How to clean an old braided rug?

December 23, 2012 by
Filed under: Antiques Rugs 

Antiques rugs
by Starley Shelton

Question by s1sm00n: How to clean an old braided rug?
I don’t know if it is an antique (probably older than I am, anyway). I got it from my grandparents house, and I am not sure what it is made of, but it might be some kind of wool. It smells terrible (from years of pet accidents), and collects dust like nothing I have ever seen. I have used some dry carpet cleaners and vacuuming on it, which helped with the smell, but I would like to really clean it so I can use it in my bedroom. Is this something I can or should have professionally done, and if so, where do I go? I would prefer to try home fixes first. Any suggestions?
Thanks for the ideas so far! The rug is circular, probably about 6 feet across. I have tried draping it over my porch railing (I am on the 2nd floor) and beating it with the broom, but all I got was a faceful of dust and a nasty coughing fit for my troubles. I like the tub idea… We have a 2-seater with jets!

Best answer:

Try mixing some liquid laundry soap with water in a spray bottle. Take it out side and hang it over something like a fence or a couple of chairs spray it down real good with the soap and then use the water hose with a nozzle on it to spray it down. Leave out it the sun to dry . You might have to turn it over in a few hours to help both sides dry. I would also clean both sides. Hope this helps.

Know better? Leave your own answer in the comments!


4 Comments on How to clean an old braided rug?

  1. sharon on Sun, 23rd Dec 2012 6:17 pm

    You didn’t say how large it is. I would fill the bath tub with warmish/cool water, mix in some Tide and let it soak. Then wiggle it around in there a bit to loosen the lodged dirt and grime. Repeat a second time. Then, with some help because it will be heavy, lift it until much of the water runs out. If you live on a lake, like me, take it down to the lake and drag it out where the water is clean until it is thoroughly rinsed. Then drag it back to where you can roll it up, place in a plastic bag, and take to a laundromat. Place in the largest machine and spin dry it. Drag it out and find a place to lay it in the sun until dry. Stretch it out from time to time to avoid bumps. OR – you can have it professionally cleaned. (If they use those dry cleaning chemicals on it, it will give off toxic fumes). Have fun with this.

  2. sortaclarksville on Sun, 23rd Dec 2012 6:55 pm

    Gotta take it out in the yard and beat those things. Airing it out should get rid of the smell, but to get rid of the dust, you need a rug beater. Good way to relieve some stress, too.

  3. whiskeyflirt on Sun, 23rd Dec 2012 7:21 pm

    my mom used to take the rug outside and lay it on the driveway and blast it with the power washer, since it sounds like you live in an apartment maybe borrow a friends truck and lay it in the truck box and take it to the car wash and blast it with the power washer there. if that sounds like too much work get it professionally cleaned. you can call around some laundrymats might do it for you.

  4. maryantiques on Sun, 23rd Dec 2012 8:20 pm

    HI. If it’s wool have it dry cleaned; you will shrink it or ruin it if you wash it. If not, we use a solution of white vinegar and water to clean stains off of antique tablecloths, then hand wash them very gently with woolite.
    We’ve also had luck with various products we found at antique car shows. Those guys are serious about restoring their cars and go out of their way to keep it original! Check online.
    Good Luck!

    ASK maryantiques… GET maryanswers!

Tell me what you're thinking...
and oh, if you want a pic to show with your comment, go get a gravatar!

You must be logged in to post a comment.