Can You Dry Clean A Kilim Rug? [Tips and Advice]

If you’ve ever owned a beautiful kilim rug, you know that these handwoven gems can add a touch of artistry and culture to your living space. But, just like any cherished possession, kilim rugs require …

Can You Dry Clean A Kilim Rug?

If you’ve ever owned a beautiful kilim rug, you know that these handwoven gems can add a touch of artistry and culture to your living space. But, just like any cherished possession, kilim rugs require proper care and maintenance to keep them looking their best.

One common question that arises is, “Can you dry clean a kilim rug?” In this comprehensive guide, we’ll delve into everything you need to know about cleaning and maintaining your kilim rug. From specific considerations to expert tips, we’ve got you covered.

Understanding Kilim Rugs

Before we dive into the nitty-gritty of dry cleaning, let’s take a moment to understand what kilim rugs are and why they’re unique. Kilim rugs, known for their flat weave and intricate geometric patterns, originate from various regions, including Turkey, Iran, and the Caucasus. These rugs often feature vibrant, natural dyes and are prized for their craftsmanship.

Can Kilim Rugs Get Wet?

One of the fundamental questions that rug owners often have is whether kilim rugs can get wet.

The short answer is yes, but with some precautions. Kilim rugs are more durable than you might think, but excessive moisture can lead to problems like color bleeding and mildew growth. If your kilim rug does get wet, it’s essential to allow it to dry completely and avoid prolonged exposure to moisture.

Can You Dry Clean a Kilim Rug at Home?

Dry cleaning a kilim rug at home can be a tempting idea, especially if you want to save on professional cleaning costs.

However, it’s crucial to understand that the dry cleaning process for kilim rugs can be complex and may require specialized equipment and expertise. Attempting it at home can lead to irreversible damage.

Kilim rugs are often made from natural fibers like wool, cotton, or a combination of both, and they can be delicate and sensitive to improper cleaning methods. Dry cleaning involves using specialized solvents and equipment that may not be readily available or safe for home use.

Here are some reasons why dry cleaning a Kilim rug at home is not advisable:

  1. Specialized Equipment: Professional dry cleaners have access to specialized equipment designed for safely cleaning delicate textiles. Attempting to dry clean a Kilim rug at home without these tools can lead to damage.
  2. Risk of Shrinking: Kilim rugs, especially those made of wool, can shrink when exposed to water or moisture. Dry cleaning avoids this risk because it does not use water, relying instead on solvents to remove dirt and stains.
  3. Color Fading: Home dry cleaning kits may not be suitable for all types of dyes and pigments used in Kilim rugs. Improper cleaning can result in color fading or bleeding.
  4. Stain Removal: Effective stain removal often requires specialized chemicals and expertise. Home dry cleaning kits may not be as effective in removing stubborn stains as professional dry cleaning.
  5. Fringe Damage: Kilim rugs often have fringe, which can become damaged during home cleaning. Professional cleaners know how to protect and care for the fringe during the cleaning process.

If your Kilim rug needs cleaning, it’s best to consult a professional rug cleaner with experience in handling these types of textiles. They will be able to assess the rug’s condition, identify any specific cleaning requirements, and use the appropriate methods and solutions to clean it safely and effectively.

Professional cleaners can also help prevent damage and extend the lifespan of your Kilim rug.

How Does Dry Cleaning Differ from Traditional Washing for Kilim Rugs?

Dry cleaning and traditional washing methods differ significantly when it comes to cleaning kilim rugs. Traditional washing involves using water, which can be risky for rugs with natural dyes, as they are more prone to bleeding. Dry cleaning, on the other hand, uses solvents instead of water, making it a safer option for preserving the rug’s colors and patterns.

Dry Cleaning a Rug: Video

Benefits of Dry Cleaning a Kilim Rug

Dry cleaning offers several advantages for kilim rug owners. These include:

  • Color Preservation: Dry cleaning helps maintain the vibrant colors of your kilim rug.
  • Gentle on Fibers: It’s a gentle method that won’t stress the rug’s fibers.
  • Stain Removal: Effective at removing common stains and spots.
  • Dust and Allergen Removal: Removes dust, allergens, and pet hair.
dry cleaning kilim

Risks and Drawbacks of Dry Cleaning Kilim Rugs

While dry cleaning is generally safe and effective, there are some risks and drawbacks to consider. These may include:

  • Cost: Professional dry cleaning services can be relatively expensive.
  • Limited DIY Options: Limited options for DIY dry cleaning, especially for larger or heavily soiled rugs.
  • Chemical Odor: Some solvents used in dry cleaning may leave a temporary chemical odor.

The Dry Cleaning Process for Kilim Rugs

Not all dry cleaning processes are created equal, and the suitability of a particular method depends on the rug’s materials and condition. It’s advisable to consult a professional who specializes in cleaning kilim rugs to determine the best approach for your specific rug.

Here is an overview of the dry cleaning process for Kilim rugs:

  1. Pre-Inspection: A professional rug cleaner will begin by examining the Kilim rug to assess its condition. They will look for any stains, spots, or areas of damage that may require special attention during the cleaning process.
  2. Dust Removal: Before dry cleaning, the rug is thoroughly dusted to remove loose dirt, dust, and debris. This can be done using various methods, such as compressed air or specialized rug-cleaning machines.
  3. Pre-Treatment: Stains and spots may be pre-treated with appropriate cleaning agents to help loosen and remove them more effectively during the dry cleaning process.
  4. Dry Cleaning: Dry cleaning typically involves the use of a solvent-based cleaning solution. This solution is applied to the rug using specialized equipment. The solvent is chosen to be safe for the rug’s fibers and dyes. The cleaning machine may use brushes to gently agitate the solvent and remove dirt and stains.
  5. Rinsing and Extraction: Some dry cleaning machines have the capability to rinse and extract the cleaning solution along with the loosened dirt and stains. This step helps ensure that no residues are left on the rug.
  6. Drying: After the dry cleaning process, the rug is thoroughly dried in a controlled environment. Proper drying is essential to prevent mold and mildew growth and to ensure that the rug retains its shape.
  7. Post-Inspection: Once the rug is dry, it is inspected again to ensure that it meets quality standards. Any remaining spots or stains may be treated again if necessary.
  8. Fringe Cleaning: The fringes of the Kilim rug are often cleaned separately and meticulously to remove any remaining dirt or stains.
  9. Repairs and Restoration (if needed): If the rug has any damages, such as tears, fraying, or missing fringe, a professional rug cleaner may offer repair and restoration services.
  10. Final Inspection: The rug undergoes a final inspection to ensure that it is clean, dry, and in good condition. It is then wrapped and prepared for delivery or pickup.

Dry cleaning Kilim rugs should be performed by experienced professionals who understand the specific needs of these rugs and have access to appropriate cleaning equipment and solvents.

Attempting to dry clean a Kilim rug at home without the necessary knowledge and tools can risk damaging the rug.

Cost of Dry Cleaning a Kilim Rug

The cost of dry cleaning a kilim rug can vary widely depending on factors such as size, location, and the rug’s condition.

On average, you can expect to pay anywhere from $2 to $6 per square foot for professional dry cleaning services. This cost is an investment in preserving the beauty and longevity of your rug.

DIY Methods for Dry Cleaning Kilim Rugs

While professional dry cleaning is recommended for valuable or delicate kilim rugs, you can perform some basic maintenance at home.

Regular vacuuming with a low-suction setting and a soft brush attachment can help remove dust and debris.

However, if you are determined to try DIY dry cleaning, here is a simplified method you can follow:

Materials You’ll Need:

  1. Dry cleaning solvent or foam (available in some stores)
  2. Clean white cloths or sponges
  3. Soft brush or vacuum cleaner with a brush attachment
  4. Mild detergent
  5. Bucket of cold water
  6. Towels
  7. A well-ventilated area


  1. Preparation:
    • Start by taking the Kilim rug outdoors or to a well-ventilated area.
    • Lay the rug flat on a clean, dry surface.
    • Vacuum the rug to remove loose dirt and debris using a vacuum cleaner with a brush attachment.
  2. Spot Cleaning:
    • For small stains or spots, use a small amount of dry cleaning solvent or foam on a clean, white cloth or sponge.
    • Gently blot the stain without rubbing to avoid spreading it.
    • Allow the solvent to dry on the stain, following the product’s instructions.
    • Once dry, use a soft brush to gently remove any residue.
  3. Overall Cleaning:
    • If you want to clean the entire rug, mix a small amount of mild detergent with cold water in a bucket.
    • Dip a clean white cloth or sponge into the soapy water and wring it out thoroughly, ensuring it’s not too wet.
    • Test a small, inconspicuous area of the rug to make sure the detergent doesn’t cause color bleeding or damage.
    • If the test area is fine, proceed to gently blot the entire rug with the soapy water mixture.
    • Avoid oversaturating the rug, as excess moisture can damage the Kilim.
  4. Rinsing:
    • Rinse the cloth or sponge thoroughly and wring it out.
    • Use it to blot the rug with clean, cold water to remove any soap residue.
  5. Drying:
    • Towel-dry the rug as much as possible by gently pressing towels onto the surface.
    • Lay the rug flat in a well-ventilated area, preferably outdoors, to air dry completely. Ensure it’s not exposed to direct sunlight, as it can fade the colors.
  6. Final Brushing:
    • Once the rug is dry, use a soft brush to fluff up the fibers and restore its appearance.

While this DIY method is more accessible than professional dry cleaning, it may not be suitable for all Kilim rugs, and there is still a risk of damage. Proceed with caution, and if you’re uncertain or the rug is valuable, it’s always best to consult a professional rug cleaner for expert care.

Common Stains and Spots That Can Be Removed Through Dry Cleaning

Dry cleaning can effectively tackle a wide range of stains and spots on kilim rugs, including:

  • Food stains
  • Pet stains
  • Wine spills
  • Dirt and mud
  • Ink stains

Professional cleaners have the expertise and specialized solvents to address these issues effectively.

How Often Should You Dry Clean a Kilim Rug?

The frequency of dry cleaning your kilim rug depends on factors such as foot traffic, exposure to pets, and environmental conditions. As a general guideline, consider professional cleaning every 1 to 3 years to maintain the rug’s quality and appearance.

Dry Cleaning Antique or Delicate Kilim Rugs

Antique and delicate kilim rugs require special care. It’s essential to entrust them to experienced professionals who understand the nuances of cleaning such valuable pieces. Attempting to clean these rugs yourself can lead to irreversible damage.

Post-Dry Cleaning Care Instructions

After your kilim rug undergoes professional dry cleaning, it’s crucial to follow specific care instructions to ensure its longevity. These may include:

  • Allowing the rug to fully air out before placing it back in your home.
  • Avoiding direct sunlight, which can fade colors over time.
  • Using rug pads to prevent slipping and protect the rug’s underside.

Turnaround Time for Professional Dry Cleaning

The typical turnaround time for professional dry cleaning of kilim rugs varies depending on the cleaning service. It can range from a few days to a couple of weeks. Be sure to inquire about the expected timeline when you schedule the cleaning.

Choosing a Reputable Dry Cleaning Service

When selecting a dry cleaning service for your kilim rug, look for the following qualities:

  • Experience with kilim rugs specifically.
  • Positive reviews and references.
  • Transparent pricing and policies.

Can You Dry Clean a Kilim Rug with Natural Dyes or Handmade Details?

Kilim rugs with natural dyes or intricate handmade details require even greater care during dry cleaning. It’s essential to communicate these specifics to the cleaning service to ensure they use the appropriate methods and solvents to protect the rug’s unique characteristics.

Are Kilim Rugs Hard to Vacuum?

Vacuuming kilim rugs is a common part of regular maintenance. While the flat weave of kilim rugs can make vacuuming slightly different from traditional pile rugs, they are not particularly difficult to vacuum. Use a low-suction setting and a soft brush attachment to gently remove dust and debris.

How to Deep Clean a Kilim Rug

Deep cleaning a kilim rug is best left to the professionals. While vacuuming and spot cleaning can help maintain its appearance, periodic deep cleaning by experts ensures that embedded dirt and allergens are removed effectively, preserving the rug’s beauty and longevity.

Can You Dry Clean a Kilim Rug in the Washing Machine?

Dry cleaning a kilim rug in a washing machine is not recommended. The size, weight, and delicate nature of kilim rugs make them unsuitable for standard washing machines. Attempting to do so can result in irreversible damage to the rug’s fibers and colors.

Most Popular Methods to Clean Kilim Rugs

  1. Regular Vacuuming: Vacuum your kilim rug regularly to remove dust, dirt, and debris. Use a vacuum cleaner with a brush attachment, and be gentle to avoid damaging the delicate fibers. Vacuum in the direction of the pile to prevent pulling.
  2. Shaking or Beating: Take your kilim rug outdoors and shake it or beat it gently to dislodge embedded dirt and dust. This method is effective for smaller rugs but may not be suitable for larger ones.
  3. Spot Cleaning: Address spills and stains promptly to prevent them from setting. Blot the affected area with a clean, dry cloth to absorb as much liquid as possible. Then, use a mild detergent or a specialized rug cleaner diluted in water to clean the stain. Test a small, inconspicuous area first to ensure the solution doesn’t damage the colors or fibers. Rinse thoroughly and let it air dry.
  4. Professional Cleaning: For a deep and thorough cleaning, consider hiring a professional rug cleaning service that specializes in kilim rugs. They have the expertise and equipment to clean your rug without causing damage.
  5. Dry Cleaning: Kilim rugs can often be dry cleaned by a professional rug cleaner. This method is suitable for rugs that cannot be wet cleaned due to their delicate fibers or dyes. Make sure to choose a reputable dry cleaner experienced in handling kilim rugs.
  6. Steam Cleaning: Some kilim rugs can be steam cleaned, but it’s important to consult with a professional who has experience with these rugs. Steam cleaning can be effective in removing deep-seated dirt and stains, but it should be done cautiously to avoid damaging the rug.

6 Ways To Clean a Kilim Rug

Cleaning a Kilim rug requires care and attention to preserve its vibrant colors and intricate patterns. Here are six methods to clean a Kilim rug, ranging from regular maintenance to professional cleaning:

1. Regular Vacuuming:

  • Frequency: Vacuum your Kilim rug regularly, at least once a week if it’s in a high-traffic area. Less-frequented areas may require monthly vacuuming.
  • Tools: Use a vacuum cleaner with adjustable settings and a soft brush attachment. Avoid high-suction settings and beater bars, as they can damage the rug’s delicate fibers.
  • Technique: Gently run the vacuum over the rug in the direction of the weave, being careful not to pull or snag the fringe.

2. Spot Cleaning:

  • Immediate Action: Deal with spills and stains promptly to prevent them from setting.
  • Blot, Don’t Rub: Use a clean, white cloth or paper towels to blot the stain. Avoid rubbing, as it can spread the stain and damage the fibers.
  • Mild Detergent: For water-soluble stains, mix a few drops of mild liquid detergent with water and blot the stain. Rinse with clean water and blot dry.
  • Vinegar Solution: For stubborn stains, mix equal parts white vinegar and water and blot the stain. Rinse with clean water and blot dry.
  • Professional Help: If the stain persists, consider professional cleaning to avoid causing further damage.

3. Handwashing:

  • Materials: You can handwash small Kilim rugs in your bathtub or a large basin. Avoid using a washing machine, as it can damage the rug’s fibers.
  • Mild Soap: Fill the tub with cool water and add a small amount of mild liquid detergent or rug shampoo.
  • Gentle Agitation: Submerge the rug and use a soft brush or sponge to gently agitate the soapy water. Be careful not to scrub too vigorously.
  • Rinse Thoroughly: Drain the soapy water and refill the tub with clean water. Rinse the rug until all soap residue is removed.
  • Drying: Lay the rug flat on a clean, dry surface in the shade, away from direct sunlight. Flip it occasionally to ensure even drying. Avoid hanging the rug while wet, as it can distort the shape.

4. Professional Dry Cleaning:

  • Recommended: For valuable, delicate, or larger Kilim rugs, professional dry cleaning is the safest and most effective option.
  • Expertise: Choose a reputable rug cleaning service with experience in handling Kilim rugs.
  • Specialized Solvents: Dry cleaning uses solvents rather than water, reducing the risk of color bleeding and damage to natural dyes.
  • Pre-Cleaning Inspection: A professional cleaner will assess your rug’s condition and tailor the cleaning process accordingly.

5. Steam Cleaning:

  • Caution: While steam cleaning can be effective for some rugs, it may not be suitable for Kilim rugs with natural dyes, as steam can cause color bleeding.
  • Test: If you decide to use a steam cleaner, test it on a small, inconspicuous area of the rug to check for any adverse effects.
  • Follow Instructions: Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for your steam cleaner carefully, ensuring that you use the appropriate settings and attachments.
  • Avoid Overwetting: Be cautious not to overwet the rug, as excessive moisture can lead to mildew growth.

6. Professional Rug Cleaning Services:

  • Specialized Services: Seek out rug cleaning services that specialize in cleaning Kilim rugs. They have the expertise and equipment required for safe and effective cleaning.
  • Pricing: Prices for professional cleaning can vary based on the rug’s size, material, and condition. Request quotes from multiple providers to compare.
  • Certifications: Look for certifications or affiliations with industry organizations, such as the Association of Rug Care Specialists (ARCS), to ensure the service’s credibility.

Remember that the choice of cleaning method depends on the rug’s material, condition, and your comfort level with DIY cleaning.

While regular vacuuming and spot cleaning can help maintain your Kilim rug’s appearance, professional cleaning is the safest option for preserving its beauty and longevity, especially for valuable or delicate pieces.

Additionally, consult the manufacturer’s care instructions and consider the specific dyes and materials used in your Kilim rug when choosing a cleaning method. When in doubt or if you’re dealing with a valuable heirloom, it’s best to consult a professional rug cleaning service with expertise in Kilim rugs.


Kilim rugs are not just floor coverings; they are pieces of art that deserve proper care and attention. While dry cleaning is a safe and effective method to maintain their beauty, it’s crucial to choose professional services with expertise in handling kilim rugs. By following these guidelines and caring for your kilim rug diligently, you can enjoy its vibrant colors and intricate patterns for years to come.

For more in-depth information and professional guidance on kilim rug care, consult authoritative sources like the Carpet and Rug Institute, American Cleaning Institute, and National Carpet Cleaners Association. These organizations provide valuable resources and recommendations for rug maintenance and cleaning.

About the Author

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Helga is writing here all about carpets and rugs in our lives. She puts her own expertise of an ordinary human being, looks for challenges we all face in the world of carpets, does research, and puts the most valuable parts of information together to help homeowners and business owners maintain clean, fresh, and inviting spaces. We believe that a well-maintained carpet not only enhances the aesthetics of a room but also contributes to a healthier living or working environment.