I know a Moroccan rug can be quite the investment. But it's just that - an investment. Many other low quality, "fast fashion" rugs may have a lower price tag, but with having to purchase many replacements over time, it can actually be more cost effective to get a good quality rug. If you have a Moroccan rug or are thinking of getting one, here's some helpful information on how to care and clean these types of rugs!
How Moroccan Rug Construction Actually Makes it a Superior Choice
1) Natural Materials are best when it comes to professional cleaning
Moroccan rugs are usually compromised of wool, cotton, camel hair, or any combo of these materials. From my knowledge of fibers and experience with rugs over the years, natural fiber rugs are the best types of rugs out there because they last much longer. They are easier to clean than rugs made from man-made fibers like polyester, polypropylene, or viscose. Most of the inexpensive rugs in the market are made from these materials, but also they become soiled and are virtually impossible to bring back to their original state once they are dirty.
2) Natural fiber rugs like wool actually hold up better to stains than manmade fiber rugs.
I went to school for interior design, and one of my classes was about textile qualities and characteristics. In this class I learned about how materials like wool are more resilient, durable, and actually repel stains, as opposed to say, polyester, that is oleophilic, which means it absorbs and attracts oil/stains.
3) The knot construction and weave are also clutch!
The way Moroccan rugs are woven also make them a supreme choice for longevity. The weaving style of the rug being made on a hand loom means both the front, and the back of the rug are wool. The front being the side with higher pile in most cases, and the back being flat woven where you can see the knots. Moroccan Rugs are a looser weave, and so dirt and debris are able to come out easier. Also, since the front & back of the rug is wool, this gives you the ability to professionally clean the rug, compared to many cheap tufted rugs cannot be put through that process.
4 Best Practices to Care for Your Moroccan Rug
I was part of a panel discussion on StudioDIY's blog awhile back (you can find that post here), where we discuss best practices for rug cleaning. My top tips can be condensed down to 4 main points:
1) Move it, shake it!
Move your rug around and shake it out 1-2 times a year. Set it outside. This helps the rug to breathe. Vacuum under furniture pieces. This helps against moths and other pests from calling your rug home.
2) Vacuum regularly
Vacuum your rug weekly as it's good to get any dirt and debris out of it. I recommend using the vacuum on the lowest suction setting first, and then advancing to higher suction to see what the rug can withstand. This will help prevent damage to fibers.
3) Your rug pad is SO IMPORTANT!
If you take one thing from reading this, please please please: always use a high quality rug pad! Avoid the inexpensive PVC and plastic pads out there at all costs! It can damage your rugs and also the floors in your home. I opt for 100% felt or felt/rubber combo.
4) Professional clean your rug every 3-5 years
This is also a very important but often overlooked step. These rugs are capable of lasting generations with the right care and maintenance. We recommend taking your rug in for a professional rug cleaning every 3 to 5 years, depending on traffic and use.
FAQs + Cleaning Advice
Have a Stain? Try Spot Cleaning first!
I dumped a green smoothie on one of the Moroccan rugs in my home a couple years back. My first reaction was to panic, but then I took my own advice. I removed as much smoothie as I could with a towel by scooping it off the surface. Blot lightly, but try not to press the spill into the rug. Then get a wet towel and keep blotting. If you can see the stain, try a mild detergent like Dawn hand soap mixed with water. Work it into the rug. Continue to blot with a clean damp towel.
If you can still see the stain, you may have to get it professionally cleaned to remove it.
What if my dog pees on my rug?
Try to blot it and absorb all of it as soon as possible. You can try the steps above with soap/water solution. If that doesn't work, you may need to get the rug professionally cleaned. Urine can permanently stain and damage the rugs fibers, so it’s important to get with a cleaner as soon as possible.
How do I find a reputable professional cleaner?
Search for professional cleaners on Google. How are their reviews? Read about others experiences. Visit their website to see if they treat Moroccan rugs. I find that most professional cleaners have experience with Oriental or Persian rugs, but Moroccan rug repair & cleaning is not always as common. If you don't see Moroccan rugs listed on their website, give them a call and ask them about it!
What rug pads do you recommend?
Felt or felt/rubber mix are the best! I like this 100% felt rug 1/4" pad for living rooms and bedrooms where extra cushion is nice to have, and this 1/8" non-slip felt/rubber rug pad for hallways or other areas where it's crucial for the rug to stay put.