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03/12 Sunday 09:36AM

give your carpet some love

A handmade oriental carpet is one of the most versatile accessories you can decorate your home with. The richness of the pile and colours can give a simple room the extra depth and warmth. Often seen as a piece of art, the oriental carpet can be an expensive acquisition and sometimes owners would not walk on them. A handmade carpet is very durable and is made to be used and walked on. In fact a carpet that is worn normally can look more beautiful as it ages, just as long as you keep them clean from time to time.  However, you should try to keep the carpet away from dirty shoes and pets that scratch and chew. (For the latter, you can try placing a floral scent on the carpet like air freshener as it seems that dogs and cats do not like the floral scent.)

Spilling accidents do happen so the most important thing to remember is to deal with it immediately, or else the spillage will seep further into the carpet and it will be more difficult to remove the stain. If a spillage occurs, jump to it and do the following recommended by carpet encyclopaedia:

1. Dab - not rub - away the fluid or spillage with a clean cotton cloth or paper towel.
2. Work from the edge towards the middle of the stain.
3. Use only a small amount of mild detergent and cold water, if necessary.
4. Brush lightly with clothes brush, if necessary.
5. Dry the wet area with a hair dryer at low speed or use a fan.
6. Finish off by restoring the pile with a clothes brush, brushing in the direction of the pile.

Do not use bleach or strong stain removers. If you insist on using a stain remover, use one that is gentle on fabrics so that it does not damage the fibres on the carpet. If you act quickly, you can increase the chance of saving your carpet and remove the stain completely without having to take it a carpet cleaner.

If you want to wash your carpet, you need to test your carpet for colour fastness.The most common problem with washing carpets is the colour running. Good quality dyes don't run but they are rare.  To test if colour will run, dampened a small area of rug with a little water and detergent, then blot it with a white paper towel or cotton cloth.  If it comes away pink, then there is some risk of colour running.  A small amount of colour running is not necessarily a bad thing, especially if the rug has mostly darker shades.

Wool is tough and generally washes well, though very cheap wool can sometimes felt and turn hard. Non-woven (tufted) rugs may lose wool tufts if they are getting old and if the backing is starting to come apart. The most common issue with washing wool carpets is color running.

Silk is much more difficult to wash successfully than wool because dyes don't 'stick' so well onto silk, particularly on the cheaper variety of silk rugs. Silk fibre is also more fragile than wool. If you have a silk carpet, it will help tremendously if you keep it away from 'heavy traffic' and avoid any washing.

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