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Reader e-mail! Steam Cleaning vs. Steaming Wrinkles



Steaming wrinkles out-is this different from steam cleaning a rug using no chemicals? I thought that oriental rugs should NEVER be steam cleaned.  Please explain steaming in more detail.  I live in West Texas-have a rug that I can't get wrinkles out of & have tried for 6 months. 

I did this past weekend to try to get some stubborn wrinkles/creases out of my rug by placing hard tile and put books down on top of it.  I hope I am not ruining my rug by doing this...any advice?



Hi, great questions!

Really glad to read your inquiry, these are important points to make note of and clarify.  First, let's address the process of steaming an Oriental rug...

Steaming a rug for cleaning is much different than removing furniture impressions. 

An Oriental rug or carpet should NEVER be steam cleaned in home as you stated. For Oriental Rugs, they should always be taken to a local professional for shampoo cleaning and or deep submersive washing.  They have certain techniques pre and post washing which are specifically designed to work with Oriental Rugs.  Using an in home shampoo or steaming service will not remove the deeply rooted setiment, dirt and grit which may work it's way down to the base or foundation of your rug.  These are perhaps the most abrasive and harmful agents your rug will be subjected to over the years, and will ultimately lead to your rug having decreased longevity, and premature wear.

However, if the situation is that you have an already clean carpet, steaming to remove furniture impressions may be in order.  Obviously the objective in this particular instance  (for wool with cotton rugs only) is to revitalize the pile to its original state.  Wool has a tendency to want to spring back to life, especially with the application of heat.  Steaming is not the only option for bringing the pile back to life.  If you have folds or crease marks from storage, it will not hurt the rug to place some weight on top of it.  If the creases or folds are severe enough (and your rug is healthy), you may want to give the rug a reverse roll, folding the crease in the opposite direction in which it has seated.  Do bear in mind, the application of heat to a dirty rug may make stains color fast and or permanent.

If your rug has permanent wrinkles (Six months is a LONG time), there may be something more serious going on...  There are instances where uneven tension within the construction of the rug keeps it from laying flat.  These are known as buckles, and more often than not are permanent. Some corrective measures do exist such as blocking which may serve as a solution, however this is not always going to work.  

In the meantime, here are some posts which you may find helpful. 

Will these creases EVER come out?

Steaming an Oriental or Persian Rug!

Why are the edges of my carpet curled?

What are the thick straps on the back of my rug?


Thanks for the email, please stay in touch and let us know how it goes  :)


-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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