Caring for your hand-made Persian or Oriental carpets

The pleasure you can derive from your Persian or Oriental rugs and carpets is endless. With correct care, they should give decades, even generations, of service. Indeed, they should steadily increase in beauty — and the better & best ones could grow in value as a hard asset!
This brief introduction is confined to the normal routine you should follow, plus a few hints on what to do in the event of the more common stains. Bear in mind the old rule, “a stitch in time saves nine.” Often a minor repair at minimum cost would develop into a major repair at greater cost if left unattended.
We do expert cleaning and repairs at competitive prices. Should anything occur which is out of the ordinary – and with which you are unable to cope – we urge you to get in touch with us without delay!

Caring for your Persian carpets

Vacuuming & Brushing

The purpose of regular vacuuming or brushing is to remove dirt, dust and grit which can become embedded in the pile and gradually wear away the fibres over the years. Here follows rules of thumb:

* For normal household or light traffic – once or twice a week. Medium traffic – three times a week. Heavy traffic, for example ,a busy entrance hall – daily.

* Use a suction vacuum cleaner – not the type with harsh rotating brushes which will gradually erode the pile. If you use a brush, brush in the direction of the pile, never against it.

* Use a medium or soft brush or broom, not a hard one. Do not often vacuum or brush the fringe ends; hand-brush them gently and periodically only if needed, or they can wear away prematurely.

* Twice a year, turn your carpets upside down on the lawn or any flat surface and beat them firmly, but not violently, with a carpet beater or similar flat and wide implement. This helps dislodge accumulated dirt, grit or sand that is embedded in the pile. Then vacuum the front and the back thoroughly. Repeat these steps as needed, until no dirt or dust comes out when shaking the carpet.

Fading

Turn your carpets/rugs completely around 180 degrees every six months or so. By regularly turning your carpets, you will ensure equal distribution of traffic and light. This will avoid the possibility of uneven wear or fading.

Do not leave your carpets over-exposed to our strong South African sunlight. They could eventually fade! If necessary have your widows coated for protection or have blinds or translucent curtaining installed.

Water Damage

Should your carpets become soaked through flooding or the like, telephone us immediately for advice. There may be danger of colour run, shrinking, or mould/mildew. Immediately place them on a flat, dry surface in the sun as soon as possible to dry them out. DO NOT RUB OR SQUEEZE THEM! Then call us for proper professional treatment to bring them back to optimum condition.

Professional Cleaning

Your carpets and rugs should be professionally shampooed or cleaned by our Victor Lidchi’s cleaning/repair dept. every two to four years, depending on the traffic they have been exposed to and how dirty they have become. This is a specialist job – PLEASE DO NOT ATTEMPT TO DO IT YOURSELF!

We are always at your service and be sure that your much-prized Persian and Oriental carpets and rugs will receive our expert treatment at competitive prices. Call our Cleaning and Repairs Manager for quotes and advice.

Underlays

We recommend and supply quality and affordable underlays to prevent slipping, to cushion, and to prolong the life of your carpets. We also have special underlays for rugs which creep on fitted carpeting.

Fish Moth Protection

Use a reputable brand of the correct insect repellent against fish moths, carpets beetles etc. Make sure it is safe for woolen carpets and follow the instructions carefully. Re-apply every three to four months. For wall hanging rugs, stick brown paper on the wall behind the rug and apply onto the paper and rug every three to four months.

Use a reputable brand of the correct insect repellent against fish moths, carpets beetles etc. Make sure it is safe for woolen carpets and follow the instructions carefully. Re-apply every three to four months. For wall hanging rugs, stick brown paper on the wall behind the rug and apply onto the paper and rug every three to four months.

We recommend Bio-Kill, which is non-toxic and bio-degradable. Supplies can be obtained by calling Bio-Kill at: 011 830 1672, or mobile 083 653 4429, or via their website.

Stains, Spots & Other Accidents

The important factor here is SPEED of attention. See the Stain Removal Guide below. In case of difficulty, make contact with our Cleaning and Repairs Manager.

Victor Lidchi’s Stain Removal Guide

Please follow these directions carefully and remember the greatest factor in stain removal is SPEED. Coffee for instance, is a dye. It is almost impossible to fully remove many stains that have had time to set, as the colour of the fibres may be permanently altered.

NOTE: all ofbthis is advice only and must be followed at your risk. We cannot be held liable for any damage or harm. If in any doubt, rather call us or bring the item/s affected to us.

General Rules

  1. Natural fibres are wonderfully alive and they need special care. Avoid using all-purpose commercial stain removers which have not been specifically formulated for natural fibres. Also use a foam rather than a liquid, or a mild, neutral detergent solution when one is needed.
  2. Always check for colour fastness before proceeding with any wet process. Moisten a clean, white cloth or tissue with the solution to be used and blot on an inconspicuous part of the carpet – preferably the back – which has the same colours. If colours transfer onto the tissue or cloth do not proceed.
  3. If there are any solids in the stain or if the liquid is thick, scrape up as much as possible first with a spoon or back of a knife, then blot the excess.
  4. Work from the outer area of the stain inwards, blotting frequently with absorbent kitchen paper towel or a clean colourfast cloth. Wherever possible, blot rather than rub. Do not scrub!
    A spoon works well as a cleaning utensil – rub your cleaning solution into the stain with the back of the spoon and then use the tip of the spoon to lift the residue.
    With fine or delicate pieces, do not rub directly onto the fibre – place a clean colourfast cloth over the stained area and rub on top of that with the back of the spoon or a small block of wood or cork. This will protect the fibre underneath.
  5. Repeat the cleaning process as often as required.
  6. You may find that the cleaned area is now brighter than the rest, simply because it is cleaner! Normal traffic, over time, will gradually remove the contrast but, if you feel it is necessary, you can reduce the contrast by cleaning around the spot in a wider area or by cleaning the entire carpet.
  7. After you have finished cleaning, ensure first that the pile has been brushed flat in the correct direction and then dry by placing layers of kitchen paper towel under and on top of the wet area. Weigh down with heavy books to aid absorption. Finally, dry the area thoroughly with a hair-dryer set on low. In case of difficulty, contact our Cleaning and Repairs Manager for assistance.

Grease, Wax, Fats, Oils, Creams, Milk, Milk Products, Ice-Cream, Mayonnaise, Gravy, Chocolate, Toothpaste, Shoe or Furniture Polish, Lipstick, Make-Up, Grass, Vomit, Mildew.

Mix a solution of lemon juice or white (not coloured) vinegar in clean, lukewarm water (2/3 tablespoons per litre) and add a little surgical spirit or rubbing alcohol or benzene (1 tablespoon per litre).

Sponge and blot until the stain is removed.

Mix a mild, neutral detergent in clean, lukewarm water (2/3 teaspoons per litre) and use the foam from this on the wet area to clean off the final traces. Dry as above.

For very fatty stains, first remove as much of the fatty substance as possible with a blunt knife or spoon. Cover the stained area with kitchen paper towel or brown paper and gently press with a warm iron. The paper will absorb the fatty substance. Then proceed as above.

Tea, Coffee, Cocoa, Soft drinks, Alcohol (except Red Wine – see below), Fruit, Fruit Juices, Jams, Sauces, Mustard, Tomato Sauce, Urine

Mix a solution of lemon juice or white (not coloured) vinegar in clean, lukewarm water (2/3 tablespoons per litre). Sponge and blot until the stain is removed.

Mix a mild, neutral detergent in clean, lukewarm water (2/3 teaspoons per litre) and use the foam from this on the wet area to clean off the final traces. Dry as above.

Blood, Eggs, Gelatine

Scrape up as much as possible with the edge of a spoon or blunt knife. Blot up excess moisture. Sponge with cold, carbonated soda or sparkling water.

Nail Polish, Lacquer

As oriental rugs are made from natural fibres, nail polish can be removed from them with nail polish remover. Apply nail polish remover with an eye-dropper. After a few minutes blot the area dry with a clean cloth.

Chewing Gum

Use a freezing spray, then break up and brush out or scrape up carefully with a blunt knife, and use a very little dry cleaning solvent followed by a white vinegar or lemon juice solution as above. Apply detergent foam and dry as above.

Red Wine, Iodine

Do NOT use salt on wool or silk as it can affect dyes and fibres! Sprinkle the stain with lemon juice, then with carbonated water. Allow to soak in. Apply detergent foam and dry as above.

Conclusion

We hope this will be of service to you. Do not hesitate to call us if you have any queries or questions.

IMPORTANT NOTE: Please remember that this is only a guide: Victor Lidchi’s and all of our employees or agents cannot be held responsible in any way for any loss or damage of any kind based on these tips.