Care & Cleaning

How to keep your carpet beautiful

Generally speaking, there's no need to be afraid of wear and tear. Hand-knotted carpets are made to be walked on and are therefore very wear-resistant with "normal" use in living spaces. In fact, many hand-knotted carpets become even more beautiful over time. 

Caring for your rug or carpet is not complicated at all. There are only a few things you need to consider to ensure that you will enjoy it for a long time. Firstly, you should rotate the carpet 180 degrees at least once a year in order to avoid uneven wear. Secondly, it is important to remove dust and, above all, sand from the carpet regularly. Sand will act like sandpaper and will in the long run destroy the fibres and thus the fabric that holds the carpet together.

How to clean your carpet or rug

Over time, of course, the rug or carpet will get slightly (or more than slightly) soiled. Most dirt, especially dust and sand, can be removed quickly by simply vacuuming the rug. If small wool fibres should come off in the process, there is no need to worry: in new rugs, these are often residues from the shearing process. But even later on, a little abrasion is not a problem.

However, it is important that you vacuum your carpet regularly from the first day on. When doing so, it is best to always vacuum in the direction of the pile. This way you'll make sure you won't rub the dirt deep into the carpet. The deeper it penetrates, the greater the risk that it will destroy the fibres and the base fabric.

Stain Removal

You accidentally spill a glass of wine or a cup of coffee, or your dog leaves wet paw prints all over the rug ... That's life. What to do? Often it's easy enough to remove smaller stains yourself, especially if you act quickly and don't let the dirt dry up first. The basic rule is: rubbing is taboo! This will destroy the fibres and only embed the dirt deeper into the fabric. Instead, you should dab and work your way from the edge of the stain inwards. Also, it is best to try out the cleaning agent on an inconspicuous area first. Yarns used in handmade carpets are often dyed with vegetable colours that are sensitive to certain agents.

When dealing with fresh stains, you can often achieve a lot with (sparkling) mineral water. Place an absorbent cloth under the carpet, pour a sip of water on the stain and dab off the dissolved dirt with another absorbent cloth. Greater care should be taken with household remedies such as baking soda, lemon juice or glass cleaner; they can bleach the carpet. White wine, sparkling wine or prosecco may help to get rid of red wine stains. But you should also test this in a hidden area first. Next rinse with water, dab the carpet and hang it up so that it is well ventilated from above and below.

Since the cleaning process also removes wool grease from the pile, making the fibres brittle in the long run, you should slightly re-grease the carpet while it is still wet – using a wool grease solution, that you can either buy ready-made, or you can make it yourself from lanolin. This makes the yarn shine again and impregnates the carpet at the same time – as additional protection against dirt.

However, before you start experimenting wildly with large stains, it is better to take the carpet to a professional carpet cleaning business. It won't cost the earth, and you can be sure that your carpet will be treated properly.

Water Damage

In the event of water damage of any kind, you should act quickly and absorb the liquid as soon as possible. Carefully, of course – for example by placing the carpet between two absorbent cloths and gently squeezing out the water. If the carpet remains wet, the colours could run into each other. At worst, the fibres will become brittle and the carpet will become wavy and unsightly. 

The best way to dry and air the carpet or rug is to place it over a water-resistant banister, a carpet pole or a laundry rack. This also prevents it from smelling musty afterwards.

In case of major problems or more complex drying measures, it is best to contact an expert, for example a good carpet washing service. You are also welcome to get in touch with us, we will advise you or recommend a suitable service.

Moths

Adult moths may seem delicate, fragile and "barely there", but the larvae of the clothes moth are very voracious and therefore dangerous for all carpets made of animal fibers. They eat holes in the pile and the fabric and can thus render the carpet unusable. Adult moths no longer feed, their only purpose becomes mating and producing offspring. So it is important to get rid of them as quickly as possible.

Therefore it is good to know what moths like and what they don't. Basically, they love warm, dark and quiet places. This is where the larger females hide away and attract the smaller males with their scent. The female then lays up to 300 eggs.

The moths' natural enemies are regular use, fresh air and light. Carpets that lie openly in a well-ventilated room and are regularly walked on and vacuumed are therefore hardly at risk. With carpets under sofas and in cupboards it's a different story. In those places, the scent of lavender or cedar may keep the pests away, but once they've moved in scents won't help any more.

So how do you get rid of the moths again? Pheromone traps can be used to catch some males (not the females, though), but they are primarily good for finding out whether there is an infestation. Besides, you should not set the traps with the window open since they will attract other males from outside.

If you find moth damage, larvae or eggs in your rug or carpet, you should first isolate it, i.e. bring it into a room where there are no other textiles made of animal fibres. Vacuum it from both sides and immediately dispose of the vacuum cleaner bag.

Moths won't survive severe cold or heat: If you have a freezer, you can freeze the moth-infested carpet for several days; in winter, you can also leave it outside if the temperature is below zero. Or you could heat up the carpet in your (own) sauna, if you have one.

You'll also find various chemical products for moth control in the drugstore. Do be careful here, though, especially with children and animals in the household. There is yet another (absolutely harmless) solution: ichneumon flies, which you can order through the Internet. These tiny insects lay their eggs into moth eggs – with the result that the voracious moth larvae won't hatch at all.

Last but not least, carpet laundries are of course perfectly familiar with the moth problem; they also have the necessary means and correspondingly large equipment to rid the carpet of the pests.

Discolouration / Colour Bleeding

Look out! If a carpet becomes damp or wet, the colours may run ("bleed") into each other. This is often due to an excess of dye in the pile. Is this the case with your carpet? You can easily find out by dipping a white cloth in warm water with a drop of detergent, folding it several times and pressing it onto the carpet (don't forget to use an underlay, so your wooden floor (for example) won't be damaged). Weigh the cloth down with a heavy object and leave it on the carpet for several minutes. Then check the result: if the cloth is still white or if it just looks dirty, the carpet is probably colourfast and you can carefully wash it yourself. It is best to wash it only briefly using cold water, a dash of vinegar provides extra protection against colour bleeding.

However, if you notice traces of colour on the cloth, you should not wash the carpet yourself or remove stains with water. A professional carpet cleaning service is the better choice here, experts know how to remove the excess colour from the pile.

Flower Pots

Plant pots and carpets are not compatible – which is why you should not place flower pots on your rug or carpet, at least not directly. The dampness from the plants will make your carpet rot and become brittle. At the worst, the foundation (warp and weft) will disintegrate, and big ugly holes will appear. Coasters or outer pots (without holes at the bottom) will catch water, but the leaves may still spread moisture to the carpet.

Repairs

Moth damage, wear and tear, or brittle fibres: Sometimes you end up with a hole in your favourite rug, big or small. The good news is that there are specialists even for this. They know how to repair the damage, in some cases even invisibly or virtually invisibly. Or else in such a way that the repairs will blend in harmoniously. Most professional carpet service providers offer simple repairs such as reseaming frayed edges or fixing or renewing fringes. The supreme discipline in repairs, however, is the reknotting of worn areas according to the pattern – and true experts know how to do that, too.

Non-Slip Rug Pads

Anti-slip underlays serve several purposes: Firstly, they keep the rug in place when you step on it so you won't slip. Rug pads are particularly important when you place rugs or carpets on smooth surfaces: without a rug pad, this combination may be very slippery indeed – and dangerous. Secondly, an anti-slip underlay will keep your rug wrinkle-free and smoothly in place. Especially with fine, thin and sensitive carpets, underlays protect the pile and the rug's foundation. On the one hand, these mats provide support, on the other, they make for additional "padding".

Depending on your floor covering and carpet, you can choose between different underlays: for wooden or laminate floors, for design floors or tiles. We will be happy to advise you which anti-slip solution is best suited to your needs.


Assisting you with all your carpet needs would be our pleasure.

Team Oskui Carpets