"Can I clean an Oriental rug myself?"
Yes, you can clean an oriental rug by yourself. The best way I would recommend doing it is to take a bucket of water. Basically about a gallon of water. Take a teaspoon of white vinegar, a teaspoon of some clothing detergent - I would prefer something that's not concentrated. Something you may have used for children, something that's got a nice pH balance, like a Tide or an Ivory or a Dreft, or something like that. Put it in a bucket, shake it up and get as much suds from it as you can and just wipe down that spot, or stain, or dirt as quickly as you can with that solution. Don't scrub it. Just more of blotting and pushing and keep cleaning out the cloth as far as the dirt or whatever it may be.
"Can someone come to my house and clean my rug?"
You can hire somebody to come to your house and clean your wall-to-wall carpeting, but I would not recommend them to clean your rug. Mainly because a rug is woven through the back, so basically, the water penetration is going to, if it's a wool rug, is going to absorb around the back of the rug. And you know, if anything has moisture in a situation that’s dark and damp, you can get molds and mildews that can be created on the back of the rug. So I really don't recommend that. Also you can't dust a rug when you’re having somebody come in and clean it. Another thing about the people who do the truck mounted stuff is they don't have the ability of adjusting the type of pH that they're using for a nylon carpet that they're cleaning the rest of your house with and the pH in a wool.
There's a big difference in factors there and you're not going to be able to get the best results by using the same detergent and the same concentration and pH levels for a synthetic fiber that you would with a natural fiber.
"What's the best way to have my rug cleaned?"
The best way is to send it to professionals. Somebody who does have a cleaning plant or a wash plant. Because, one, they're going to dust that rug first. Which means they're going to beat the dirt out of the back of the rug before they clean it. Otherwise, when you clean it, you’re just going to push, with most extraction methods used in homes, you're just going to push that dirt into the back if the rug, where it’s just going to become like a log-jam long term.
The best way is to get it dusted first and then washed with the right type of detergents, as far as that goes, getting it dry as fast as you can, and then drying it in an air-dried situation as fast as you can, so it's dried front and back as quickly as you can. And then, also, you can pay attention to fringes, because usually, how you treat a fringe, you're going to use a different solvent that you would use on the pile of the wool rug. Usually, fringe is cotton and so it gets treated a different way. You can brush things, you can clip things when you get it to a wash plant. If it's not cleaned the first time right, after it dries, you can clean it again.
Many times, we'll take that rug and we'll do it two, three times, until we give up on it because we think we can do a better job. Maybe that spot didn't quite remove all the way, or maybe we didn't use the right stuff on it the first time.
"How often should I have my rug cleaned?"
The misconception in the rug business as to how often you clean a rug is three to five years. I'm not a big believer in “there's a time frame”. So, if you have a very active family and this rug is getting a lot of use - kids, dogs, straight from the door, right over the rug - I think you going to need that rug cleaned more often. I would say, probably every year or two.
If you have a situation where it's like your dining room and you only eat Thanksgiving dinner or maybe Christmas dinner there, twice a year, three times a year, and you never really use that rug, I would say you could go 20 years, and maybe even longer than that, because it's just not getting the use or the dirt on it.
If you sweep a rug regularly, wool naturally releases soil. It doesn't cling to it. It doesn't stick to it. Dander from the cats or dogs come out of it really easily with sweeping. So, it's really easy just to sweep it regularly. That's the main thing. And I would recommend rotating your rug, so if you're getting sunlight over one area, it'll help with the evening out the fading, at least. And also if you’re getting traffic in one area, it will even the wear of those areas as well.
"If I spill something on my rug, is there something I can do?".
Again, that same Grandmother's formula, I think, is the best thing to clean a spot out of a rug. That's one that I always recommend, and it's basically a quart of water, a teaspoon of white vinegar, a teaspoon of Tide or something that's a neutral detergent used for clothes. Shake it up, use the suds from it and just wipe it in the same direction as the pile. If you can't get it with that, call an expert. Don't mess with it anything more than that. That's about all you can do.