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How to Clean Kilim Rugs

Updated July 19, 2017

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.

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.

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.

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.

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

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.

Things You'll Need

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

Katharine Mitchell began writing in 1994. She has has written for "Fodor's," "The Insider's Guide to Beijing," "Time Out", "City Weekend" and Matador. She attended the Summer Literary Seminar in St. Petersburg, Russia. Mitchell has a Master of Fine Arts in fiction from the University of Montana and a Master of Arts in English from the University of Mississippi.