How to Clean a Silk Rug
When you spill something on your silk rug, it’s important to get stain removal just right in order to avoid permanent damage. Read on for the proper way to clean a silk rug so that you can experience long-lasting enjoyment of your rug’s luxurious shine.
Preparing to Clean Your Silk Rug
We recommend that you always seek out a professional cleaner first. A silk rug’s fibers lose their strength easily when wet, so as expensive as silk rugs can be, it’s best not to risk permanent damage on a rookie mistake. However, even professional cleaners might not be able to fully remove a stain from a silk rug.
If you attempt to clean your silk rug yourself, you must be measured and precise in the way you go about these cleaning methods. Check your rug’s specific cleaning instructions for the best results.
What You’ll Need:
Vinegar, Club Soda, Baking Soda, Cloth
Key Things to Avoid:
When you’re cleaning your silk rug, it’s important to avoid three things: heat, excessive moisture, and enzymatic cleaning agents. These factors can all be super harsh on silk and ruin your rug.
- Heat: Because it’s a natural fiber, silk has the sensitivity to shrink and dull when it’s exposed to heat. Always air dry your silk rug.
- Dampness: Avoid sopping your rug with your cleansing solution, as this may cause the colors to run together. Since heat and moisture are both damaging to a silk rug’s fine fibers, avoid steam cleaning as well. Proper handling will keep dyes from bleeding together and ruining your rug’s appearance.
- Chemical Cleaning Agents: Traditional rug cleaning formulas can steal the color from your rug, so stick to the materials we’ve listed above. Professional cleaners will have gentle detergents specifically made to clean silk rugs if you opt to go that route.
How to Remove Stains from a Silk Rug
1. Gently Lift Solids
Step one? Act fast so stains can’t cling to the fibers. If it’s a solid stain, use a spoon to gently collect any solid substances from the rug before you try to remove the deeper stain. Any chipping could cause the rug to tear, so try to scoop instead of scrape.
2. Lightly Dab Liquids
Soak up liquid stains by dabbing them with a soft cloth, however, avoid rubbing as it can accidentally scrub away fibers. You can soak the cloth in an equal combination of room-temperature water and vinegar to lift more stubborn stains. Apply the mixture using a spray bottle to evenly distribute the cleanser and help protect your rug from excessive moisture.
3. Neutralize the Stain’s Color and Odor
If you use the vinegar-water solution, the acidity should already work to remove any odor caused by the stain. Still a lingering smell? Spread baking soda over the affected area after the initial stain removal process and allow for an hour to absorb the spill. Vacuum up the remaining baking soda residue.
Add club soda to your rinsed cloth if the stain leaves behind any coloring. The light acidity of the club soda can help to take that color out. Next, use a separate dry cloth to gently blot up any leftover moisture.
How to Maintain a Silk Rug
1. Vacuum Twice a Month
Bimonthly vacuuming should keep your silk rug well-maintained. Make sure to go easy on the silk material by choosing a gentle setting. For example, you might raise the beater or switch to a different attachment.
Going side-to-side instead of vacuuming in the direction of the rug’s weave will help to prevent snagging and pulling up any smooth fibers. If you want your rug to last a long time, make sure to vacuum the back at least once a year. This keeps dirt from wearing out the rug via abrasions underneath.
Again, avoid using your vacuum’s beater or roller brushes when sweeping your rug – that way, you’re less likely to pull out the rug’s fibers or break down its pile. Regularly shake out your rug to help manage dust and dirt build up and extend the time between vacuuming sessions.
2. Strategically Place the Rug
Silk rugs reflect light based on the depth of the rug pile and the position of the fibers. Since walking over the rug will pat the fibers down, the varied refraction of light can make the rug seem darker and dirtier in certain areas. Rotate your rug seasonally to help even out sunlight exposure and wear.
Since a silk rug’s fibers can bend quickly with frequent traffic, sliding a rug pad between the rug and the floor can help to cushion the blow. Avoid folding or bunching up your rug as you clean certain areas – a silk rug can stretch quickly and permanently when it’s shifted.
If you want to guarantee that the strength of your rug fibers will stay intact and maintain coloration, consider hiring a professional to clean your silk rug.
Silk rugs are meant for out-of-the-way areas, but it’s natural that you’d want to flaunt this gorgeous material in a busy space. Choosing a wool-silk blend is one form of quality assurance and preventative maintenance when you want an elegant rug for a higher traffic area. Check out our full comparison of rug strengths in our Guide to Best Rug Materials.