How to Remove Stains From Your Oriental Rug

We’re gonna go over one of the first steps that you can take after you have a spill or stain on your Oriental or Persian rug.

This process is going to help you reduce the strength of this spill or stain. However, it may not completely remove it.

For this reason we recommend taking your rug to your professional cleaner to get it treated if the stain is still noticeable.

You could use this step to help reduce its effects. So if you’re interested to learn more about this process you can watch the video below or follow the instructions on this page.


Table of Contents

Watch this 5-Minute Video to Learn How to Remove Stains Immediately after they happen

Red Wine spill - One of the worst type of stains for Oriental Rugs

What will you need to clean up the stain?

Items for Rug Stain Removal

First, let’s go over the items that you’re gonna use to clean up the spill right after it happens.

  • 2 Bowls
  • Dish washing Foam
  • 2 White Cotton Rags
  • One Spoon
  • One Small Brush

We have created a stain removal kit with these items available here.

Step 1: Scoop up spill with a spoon

Use a spoon to scrape up the spill

The first you’re gonna take your spoon and the bowl, and then you’re gonna start scraping against the pile to remove as much of the liquid as possible as you can see here.


Step 2: Put Dish Washing Foam over the Stained Area

Cover the stained area with dish washing foam

Take the dish washing foam, and put it all over the stained area of the rug. Make sure to add plenty of foam to cover the stained area and about an inch around it.

Allow the foam to sit and get absorb in the rug’s pile for at least one minute.

Step 3: Rub the Foam into the Pile of the Rug

Rub the foam into the pile of the rug using white cotton rag

Now in the next step, we’re gonna take a white cotton towel, and use it to rub in the foam into the pile of the rug.

The objective is to get the foam into the pile so the stain begins to get removed.

Step 4: Use Cotton Rag to Dry the Area

Dry the area with another white cotton rag

Then take another cotton rag, and use it to absorb whatever remaining liquid and foam that is in the pile of the rug.

Apply the cotton rag and absorb until the area feels as dry as possible.

Step 5: Use a small Brush to brush the pile

Use a small brush to brush the pile

So in the next step, take a small brush use it to brush the rug’s pile in the same direction as the rest of the pile.

First you can feel the rug’s pile to make sure you know the direction that the pile is going, and then start using brushing the stained area in the same direction as the pile.

Step 6: Put a Bowl underneath the Stained area to Dry

Use a bowl underneath the stained area of the rug to help air dry it

For the final step, take a bowl (size of the bowl will depend on size of the stained area), and put it underneath the rug. 

This way we allow air to get underneath the pile of the rug and the foundation and so it dries quicker.

When should you use a Rug Cleaning Expert?

We hope these instruction will help you reduce the impact of the stain or spill on your rug. Remember the quicker you act after a spill happens, the better this stain removal process is going to work.

Also if the stain is still noticeable after using this process, then we recommend getting a professional rug cleaning expert to treat the rug.

And if you are a Catalina Rug customer, then you can contact us to use our Rug Concierge Service. We will handle all the logistics and work with our expert rug cleaner to treat your rug.

Rug First-Aid for Spills of All Kinds

Any oriental rug that is laid down on the floor is susceptible to spills and accidents.

Kids running around could spill fruit juice or soda onto the rug. A guest could knock a glass of red wine and send it crashing onto the rug or your pet could urinate on it. All of these spills can cause your beautiful oriental rug to get stained if you do not do something about it.

Luckily, most spills can be taken care of quite easily. For some of the bigger or messier spills, you may need to get your rug professionally cleaned or treated for stain removal but even then, a little First-Aid done at home before taking the rug to the cleaners will help minimize the staining and act as effective damage control.

Before and After Stain Removal

Before - Juice Stain
After - Stain Removed

Do's and Don'ts in Removing Rug Stains

While different stains may require different measures for complete removal without doing any damage to the rug, the basic principles of stain removal are the same and the steps for removal are similar. The main difference lies in the agent used in the stain removal.

1. Act Promptly: This is absolutely the most important part of rug stain removal. One of the reasons why some stains just refuse to go away or require extensive removal procedures is because they were not attended to immediately. The problem with this is the longer any stain is allowed to stay on the fabric of the rug, the more stubborn it becomes and the more difficult it is to remove.

If any liquid falls onto the rug, immediately blog up the excess liquid using a clean, absorbent towel, paper napkin or any piece of cloth. Always use a white cloth to prevent any accidental color run-off from the absorbing cloth. If any solid falls onto the rug, scoop it up immediately with a clean spoon or spatula and dab with a clean towel to absorb any liquid that may be present or to remove any leftover solid crumbs.

The Longer The Stain Stays On The Fabric, The Harder It Is To Remove.

2. Pre-Test Before Using Any Cleaning Material: Before you use any cleaning material directly on the stained area, pre-test it by using it in a more inconspicuous area of the rug such as a corner. This is because some rugs may contain certain dyes that could react to some cleaning materials causing the color to fade or bleed, making it even worse than before.

3. Blot Gently Between Steps: When cleaning certain stains you may have to switch between using different liquids. This could cause excess liquid to accumulate in that area.

Blotting between every step will prevent this. You have to be careful never to rub at a stain however. Rubbing a stain aggressively or scrubbing vigorously can send the stains deeper into the pile of the rug and will also abrade the rug fibers.

The recommended way to do this is by pressing the cloth down against the rug and holding it for a few minutes. If it is a deeper stain, place a folded towel or thick pad of cloth over the stain and hold it down with some weight. Keep it over the stain for a few minutes till all of the liquid is absorbed.

4. Never Use Bleach On A Persian Rug: It can be tempting to use bleach to remove a stain especially when it is a darker stain such as that left by red wine or coffee. While bleach is actually effective for removing such stains, it will also bleach away the dyes of the fibers, leaving the rug looking dull, faded and patchy.

5. After The Procedure, Dry The Rug As Soon As Possible: You should never leave a rug damp for any longer than absolutely necessary. The fastest way to dry a rug without doing any damage is to leave it under a fan or use a hair dryer for a few minutes. Do not keep it out in the sun as this can fade the rug.

Create a Rug First-Aid Kit

An oriental rug is a major investment but no matter how careful you are, spills can and do happen. Besides having the dos and don’t of stain removal in mind, you can also put together a rug First-Aid Kit.

This kit should contain an assortment of materials and equipment that are usually used in stain removal.

That way, no matter what has spilled over the rug, you will always have at hand all you need to remove it or at the very least minimize the damage and you do not have to add to your stress of looking for the right cleaning equipment or cleaning tools.

What Every Rug ‘First Aid’ Kit Should Contain

1. Clean white cloth or any other color cloth that is colorfast. Keep a few strips or cut squares of cloth. Make sure the cloth is absorbent.

2. A large white sponge.

3. A kind of small squirt nozzle or eye dropper to apply the cleaning liquid drop by drop for cleaning small areas.

4. White vinegar solution, which contains white vinegar and water in the ratio of 1:2. This is very effective on all alkaline types of stains.

5. Detergent solution, which contains 1 tsp of neutral detergent powers in ½ pint water.

6. Enzyme detergent, which is the same as the detergent solution but for this you use a detergent that specifically mentions that it contains enzymes.

7. Ammonia solution, which contains 1 tablespoon ammonia in ¾ cup water. This works great for removing juice stains.

8. Dry cleaning fluid such as such as perchlorethylene. If this is unavailable, you can use any kind of oil/grease or paint remover.

9. Oil-free nail polish remover.

It is a good idea to label all of the bottles so you know what cleaning solution each one holds.

In the next article in this series, we will discuss the removal of different types of stains.

We like to know how do you usually deal with stains on your oriental rug.

Have you ever used any of the methods mentioned here?

Write to us in the comments below.

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What do you think?

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2 thoughts on “How to Remove Stains From Your Oriental Rug

    1. In this case we recommend taking it to a professional rug cleaner. I don’t recommend trying to remove that stain yourself.

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