If properly cared for, quality oriental rugs require very little professional maintenance. We recommend that you have your rugs professionally cleaned about every 4-6 years, depending on how much traffic or dirt they are exposed to.

Why Cleaning is Important

There are three main reasons to get your rugs cleaned. First, and obviously, over time rugs will accumulate dirt. While vacuuming is important, and will get rid of much of it, some dirt will get ground into the fibers of the wool, and will not come out through routine cleaning. This ground-in dirt will dull the colors in your rug, which simply makes it look worse, particularly with lighter colors. Professional cleaning will remove this dirt, immediately brightening the carpet, and restoring it to its original look.

A lesser known factor, however, is that the ground-in dirt can also accelerate wear. The dirt in the wool fibers can act almost like sandpaper when walked on, which will cause the wool pile to deteriorate much faster than if it were clean. So it's important to periodically clean any rug that you'd like to keep for a while, or if you are concerned with maintaining the rug's value.

Finally, when you bring your rugs to an oriental rug expert for cleaning, he will inspect them for any signs of damage, and may suggest preventative repairs. For example, if an edge is just beginning to unravel, an expert can fix this problem very easily for a small amount of money. If the problem is not fixed, it may quickly progress into more significant damage that will lower the value of your rug, as well as be much more expensive to repair.

Proper Cleaning Techniques

Oriental rugs should not be steam cleaned, or cleaned with harsh chemicals. These can cause the dyes in the rug to fade or run, both of which will reduce both the appearance and value of the carpet. Rugs that are cleaned in-house will not have a chance to dry properly, so we recommend that you take your rugs to an oriental rug professional to clean them.

At Shehady's, we use gentle hand-cleaning techniques that bring out the original look of your rugs without causing any structural damage or wear. We do not use any chemicals that will fade or run the dyes.


Some stains may be removed by professional cleaning as well, depending on what type of stain and how bad it is. Here are some common types of stains, and how they clean:

  • Dirt: As indicated above, cleaning will remove the ground-in dirt that dulls your carpets. Dirt cleans up extremely well, and your rug will be restored to its original, vibrant look.
  • Food/Drink: Most food/drink stains will clean very well. Some tough stains (such as wine) may leave a permanent stain, but professional cleaning will make the stain much fainter and less prominent, often to the point where it's not noticeable.
  • Pet stains: Again, this often depends on how severe the stains are. Mild/moderate pet stains will clean up very well and remove all disagreeable odors. Very severe stains may not come completely up, but will still be reduced greatly by cleaning (and again the odors may be completely removed).

Even for the worst stains, we recommend that you contact us and/or bring the rug in for an estimate of the cost and benefits of cleaning for your particular rug, especially if your rug has significant worth -- either in terms of money or sentimental value. We have had many, many customers who were pleasantly surprised at how well their rugs cleaned up. Rugs, that often, they considered ruined by stains.