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Q&A: What to do with a Wet Oriental Area Rug or Carpet?


Rug Rag!

I just have a quick question... It happened that our humidifier has broken it and leaked the entire night.  As a result, one side of our rug is soaking wet.  Please let me know what should be done in this situation to preserve the rug. Can we leave it outside for a while (inside out to avoid fading?)

Thank you in advance for your help!


Bokhara Rug Drying

*Stock image above 


Hello, and thanks for the email :)  Sorry to hear about the mishap! 

The instructions below are for a wool rug with cotton foundation.

The most important thing is to soak up as much of the water by using a blotting technique.  Do not rub, agitate or otherwise disrupt the pile with back and forth motion while the rug is wet.  This will inevitably result in the pile becoming matted or loosing detail of the design which may be permanent. 

We just posted a video on youtube which may be helpful which is embedded at the bottom of this entry.  It's for removing pet stains and juices, but you may find some of the techniques helpful.  We use a spoon and knife with a paper towel to really get the water out of the rug.  Remember whatever you do, work with the direction of the pile, but preferably blotting is best. 

As for the rug itself, once you've treated it to the best of your ability and removed as much of the moisture as possible, drape the rug over some chairs or other.  You want as much of the reverse side of the rug and face of the rug to have exposure to the air.  You could also consider placing a fan on the affected area.  Obviously this will help accelerate the drying process.  I would personally not leave the rug outdoors.  It leaves it more susceptible to the weather changing, animals, theft, etc...  It's best to set something up temporarily inside your home, in a dry, cool place.

Leave the rug to dry for several days.  Even though the pile may feel dry, it may not be.  Wool usually retains a lot of water: even if it feels dry, it could have up to 20% water still remaining inside.

If the rug has color run or other problems let us know immediately, you may want to bring it to a professional for treatment.  If a wet rug goes untreated for too long, you could experience more problematic things such as mold or mildew.  The worst case scenario would be dry rot which would require extensive repairs, or ruin the rug, so it's important to treat wetness as possible. 

Let us know if you have any questions, or if the rug has acquired a mildew or mold like odor.

Best of luck :)

Thanks again for the inquiry,

-Rug Rag 


We look forward to talking with anyone who may have questions on or about oriental rugs.  We are an Independent Reviewer, and will give you our opinion for any rug, new or old.  Should you have any questions you would like to submit for a blog entry response, please do so, and be sure to include photographs of your rug.  For more information, please take a look at the bottom of this page, or feel free to Contact Us at


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For all those interested in submitting a question to the Rug Rag Editors:  We'd be more than happy to help, please send some photographs of the reverse side of the rug very close up with a quarter placed on the knots, plus a picture of the fringe, the whole face of the rug and detail shot of the pile.  If the rug is worn, please include photographs of worn areas.  For rugs of any age, please be sure to check for dry areas, moth damage, odor, and whether or not the rug is straight/has right angles where called for.  If you have any questions about our assessment request feel free to send us an email.  Otherwise, we are looking for something similar to these images posted here


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