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Uncommon Accents

How to Care for Your Antique Rug

07-03-2012By: Sam Moradzadeh
How to Care for Your Antique Rug

Your antique rug can have many identities. It can be a piece of art, an investment, a treasured decorative item, or a family heirloom. Whether you spent years tracking down the perfect rug or one serendipitously arrived in your life, the next step is to cultivate its longevity with the proper care. Antique rugs can be tricky. They’ve come a long way but that doesn’t mean they are indestructible. With a toolbox full of tips on how to care for an antique rug and a little elbow grease, your antique rug will continue to thrive and remain a constant companion in your home. 

We’ve put together a handy list of tips for cleaning, storing, and caring for your antique rug. 

Top Ten Tips for Caring for your Antique Rug

1) Vacuuming is the primary tool for keeping your antique rug healthy. Remember to vacuum both sides of your rug to even out the daily wear-and-tear and to prevent a moth issue before it starts. 

2) One of the most effective and easiest ways to prolong the life of your antique rug is to rotate it. Simply move it a few inches or change the direction of the rug. This will cut down on sun damage which is one of the harshest elements for a vintage rug.

3) Antique rugs tend to live in tandem with the weight of furniture. In order to avoid indentations, creasing, and the breakdown of textiles, shift the point of contact for furniture every six months even if it’s just an inch or two.

4) Many antique rugs have beautiful but fragile fringe. When vacuuming an antique rug with fringe, avoid running the vacuum directly over the fringe as it can shred these strands.  It’s best to clear any debris from the fringe with a gentle finger comb.

5) Stains happen. Antique rugs can survive most minor stains. When a stain does happen, use damp, clean towels to blot the stain from the outer edges towards the center of the stain to avoid spreading it. 

6) A glass of lemonade can be more dangerous than a coffee spill when it comes to antique rugs. Stains high in sugar attract dirt more quickly causing the stain to grow. Be sure to thoroughly clean up stains on your rug as soon as you spot them.

7) The soft glow of candles bring a peaceful feel to any room but that drippy wax can devastate the delicate textiles of an antique rug. If you do experience a wax spill, gently scrape off any wax that has not hardened yet. Then use an ice cube to solidify the remaining wax and slowly pull off the solid bits.

8) If you need to store your antique rug, roll it up with the pile facing inward.  This protects the greatest amount of surface area of the rug while keeping it free of folds and creases. 

9) If your antique rug is doing some traveling, be sure to roll it and then wrap the outer surface in padding secured with strong ties. Heavy rugs can be dragged, shoved, and crushed during shipping so don’t be shy about cocooning your antique rug in thick padding.

10) Not a big fan of cleaning or tending to stains? Your best bet is to choose an antique rug with a colorful, bold design pattern. Solid patterns or subtle shades will be less forgiving to stains and wear. 

If your antique rug is in need of a professional cleaning or repair, we have an experienced team of conservators specializing in keeping your vintage rug in top form.  We also offer free pickup and delivery service in the Los Angeles area.

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