How to Clean a Kilim Rug at Home

27 February 2023
Est. Reading: 2 minutes
What's in This Guide?
Cleaning Items You'll Need.
Wet and dry vacuum cleaner
Protective rubber gloves
A bucket with 5 litres of water
5 ml (1 teaspoon) of dishwashing soap
A small brush, like a nail brush
A dry microfiber towel


A kilim is a traditional pileless rug made with a flatweave technique. Generally speaking, this means that they are hand woven on a loom rather than being knotted. Making them an attractive option to start with because they are often less expensive than traditional pile rugs.

Kilims are colourful works of art that enhance the look of any interior. Having originated in Turkey, they spread to Iran, Afghanistan, and India, to name a few. They have been made for a variety of purposes and have been produced since ancient times. They are not limited to the floor, they are also used as wall décor, table covers, bedspreads, bags, and so on.

The How-to Guide for Cleaning Kilims

Despite how beautiful they are, you need to properly care for them. They commonly absorb protein-based stains, and they are prone to shrinkage. Consequently, it is essential to handle them with the proper care during the cleaning.

However, cleaning a kilim rug does not have to be difficult, these carpets are fairly durable and clean well. In this post, we'll show you how to clean a kilim rug by hand at home.

Step-By-Step Instructions

Seven steps to hand clean a kilim rug at home.

Step One:
Vacuum the kilim rug well on both sides to remove all the dirt. Make sure to run the vacuum in one direction, so that you do not damage the rug.

Step Two:
Dissolve the dishwashing soap in the bucket of water. This mixture produces a cleaning agent with a concentration of 1 percent. Do not add extra dishwashing soap, as it will leave residue on the kilim.

Step Three:
For heavier stains, dip your brush in the solution and gently brush across the stain. Do a patch test in a hidden area of the rug and keep an eye out for any dye bleeds. If you notice any bleed, use the wet and dry vacuum to remove the moisture as soon as possible.

Step Four:
Soak and wring out your microfiber in the soapy solution. Then rub your damp cloth across the rug. You should see the stains migrate to the microfiber cloth.

Step Five:
Every two feet, flip the microfiber towel to the clean side and wipe the rug. Immerse it back into the solution when the towel is dirty, and repeat the process across the rug. If the water becomes dirty, change it as often as necessary.

Step Six:
Dab the rug with a dry towel or use the wet and dry vacuum to remove the water. Typically, we then finish with a dry towel pat down.

Step Seven:
Leave the rug to air dry and vacuum one more time.

Final Thoughts on Cleaning Kilim Rugs

Kilims are difficult to damage but most importantly should be cleaned properly. This ultimately ensures that the quality and longevity are maintained.

“If you do it right, it will last forever.” -Massimo Vignelli

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