How to Clean a Kilim Rug

As an Amazon Associate we earn from qualifying purchases.

Kilim rugs are spectacular works of art. These rugs are durable and dust-resistant, although once in a while it needs to be cleaned. Here is an article that explains in length how to clean Kilim Rugs.

How to Clean Kilim Rugs

Kilims are traditional rugs that originate from Persia. Kilims have intricate printed designs depicting nature and mythological stories. That said, kilims require attention and care when it comes to maintenance.

Brown and white espradilles shoes on kilim rug

Materials Required

  • Vacuum cleaner
  • Vinegar
  • Baking Soda
  • Wiper
  • Stiff brush
  • Towels

Step 1: Remove the Debris

The very first step you should initiate while cleaning a rug is cleaning the debris.

  1. Use a broom to clean the debris from the rug. Use a broom with a long stick, so you have a good grip.
  2. The broom should have long bristles like a traditional broom. It helps in cleaning the debris stuck between the design.
  3. Keep the rug on a flat surface. It is advisable to do it outdoor. This way, the house won’t get dusty with Kilim’s debris.

Step 2: Use Vacuum Cleaner

If you don’t have a broom at home, then you can use a vacuum cleaner. It helps in the thorough cleaning of the debris before wash.

  1. At first, examine the rug’s design and then use a good vacuum cleaner with the correct setting.
  2. The vacuum cleaner cleans out the heavy dust from the rug.
  3. Vacuum both sides to clean the heavy dirt build-up on the rug.
  4. Use the vacuum cleaner at low pressure.

Vacuum cleaner makes it easy and quick to clean the heavy dirt build-up. You can use a brush extension on the vacuum to brush off the dust from the rug. Never use a vacuum over the fringes of the rug.

Step 3: Use the Vinegar Solution

If the color of the rug is fading, this is the right step to take.

  1. Use equal parts water and equal part vinegar.
  2. Use a spray bottle to spray the solution all over the rug.
  3. Take a hand brush and clean it thoroughly. Start scrubbing from the middle and get to the border.
  4. Vinegar has anti-microbial properties, which help in cleaning any bacterial growth in the rug. Next, do vertical strokes to clean the gunk from the kilim rug.

Step 4: Use Shampoo and Water

This is the crucial step for the deep cleansing of rugs at home.

  1. Combine ½ cup of carpet shampoo with 41/2 cup water. Mix it well, and then pour the liquid on the rug.
  2. Use a wood handle brush to scrub the surface well.
  3. Dip the brush into the liquid and brush it gently. Avoid brushing it vigorously as the fibers are fragile, and you may damage them while scrubbing.
  4. When you reach the fringes of the rug, brush it gently vertically. You don’t have to scrub it a second time horizontally.
  5. Repeat the procedure of dipping the brush and scrubbing it till you clean every nook of the rug.

Brushing it gently is the procedure of deep cleaning. It is advisable to keep the rug outdoors while cleaning; otherwise, your house can become messy.

Step 5: Brush It Horizontally

The vertical brushing cleans the rug from one side. When you scrub it from another side, you clean the remaining debris from the rug.

  1. Brush it gently from the horizontal side.
  2. Start from the corners and do it diagonally from corner to corner. Keep brushing until you finish the whole rug.

Step 6: Use Cold Water

Food spills are common stain marks on the rug. Coldwater brushing is an effective way of removing stains.

  1. Pour a cup of cold water over the stain and start brushing it well.
  2. While brushing, notice are the stains coming out? If not, then apply some detergent over it.
  3. Keep brushing it well to remove the stains entirely.
  4. Blow-dry the spot where there is a stain mark, apply the lowest heat to avoid ring marks.
  5. This will help you to understand if the stain requires any more cleaning. If the stains are too rigid, then opt for professional cleaning. Avoid giving it to dry cleaners for washing.

Step 7: Repeat the Steps

Repeat steps 3 and 4 on the other side of the rug. Here is a video guide you can follow in cleaning Kilim rugs.

Step 8: Rinse the Rug

When you have brushed it well and deep cleaned the dirt and gunk from the rug, move to the next step; rinsing the rug.

  1. Clean it thoroughly with water. Brush off the soap and gunk with running water.
  2. Wash the rug more than once, use sander the brush setting to clean out the soap solution from the rug.
  3. Use a wiper to rinse the rug after every wash.
  4. While cleaning, if you notice any debris or stain, use a stiff brush and scrub it off.

Deep cleaning is the significant prospect of washing a Kilim rug. The rug can catch dirt and dust, and cleaning it thoroughly is the procedure to maintain the quality of the rug.

Top view of a kilim rug

Step 9: Leave the Rug to Dry

After rinsing off the dirt and gunk from the rug, the next procedure is to leave it to get dry.

  1. If possible, keep it flat on an inclined surface; you can also put it in the sun. If you don’t have outdoor space, then keep it flat under a high-speed fan.
  2. Keep n mind the kilim rug can take up to 2 days to dry.
  3. It is not advisable to walk on the rug or keep any items until it is completely dry.
  4. Keep flipping the rug every six hours to ensure it dries from both sides.
  5. If you notice any residue from the detergent, then use a dry stiff brush and clean it away when the rug is completely dry.
  6. It is advisable to put the rug outside to dry. Lay it on grass, or sloppy gravel drains the water efficiently.

Wait till it is completely dry, bring it home, and lay it down near the sofa to accentuate the room’s interior.

Step 10: Cleaning Pet Urine

If you have pets at home, you must be aware it is difficult to avoid urine stains from rugs. The pet urine is difficult to clean; however, here is a solution for you.

  1. If the urine is damp, sprinkle a handful of baking soda.
  2. Set a clean cloth and press it. Use a white rag or towel to avoid discoloration of the rug. Once you keep the towel, give heavy pressure over it.
  3. You can stand on the towel; this way, even pressure is applied on the surface for 2-3 minutes.
  4. After a couple of minutes, remove baking sod, use a spatula. If the part is still damp, then repeat the procedure of soaking it with the towel.
  5. Remove the baking soda powder and put a cup/container beneath the affected spot.
  6. Use a brush to scrub off the remaining residue.
  7. Rinse the strained area, the water and debris will be collected inside the cup.
  8. Remove the cup and let it dry under a fan.

Maintenance of Kilim Rugs

According to a famous Japanese cleaning consultant, ‘the objective of cleaning is not just to clean, but to feel happiness living within that environment.’ The same technique follows while cleaning and maintaining a kilim rug.

  1. To keep the rug dust-free, vacuum cleans it at low pressure. This will prevent dirt build-up.
  2. To remove specific stains like wine or pet urine, you can consult professionals.
  3. Wash the Kilims with soap and detergent, avoid abrasive cleaner. An abrasive cleaner can damage the integrity of woven fabrics of the rug.

Here is some cleaning solution from Kilim that you can follow for proper cleaning of Kilim rugs.

Tips for Accidental Mishaps

Accidently, got candle wax over the rug? Fret not! Clean it at home. Keep a blotting paper over the wax and iron the blotting paper. Keep applying heat until the wax is completely absorbed in the rug.

Did someone spill ketchup? Clean with soap and water solution. Next, use a hairdryer to clean dry the rug.

Accidentally spilled greasy curry over the rug? Use professional grease cleaner to remove the stain.

Person in blue denim jeans on top of the kilim rug

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I Put Kilim Rug in Washing Machine?

Never put the Killim rug in the washing machine. It can damage the fringes and fabric of the rug. Moreover, after hand cleaning, you should not put the Kilim rug in the dryer. Instead, dry it on a sloping surface so the water drains out quickly.

Can I Use Pressure Washer to Clean Rugs?

Yes, with a low-pressure nozzle, you can clean Kilim Rugs with a pressure washer. The pressure washer is a spectacular way of cleaning Kilim rugs. It cleans the rug and gives a sparkling shine to the rug.

Can I Steam Clean Kilim Rug?

Never steam clean a Kilim Rug. It damages the intricate woolen design and introduces harsh chemicals which break down the wool.


Maintaining a Kilim rug takes more effort than a synthetic rug, but it’s worth it. If proper care is taken and washed frequently, then it stands the test of time and can amplify the look of your home generation after generation.