How to clean a kilim rug | Tips that will help make your rug brand new 


Kilims are pileless style rugs that use flat-weaving techniques for a bold, often colorful design. They make a particularly striking floor covering, but caring for them requires special treatment to avoid damaging the fibers. A kilim rug must be cleaned by hand with a brush and gentle cleaning solution and vacuumed with care to avoid tearing it. Stains must be treated quickly, though stubborn marks should only be treated for professional cleaners.

When it comes to cleaning kilim rugs, there are two simple but efficient ways to make your rug brand new:

  • Vacuuming
  • Hand Cleaning

Vacuuming a kilim rug 

Step1- Vacuum the rug weekly. You won't have to scrub your kilim rug too often if you keep it free of dirt and dust. Running a vacuum over it once a week is usually sufficient, though you may want to vacuum more if the rug is in a heavily trafficked area. 

Step 2

Use low suction. You can use a vacuum cleaner to keep your kilim rug clean, but you shouldn’t use a high suction setting or the revolving brush on your vacuum. Both can snag the fibers and cause damage.

  • If your vacuum doesn't have a low suction setting, use the extension hose or crevice tool attachment to go over the fringe.
  • Use a small handheld vacuum if you have one. They are not powerful enough to damage the fibers.

Step 3

Vacuum both sides of the rug. Because a kilim rug is hand-knotted, it doesn’t have the backing that other rugs often have. To keep it clean, make sure to run the vacuum over both sides to remove all of the dirt and debris.

Step 4

Avoid vacuuming the fringe. The fringe definitely adds to a kilim rug’s charm, so you want to keep it intact. Don’t run your vacuum over the fringe because it may snag the fibers and unravel or tear them off.


Hand cleaning kilim rug 

Step 1

Sweep both sides of the rug to remove loose debris. Before cleaning the rug, you want to make sure that there isn’t any dirt or dust on its surface. Run a broom over the entire surface of the rug, and then flip it over to brush the other side as well.

  • The carpet should be on a flat surface to make the cleaning process easier.
  • You can use any broom to clean the rug, but a hand broom, which is essentially a handheld brush with bristles that are long like a traditional broom, offers the most control.

Step 2

Mix carpet shampoo with warm water and vinegar. To create a gentle cleaning solution for the kilim rug, combine ½ cup (118 ml) of carpet shampoo designed for hand cleaning rugs, 4 ½ cups (1.1 l) of warm water, and 1 tablespoon (15 ml) of white vinegar. Stir well to ensure that the ingredients are well blended.

The vinegar will help keep the colors in the rug from running.

Step 3

Dip a brush in the solution and apply it gently in vertical strokes. Use a scrub brush with fairly strong bristles, and wet it so it’s saturated but not dripping. Stroke the brush over the rug in gentle vertical strokes, starting in one corner and brushing up and down in an overlapping motion. Continue brushing in the same manner until you’ve cleaned the entire rug.

  • Don’t scrub the rug too vigorously with the brush. Its fibers are more fragile when they’re wet so you may damage the rug if you’re too rough.
  • When you reach the fringe, work the brush over them vertically. It's not necessary to go over them a second time horizontally, though.
  • Re-wet the brush whenever it seems to be getting dry.

Step 4

Repeat the process on the other side of the rug. When you’ve brushed the rug with the cleaning solution in both directions, turn it over to the other side. Clean the second side in exactly the same manner, so the rug is fully cleaned.

If the rug is particularly dirty, you may want to repeat the cleaning process on both sides two or three times.

Step 5

Rinse the rug with clean water. Remove all of the cleaning solution and dirt from your bristle brush by running it thoroughly underwater. When you’re sure there’s no cleaning solution residue left behind, wet the brush with warm water and brush over the rug vertically and then horizontally to rinse it.

  • You may want to rinse the rug more than once with a clean, wet brush to ensure that there’s no residue left behind on the fibers.
  • You may use a hose to rinse the rug, but don’t let it get fully soaked.

Step 6

Leave the rug flat to dry. If possible, lay it out flat on an inclined surface. You can set it out in the sun or leave it out under a fan to help the process along. Keep in mind that it may take up to two days for the rug to dry.

  • Flip the rug over every six hours or so to ensure that it dries on both sides.
  • Don’t walk on the rug or place any items on it until it’s completely dry.
  • If you notice any residue from the cleaning solution once the rug is dry, use a clean, dry brush to brush it away.
  • If you leave the rug outside, set it on grass or gravel so it can drain properly.

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