How to Clean Kilim Rugs

Written by katharine mitchell
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How to Clean Kilim Rugs
Maintain the beauty of your Kilim rug by routinely cleaning it. (Rug image by Pomidors from

With its intricate designs and appealing textures, a colourful Kilim rug spruces up any room or hallway. Traditional measures to keep Kilim rugs clean involved beating the rug with a broom or stick to dislodge dust and dirt. Vacuuming, however, also does the trick. Though owners are advised to leave the more heavy-duty carpet washing to a professional specialising in Kilim rugs, the following methods, employed by Turkish housewives for years, also work.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Cold water
  • Wooden scrub brush or medium-sized pot lid
  • Grated pure olive-oil soap

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  1. 1

    Vacuum your Kilim rug on a regular basis to cut down on the dust and dirt caused by foot traffic. Adjust your vacuum to a setting with low suction. Clean one side of the rug then flip it to vacuum the other side. Avoid vacuuming any fringe on the carpet, which can be damaged by the suction.

    How to Clean Kilim Rugs
    Vacuum Kilim rugs on a regular basis. (brush image by Albo from
  2. 2

    Place the rug on a flat surface in preparation for a thorough cleaning, which you should do every three to five years. Dissolve a portion of grated pure olive-oil soap into cold water to form a condensed cleaning solution. Vary the amounts of soap and water based on the size of the rug and the degree of dirtiness.

    How to Clean Kilim Rugs
    Dissolve grated olive oil soap in cold water. (handmade soap image by Alison Bowden from
  3. 3

    Apply the solution to the carpet with a wooden scouring brush, the edge of your hand or even the top of a medium-sized pot. Brush the carpet with short strokes applying medium pressure to loosen the dirt. Begin at one end of the carpet and work along the length of it, alternating between short circular strokes and motions that push all the dirt to the other end of the rug. Repeat three to five times on each side of the rug.

    How to Clean Kilim Rugs
    The lid of a medium-sized cooking pot can substitute for a brush. (old pot - new pot image by Undy from
  4. 4

    Rinse the rug three to five times by brushing clean water through the rug in the same method described in Step 3.

    How to Clean Kilim Rugs
    Rinse thoroughly to remove all soap. (Clean water and water bubbles in blue image by Suto Norbert from
  5. 5

    Dry your Kilim by laying it on a flat surface or, preferably, a slight incline. Flip the rug over periodically, exposing each surface area, until both sides are thoroughly dry.

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