Sunday, July 19, 2009

Today's Project: Cleaning the Antique Rug

I can't find a single picture of this rug in the condition it was when we brought it home after finding it balled up on the upstairs porch at an estate sale at one of the town's historic homes-now bulldozed for a parking lot. But I digress...

Anyway, I think it was one of the rugs I saw that was being stored in the stairwell that led to the basement. At least it smells like basement and I saw a couple of rugs down there when I got to go through the house while it was still standing. Sorry, I digress-again.

It was kind of dirt encrusted and had been wet at least a couple of times, but we got it for cheap and I figured if it could be cleaned up, it would be a beaut. I shook it, vacuumed the heck out of it-as gently as could be done, shampooed it with the Kirby, but it was still funky.

So today I gently carried it out to the deck to give it a soaking cleaning. I had heard that professional carpet cleaners use unscented ammonia to clean carpets and ammonia being one of my favorite cleaning staples I was glad to comply. I mixed some in a bucket of cool water (to prevent bleeding) and shot in a good squirt of Dawn dish detergent. I got Donnie's car washing brush and headed off to the deck.

After soaking it down with the "shower" option on the garden hose, I left it for several minutes to let the water soak through.

Then, I took the bucket of ammonia & Dawn and gently started applying this to the rug. Ammonia works best if you apply and work it in, go away for about 5 minutes and come back to it. I discovered this when cleaning funky hardwood floors several years back.

Anyway, I scrubbed it gently in all directions with the brush then rinsed it off with the "shower" option on the hose. If you get about 6" inches from the surface, it gives a better rinse than if you're standing upright with hose.

So, after several hours of cleaning, puttering, cleaning some more, we now have one washed, squeeged, drying rug. I'd love to flip it over and scub the back, then the front again, but I'm afraid to put it through that kind of handling. So, I guess I'll leave well enough alone, and call it a day.

We're going to test it out in the front parlor when it dries. :)

Sable thinks it's the cat's meow!

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