How To Clean A Kilim Rug

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Kilim rugs are made using a flat weaving technique.  This creates a bold often colorful design.  They make a particularly striking floor covering which is made to be used and walked on.  Knowing how to clean a kilim rug is tricky, as they require special treatment to avoid damaging the fibers. 

A kilim rug must be cleaned by hand with a brush and a gentle cleaning solution.  When a kilim rug is vacuumed it must be done with care to avoid tearing the rug.

Stains should be treated as quickly as possible.  

Stubborn marks should only be treated by professional cleaners.

Hand Clean A Kilim Rug

clean a kilim rug


Before washing your kilim rug you want to make sure that there isn’t any dirt or dust on its surface.  So you should place the kilim rug on a flat surface (to make the cleaning process easier) and then sweep both sides of the rug to remove loose debris.

You can use any broom to clean a kilim rug but a hand broom will give you the most control.


Prepare the following mixture.

  • ½ cup of carpet shampoo designed for cleaning rugs
  • 4½  cups of warm water
  • 1 tablespoon of white vinegar (will help keep the colors in the rug from running)

Mix the carpet shampoo with warm water and vinegar to create a gentle cleaning solution to clean a kilim rug. Stir well to ensure that the ingredients are well blended.  

Once the mixture is prepared, dip a scrub brush with fairly strong bristles in the solution and make sure the brush is not dripping wet. 

Stroke the brush over the rug in gentle vertical strokes starting in one corner and brushing up and down in an overlapping motion.  

Continue brushing in the same manner until you’ve cleaned the entire rug.  

The fibers of a kilim rug are more fragile when they’re wet so you do not want to scrub too vigorously as you may damage the rug if you’re too rough.  

When you reach the fringe work the brush over them vertically.  

Keep dipping the brush in the solution so that it does not dry out.

After you have brushed the entire rug with vertical strokes, go over the rug a second time but this time in horizontal strokes. Rub the brush over the rug from left to right.  Start in one corner and continue brushing until you’ve cleaned the entire rug. 

When you’ve brushed the rug with the cleaning solution in both directions turn it over to the other side.  Clean the second side in exactly the same manner so that the rug is fully clean.  

If the rug is particularly dirty you may want to repeat the cleaning process on both sides two or three times


Rinse your scrubbing brush under water to remove all of the cleaning solution and dirt.  When you are sure there’s no cleaning solution residue left behind, wet the brush with warm water and brush over the rug vertically and then horizontally to rinse it.  You may want to rinse the rug more than once with a clean wet brush to ensure that there’s no residue left behind on the fibers.


Lay the rug out flat to dry.  You can leave it out in the sun or leave it out under a fan to help the drying process.  Keep in mind that it may take up to two days for the rug to dry.  Flip the rug over every six hours or so to ensure that it dries on both sides.

Do not walk on the rug or place any items on it until it’s completely dry.

If you notice any residue from the cleaning solution once the rug is dry use a clean dry brush to brush it away.

So that is how you would clean a kilim rug. Now if you are looking to clean an alpaca rug then read our guide here