ITHACA/ELMIRA carpet cleaners

Oriental Rug Washing
Including Specialty Rugs

One of the most popular services we provide is oriental rug washing. An oriental rug is a hand-knotted rug constructed of natural fibers. Oriental rugs are from the East while Occidental rugs are from the West. There are oriental rugs that have piles and ones that do not. Kilim rugs are examples of oriental rugs that do not have a pile.

Specialty rugs are also a large part of our oriental rug washing service. They include, but are not limited to, Navaho, Flokati, Hooked, Tufted, Dhurrie, Braid, Karastan, Wilton, Axminster, Stark, Edwards, Fields, and Custom-Bordered Rugs. Both rugs with piles and those without will have varying names based on the region or country in which they were constructed.

Many of the design concepts from oriental rugs have been borrowed from all cultures and bear symbolic meaning. These rugs are true works of art, and many precautionary measures must be taken when we apply our oriental rug washing process to cleaning them.

Our technicians are thoroughly trained in the art of oriental rug washing. It takes a great deal of time, training, and study to understand and identify the complexity of hand-knotted rugs. It also takes years of studying fiber types, rug construction, knotting techniques, dye systems, geographic regions, and cultures.

These variables all have a dramatic impact on the way a rug is treated during an oriental rug washing cycle. Knowing all variables ensures your rug is properly cared for from the moment it comes into our plant until its return to your home.

Understanding and respecting the weavers and their methods of rug construction and the environment in which these rugs were woven allows us to be at the top of a unique list of quality professional firms offering oriental rug washing.

CAUTION: ORIENTAL RUG WASHING SHOULD NEVER BE DONE IN YOUR HOME! Washing a rug requires dusting, cleaning both front and back, thorough rinsing, controlled drying with proper equipment, and fringe cleaning. This cannot be accomplished at your home or place of business.

ABC's Oriental Rug Washing Process

ABC's oriental rug washing (including specialty rugs) procedure begins with a thorough pre-cleaning inspection. After we inspect your rugs, we offer as much of the following as may be relative to your valuables:

  • Identification of the country in which the rug was made, including a description of the region or city.
  • Identification and consultation on any necessary repairs that will prolong the life of the rug.
  • The removal of dry particulate matter (dusting), which causes the premature deterioration of rugs.
  • Thorough washing and rinsing, adhering to the washing guidelines established by the Wools of New Zealand Board and the National Institute of Rug Cleaning (NIRC).
  • Application of moth retardant to deter future damage by moths, if desired.
  • Multiple cleanings as required, to achieve maximum results, at no additional charge.
  • Fringe treatment and washing to restore the natural color of the fringe.
  • Grooming of the pile to provide a proper finish to the rug.
  • Drying of the rug in a controlled dry room environment with rug poles to retain shape.
  • Application of Stain Protection to repel soiling, if requested. (Extra charge)



Pickups and Deliveries are normally scheduled for Wednesdays.

Customer Concerns

When calling to schedule a pickup, please let us know any concerns you may have, such as pet odors (urine, vomit, dander), insects (moths, carpet beetles), etc.

Authorization of Cleaning

Rugs will be brought back to our office and thoroughly examined by ABC personnel. The customer will be called and asked for authorization before any work can be done.

Deposit Due to Condition

If, at the time of the pickup, it is determined the condition of a rug is questionable and any work done may exceed its value, a $200 deposit will be required before pickup.

If the customer declines the work after the rug has been brought to our plant, a portion of the deposit will be applied as labor and a disposal charge, and the rest will be returned to the customer. If the customer has the rug serviced, the $200 deposit will be subtracted from the final invoice.

If, at any point during the pickup, ABC personnel is unsure whether the rug is worth cleaning, a call will be made to the office.

Scheduled Delivery

Rugs picked up on a Wednesday and cleaned in our plant will be scheduled to be returned the next Wednesday. If additional work, such as moth treatments or repairs are needed, the day of delivery schedule may have to be extended.


Pickup and Delivery is free (minimum dollar amounts of work to be done may be required). Rugs must be rolled or baled and ready for pickup. A labor charge will be applied to any pickup which requires furniture moving and/or rolling or baling.


Rugs picked up and delivered are normally not eligible for any discounts. Please check our latest discounts if you have any questions or call or text our office at 607-272-1566.


Please go here for a list of our service areas:

  • Any orders picked up and delivered by ABC normally do not qualify for any in plant cleaning discounts unless specifically stated in the Discounts section of this website.
  • A minimum order may apply for free pick up and delivery.
  • If your area is not listed above, please contact our office.
  • If you do not live in our service area, please feel free to call or text our office at 607-272-1566 and arrange to send us your rugs by mail or through a delivery service such as Fed Ex or UPS.

How Long Does Your Rug Need to Be in Our Plant For Cleaning?

Our normal 'turn-around' time for oriental rug washing in our plant is approximately 3 to 5 days. This varies depending on the soil level, the fiber type, the type of cleaning process or the extent of repair work being done.

If there is a need to have your rug(s) back sooner, please make us aware of this and we will do our best to accommodate your time schedule.

How Should I Care For
My Oriental and Specialty Rug(s)
between Cleanings?

Padding (Underlayment or Cushion)

Always place a high quality pad under all rugs, being careful to choose the type of pad that is suitable for the type of surface on which the rug will be displayed. The pad will aid in the prevention of premature wear or damage caused by regular traffic. Please see our rug pads for detailed information on some of the underlayment we recommend and sell.


Vacuuming on a consistent basis will aid in the longevity of all your area rugs, both natural and synthetic fibers. Wool rugs especially, due to the composition of the outer layer of the wool fiber, trap large amounts of dry particulate matter. This abrasive and damaging matter can be removed by vacuuming. In fact, up to 80% of dry particulate matter can be removed from a rug through regular vacuuming.

Be sure to keep vacuums away from fringe, as over time the brush rolls can 'chew' up the fringe. Please note: When vacuuming oriental rugs and other area rugs with fringe, vacuum from side to side (opposite the fringes). This will save the fringes from being pulled up into the vacuum which can damage the fringes and even the vacuum.

We have fringe rakes for sale in our plant, which can be used to remove soil from the fringes and also straighten them (without having to bend over!).

Rotation of Rugs

Rugs should also be rotated periodically to balance out sun fading and to keep the traffic pattern distributed to all areas of the rug.


Always address any spills immediately with a white cotton towel or other absorbent material. Absorb or tamp as much of the liquid up as possible.

Once you are sure no more of the spill can be soaked up, use a gentle, preferably neutral, detergent solution to attempt a spot removal. Please be sure to download our ABC Carpet & Rug Spotting Guide(on the right) for the appropriate mixtures and directions for specific spot removals that can be addressed for the most part with mixtures of regular household ingredients.

Do not use any over-the-counter or super market cleaners or spotting agents on your rugs as they can loosen dyes, remove dyes, or, in some cases, severely damage the fiber. If you have any questions, Please CALL OR TEXT OUR OFFICE at (607) 272-1566 FOR FREE GUIDANCE!


When an oriental rug is regularly vacuumed or located in a well-used room, it is less likely to have moth damage. Moths work in secluded, undisturbed areas, such as under a bed, skirted sofa or heavy furniture.

When vacuuming, move furniture occasionally and clean under it. Homes not well ventilated or rooms closed for long periods of time are more likely to have moth problems. Moth damage can drastically reduce the value of an oriental rug. Please click here for more information about moths.

Plants or Flowerpots

Live plants and flowers requiring water should never be placed directly on an oriental rug. Dampness from the bottom of the pots will cause mildew and rot, gradually destroying the fibers and foundation of the rug and resulting in drastic damage to the rug. (see Dry Rot).

Plants should be in a stand, preferably on wheels, with space between the pot and the rug, allowing air to circulate. Use a container under the flowerpot to avoid water dripping onto the rug.


When possible, it is best to store rugs inside the home at room temperature. Do not store in attics that can get too hot or in garages that can get damp as this could cause a rug to 'dry rot' and become brittle.

Remember that wool can absorb up to 30% of its weight in water and still feel dry to the touch!

Never wrap wool or other natural fibers in plastic. This will not allow the fibers to breathe. We recommend wrapping in Tyvek for long-term storage.

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"The Cleanest Clean You've Ever Seen."


ABC Oriental Rug & Carpet Cleaning Co.
130 Cecil Malone Drive Ithaca, NY 14850


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Oriental and Area Rug Washing at ABC Oriental Rug 

Rugs on the wash floor are gently scrubbed before thorough rinsing.

Gentle scrubbing continues. Note the wringer in the background-the next step in the washing process after rinsing.

After thorough rinsing, the rug is sent slowly and carefully through the wringer to take out as much of the water as possible before being hung on racks in the drying room. 

Rugs are hung on a rack in the temperature controlled drying room until completely dry.

Carpet & Rug
Spotting Guide

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ABC Oriental Rug & Carpet Cleaning Co.
of Rug Care Specialists.

"To Teach, Cultivate and Advance the Art and Science
of Rug Care"

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Carpet & Rug
Spotting Guide

Learn how to remove spots with ordinary household solutions

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Did you know that our ABC Responsible Care Spotter can get those pesky spots out of your carpet and rugs and will work equally as well on your clothes and upholstery?

Stop by our office and pick one up.  They are $5.00 + Tax but if you have carpets or upholstery cleaned in your home or business, just request a free one from your Technician.

And don't forget to fill out the form above to download your free ABC Spotting Guide!  

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