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What do I do about spills and other accidents?

(see Wash & Repair)

Don’t panic. Most promptly treated spills are easily removed and do not leave permanent stains. The best medicine for spills is to get the substance out of the rug as fast as possible. If you spill an organic substance, use a paper towel or cloth. If the stain is an oil or a dense substance, use a spoon to scoop up as much as possible off first. Contrary to some common belief, pouring salt on a stain doesn’t do much of anything. After cleaning up the spill, dilute it with some water (or club soda is great too if you have it).  Blot-Rinse-Blot…repeat. If the rug’s dyes are bleeding or being transferred to your rag, STOP! Your rug has poorly made fugitive dyes (ps: not what we sell at Nomad Rugs) and should be handled by an expert who can take extra steps to stabilize these dyes.

Remember… blot at the stain. Do NOT scrub as this can un-twist and break the wool fibers. If the stain persists and the dyes are stable, use more water.  You could also use a few drops of dish washing soap diluted in water to create a very mild detergent. When you remove the stain, be sure to prop up the wet section of the rug so that it can dry thoroughly. Use a house-fan if needed to circulate air to help dry the wet area. Proper drying is important as a wet rug may begin to mildew after 24 hours. Still no luck? If the stain persists, bring it to a professional rug cleaner who deals with Oriental rugs. We suggest that you do not use chemical cleaners, “steam” cleaners or rug “shampoos” that are formulated for synthetic fibers and might damage your Oriental rug.

Pet stains and pet urine can be more troublesome if not treated immediately since they can cause permanent discoloration. Again: First remove as much of the foreign substance as possible with a paper towel or rag. Then, it is recommended to use a solution of white vinegar mixed with water to rinse the stain. Blot-Rinse-Repeat. The white vinegar will lessen dye bleed risk and will help to blot away the acidic pet stain. If you use a commercial “enzyme” cleaner formulated for pet accidents keep in mind that some are better than others…. If you do use one of these cleaners, it is suggested that you subsequently use a water-white vinegar solution as a final rinse to remove the “enzyme” cleaner.  Again, be sure to dry any damp areas thoroughly. With pet stains, after taking these immediate steps, I would suggest also using a professional Oriental rug washer to thoroughly clean your rug. Additionally, ask you rug washer to wash AND deodorize your rug to remove any possible odors.

For non-organic stains (such as dyes or chemicals), it would be best to bring the rug immediately to a professional Oriental rug washer.

As a final word, rest assured that most accidents and spills will not harm your rug. And to be sure that your cleaning efforts do not harm the rug either… keep these steps in mind: blot rather than scrub, no chemical cleaners, and if you use soap, use only a couple of drops. Also, after you clean your stain as described, be sure to dry the area thoroughly to prevent mildew. And when in doubt, bring your rug to a professional Oriental rug washer.