May 24, 2018

There are only certain things I am okay with buying vintage or thrifted. Upholstery is not one! A sense of cleanliness in our home is a big deal to me and unless I am getting the piece fully reupholstered down to the studs, I don’t think I’d ever feel that way. An exception is leather which feels clean and wipeable. Okay but what about RUGS. Vintage persian rugs are kind of the best decor thing ever and I need to be able to have them in my life.

And I am good with getting them thrifted or secondhand because I have a very easy way to clean them myself.

Lots of sellers, like the dealer I got this from, possibly already had it professionally cleaned, but I like to do it myself to be sure.

Persian Rug in Mudroom with Metal Bin

I don’t like renting rug doctors. Maybe ideally I’ll own my own one day, but renting one that a bunch of people have used for stuff they felt was so bad it needed to be PROFESSIONALLY CLEANED seems gross and like it is just going to negate anything it does clean with different dirty-ness?

This method, which is so easy and uses stuff you already have is just mild dish soap and a super big bristle brush. A bigger brush makes it faster, but actually any bristled dish-type brush will do.

I just wet the rug down in my driveway, mix up a big bowl or bucket of water with the soap and then scrub both sides. Then I rinse (like crazy) with the hose to get all the suds out and let it dry in the sun (maybe flipping if needed – I waited for a good and hot day.) A squeegee would be fantastic to get out extra water, or you can just push out as much as you can with your hands.

Washing a Persian Rug with Hose and Soap

At then end when it is dry, I fluff the fibers up a bit with my hands and it is perfect! Definitely yes, TEST IN A CORNER. I don’t know what your rug is like and that it won’t make colors run or anything. I have not had any problems with the sun distorting color because it would only be out for a few hours. I love this method because it opened up the world of buying thrifted rugs, even for clean freaks like me. And it is a good way to just clean any of my rugs now and then.

I did a whole post about how finding vintage rugs that are not in perfect condition and how they are my favorite to put in entryways and mudrooms because they still bring that persian rug beautifulness but you feel okay about them taking wear and tear!

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  • This is the very first time i Love honestly submitted something, but it will not always be the last – keep up the nice work.

  • Sarah Ann

    Thank you for this very helpful DIY! My parents gave me a vintage rug that had been in their storage unit for years to use in my apartment. It was so dirty and dusty that I just had a a local rug cleanercome and clean it. Now that it’s been in my apartment for a a few months, the rug started to look like it needed a cleaning again. So, I tried out your method and I was surprised at how well it worked. I will for sure be using this again!!

    • Rachel Schultz

      Thank you Sarah Ann!!

  • Ok, so now I am super curious to know what is on your list of things you will say “yes” to at the thrift store! Because I am this SAME way! Once I bought a really cute old (upholstered) chair at a garage sale and I just couldn’t do it. I never felt like it was truly clean, so I put it in a corner and then tried not to look at it. Annnd, eventually it got sold.

    I was really excited to see how you clean these rugs, because I always admire them (but in the back of my mind am thinking, “gross, gross, gross”).Now I feel like I could actually buy a vintage rug and use it in my home!

    • Rachel Schultz

      Clothes because I can wash them. Wood furniture. Rugs. Picture frames. Dishes. Books. Yeah I just don’t think I can ever get over the upholstered furniture. For the exact reason you said!

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