove the stain.

  1. Get a clean white towel and dampen it with warm (not boiling) water. With the cloth in hand, BLOT, do not rub. This will allow the spill to absorb into the towel.
  2. If water is not enough, the next step is to make a solution of 50-50 vinegar and warm water mix. Once again, use the BLOTTING method to absorb the stain into the towel.
  3. Last option if the above does not work is to use a little bit of baking soda on the spill.  Then, again BLOT the rug with the water and vinegar.

These are at-home remedies in an emergency.  The lowest risk option to take when cleaning a silk oriental rug is to have it professionally cleaned, at an area rug store  like Ruby Rugs. These steps provide an emergency and quick solution to spills or pet urine.

Check out the latest in silk rugs at Ruby Rugs. We have an incredible selection of luxury silk guaranteed to wow you!


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