• Caring for Designer Rugs

    A guide for maintaining hand-knotted rugs through routine cleaning and stain removal.

    Read More 
  • Using Wood Care Products

    The do's and don'ts of Stickley Furniture Dressing, paste wax, and white polish cream.

    Read More 
  • Caring for Fabric and Leather

    Advice for routine cleaning and stain removal for fabric and leather upholstery covers.

    Read More 

Furniture Care Guide


Purchasing fine furniture is not only a privilege, but an opportunity to be the first owner of what may become a treasured heirloom.

We have seen Stickley pieces which have aged gracefully through the years become valued far beyond their original purchase price. Interestingly, it was not the craftspeople at Stickley who were responsible for the increase in value. The value increases because of the care given by its owners. It is important to understand that small scratches and nicks resulting from normal use do not devalue furniture. A fine antique is expected to bear the characteristic evidence of time and use. Furniture loses its value because of neglect and misuse. We trust that the care you give your furniture will result in generations of use. Stickley furniture may cost more, but it is not overpriced. It becomes overpriced if it is not cared for.

Best Practices

The precautions listed here are typical of high-end, fine-quality furniture manufacturers. View them as an aid to ownership, not a burden. Ultimately the value of a fine piece of quality-made furniture will increase with the care you give it as the first owner.

• Rubber, cork, vinyl, plastic, or leather and fabrics with synthetic finishes can damage fine lacquers by making the finish appear bubbled or by leaving a black impression. Use caution when placing computers, telephones, clocks, and radios on a finished surface, as most have rubber or plastic pads. Recently, “felt” backed items such as blotters, or decorative objects made of synthetic materials, have been appearing on the market and are doing the same type of damage. In addition, many book covers have plastic coatings that can degrade a lacquer finish. To prevent damage, a protective layer between the object and the finish should be any type of cotton or linen cloth or woolen (not acrylic) felt cloth (not dots with glue or adhesive). Fabrics made of synthetic or polyester material should never be placed against a finished surface (for example, pillows leaning on the headboard of a bed).

• When using a glass top over a finished surface, do not place felt with glue, cork, or plastic dots between the glass and the surface, since these items can react with the finish. A plain piece of woolen (not acrylic) felt with no glue is recommended but not required.

• When placing a glass top on an extension dining table, expect to see a gap on the ends. Dining extension tables with legs are designed and engineered to have a slight upward bow in the center. Dining tables with pedestals and equalizing slides have a lift on the ends when extended.

• Nail polish remover, hair spray, perfume, potpourri, dyed candles, aromatic diffusers, and plug-in room fresheners are products that contain solvents which can dissolve or stain wood finishes. Do not use these products around fine furniture.

• Store table leaves flat, apron side up, in a controlled environment to prevent warping or cracking. Invest in table leaf storage bags.

• Avoid exposure to strong sunlight. Ultraviolet (UV) rays can discolor wood, furniture finishes, fabrics, leather, and carpet. Be aware that Low-E glass does not filter out ALL damaging sunlight.

• Relative humidity is important to the long-term life of fine wood furniture, leather, and upholstery. But expect evidence of wood movement to appear in solid wood furniture.

• Avoid exposing your furniture to extreme temperature changes.

• Objects should be lifted rather than dragged across a finished surface.

• Expect surface scratches to appear on finely hand-rubbed finishes. Use of proper care products provides a layer of protection over the finish, minimizing the effect.

• Avoid exposing the furniture finish to extreme hot and cold or prolonged moisture. For hot and cold items, the rule of thumb is “if you can hold it comfortably in your hand, the finish should withstand it.”

A word about polishes

It is helpful to know that fine furniture care is a lot easier than you think. There are many myths associated with furniture care that can be detrimental to fine new furniture. Most misinformation is a result of confusing furniture restoration with furniture care. Your responsibility is to care for new furniture finishes. Restoration of old finishes is another matter.

Using the correct polish is important, but it is not as important as learning and using the correct polishing techniques. In reality, there is no bad furniture care product, just bad application. Misuse of furniture care products accounts for far more deterioration of finishes than the content of the products themselves.

There are 3 simple rules:
1. Whatever product you choose must be used exclusively, without combining with any other product. This is probably the most frequent cause of deteriorated finishes.
2. Whatever care product you choose should not be used too often. Two to four times a year is sufficient. Over-polishing is probably the most frequent cause of sticky finishes.
3. Furniture polishes, oils, or waxes should not be used for dusting. Frequent dusting should be accomplished by means of water and a cloth to dry. At our Museum, we put distilled water into a spray mister. Mist the water directly onto the furniture and wipe it dry with a cloth (never a sponge). Always wipe in the direction of the wood grain not in a circular motion. Water will not harm wood finishes when used like this. You would have to leave the water in place for a long time for any deterioration of the finish to occur.

Additional notes

• “Lemon oil” or “orange oil” type polishes are not needed for the care of fine new furniture.• The slow accumulation of natural oils, acids, body lotions, and moisture produced by the skin can build up and eventually strip a fine finish right off wood chair arms and backs, headboards, tables, and desk edges.• Never use oil soaps for frequent cleaning. Cared for correctly, your new furniture should never accumulate much grease and dirt.• Wood is a natural material. Solid wood furniture bears natural characteristics, marks, and grain patterns that are consistent with the overall appearance of the wood.• Wood changes color over time. Uniform aging is quite pleasant and desirable. An owner must be responsible for being sure a piece of furniture ages uniformly.• Furniture makers understand these characteristics and their standards will be exhibited in samples from the maker on a showroom floor. Consumers should examine showroom pieces before buying to determine the standards set by the furniture makers. If a consumer has personal standards above those of the manufacturer, it is best to address those issues before purchase rather than afterward.• Do not expect more from the wood than what nature has given.

Frequently Asked Questions: Caring for Stickley Furniture

Q: Why does my new furniture have a strong odor?
A: It is normal for new furniture to have an odor. The lacquers, oils and waxes all have distinctive odors which remain with the furniture until they dissipate. This is the same thing that happens when new cars are built. The “new car” smell is well known and expected when taking delivery of a new car.

Most mass-produced furniture lacks the lacquer odor because it usually has more time in storage before being delivered. Items which have been on showroom floors or in warehouses lose their odor before entering a customer’s home. Furniture coming into a home directly from a factory has less time for the finishing solvents to dissipate.

The best method to speed along the dissipation of the odor is to place the furniture in a well-ventilated room and open any doors and drawers. Baking soda can also be used to absorb odors. Place the baking soda in small bowls and set them inside drawers and open compartments. The odor should dissipate in 3 to 4 days. It is important not to place clothing in the furniture until the odor has dissipated.


It is important to use the correct products and techniques to care for your Stickley furniture. Misuse and overuse of any furniture care product can ruin your furniture’s finish.

Care products are most successful if they are used exclusively of each other and used only 2-3 times a year, while only a water-dampened cloth is used for frequent dusting. Combining or switching polishes is not recommended.

Stickley Furniture Dressing

Think of Stickley Furniture Dressing as a paste wax but with an easier-to-apply consistency. Use a clean, water-dampened soft cloth (never use soap or a sponge) for weekly dusting or cleanup. When applied according to instructions over a new finish or one free of other oils and previously applied products, Stickley Furniture Dressing will build a hard, protective coating to defend a finish against surface scratches.

Use Stickley Furniture Dressing:
1. To clean any new Stickley lacquer finish.
2. To clean and restore vintage Stickley Cherry Valley Collection pieces from 1920 – 1980.
3. To clean and restore original mission oak furniture from 1900 – 1920 that still has its original finish.

DO NOT use Stickley Furniture Dressing:
1. To repair or restore finishes damaged by silicone, or where silicone polishes have already been applied.
2. With oil finishes, polyurethane finishes, spar varnishes, or catalytic finishes.
3. In combination with any other kind of polish.

1. Use a soft, lint-free cloth (unstarched cheesecloth or a cloth diaper works well).
2. Pour dressing onto the cloth, never directly onto the finished surface.
3. Wipe the dressing in slightly overlapping strokes on the finish, always moving back and forth with the grain of the wood. Do not over-rub!
4. Allow the dressing to haze slightly. This may take 1/2 hour or more. The longer you can wait before buffing it, the better.
5. Use a clean cloth to wipe the dressing dry using the same overlapping stroke technique (this may need to be done twice, allowing the residue to haze after the first drying).
6. Allow the dressing to cure 1/2 hour before placing any objects back on the surface.

Purchase Stickley Furniture Dressing at your nearest Authorized Stickley Dealer!

Frequently Asked Questions: Stickley Furniture Dressing

Q: Why are Stickley Furniture Dressing and Paste Wax recommended as care products for the same finishes?
A: Both are effective, but Stickley Furniture Dressing is much easier to use than Paste Wax. We like to use the Paste Wax for top surfaces to quickly build up protection on more heavily used tops. Use the Furniture Dressing for the less-used surfaces like sides, drawer fronts, legs, doors, etc.

Q: Is this the same Stickley Furniture Dressing that has been made by Stickley for years?
A: Yes, this is the same product made by Stickley since the early 1930s. The formula is slightly modified from the original to eliminate certain solvents which have been found to be carcinogenic by the EPA.

Q: Can Stickley Furniture Dressing ruin a finish?
A: Used according to instructions, Stickley Dressing cannot ruin a finish. Misuse is often the reason finishes begin to look cloudy or white. Beware of using it too often! Two to three times per year is sufficient. Beware of rubbing the dressing into the wood as if you are trying to burnish it into the finish. The solvents required to keep the wax in suspension can strip a finish if they are not allowed to evaporate slowly. This is why you must wait until the dressing hazes over. Use according to directions, especially with 713 and 718 finishes. Use water and a soft cloth (never a sponge) for weekly dusting or cleaning.

Q: I have an old can of Stickley Furniture Dressing. Can I still use it?
A: As the dressing ages, certain solvents critical to the formulation tend to evaporate if the cap is not on tight. It’s best to dispose of the older can if it appears that the waxes have congealed and are sitting at the bottom of the can. In addition, the old formula (pre-1974) contained benzene, which can be hazardous to your health.

There should be no time limit on the current blend of Stickley Furniture Dressing if the cap is placed tightly on the can and the solvents don’t evaporate. You’ll know if the solvents have evaporated because the wax will have congealed and will pour out thickly, if it pours out at all. Dispose of that can and do not place the contents on the furniture finish.

Paste Wax

Quality furniture paste waxes are a perfect blend of waxes and solvents that will provide protection from water, heat, and surface scratches while enhancing the luster of the original finish. Recommended paste waxes include SC Johnson® Paste Wax, Butcher’s® Paste Wax, and Antiquax®. There are other fine waxes on the market, but these we have tested in the shop and are happy with. We suggest not using BriWax® as it is a bit too hard for the casual user to rub out. It is a good wax but works best with a machine buffer.

Use Paste Wax:
1. On any new Stickley lacquer finish, but it’s best for satin or medium sheens.
2. On any oil-based finish, specifically Stickley #703 Central Valley and #708 Morris Plains.

DO NOT use Paste Wax:
1. To provide protection on high-gloss finishes unless you are very good at paste waxing techniques. Though it can be used, it can be difficult to rub out and obtain a high gloss. You need to do small areas at a time. White Cream Polish is a better recommendation due to its ease of application and the superior scratch-resistance needed for high-gloss finishes.
2. As a cleaner to remove old wax buildup or dirt.
3. In combination with any other products.

1. Use a new can of paste wax. If the wax is old and hard, all the solvents have dissipated and it should be thrown away. If the wax is too soft due to heat, you can try refrigerating it and then allowing it to adjust to room temperature before use.
2. Use unstarched cheesecloth and wad it up to the size of a softball. Using cheesecloth prevents the paste wax from building up as you rub it out. Cloth diapers or T-shirts are not the best choice.
3. With wax on the cloth, apply it to the surface using long, slightly overlapping strokes, always moving with the grain of the wood. If the surface is large, try doing small sections at a time to prevent the wax from drying too hard before you rub it out.
4. Do not allow the wax to harden beyond a slight haze. Using a clean piece of cheesecloth wadded up to the size of a softball, wipe the surface using the same overlapping stroke technique. The degree of pressure will be determined by the length of time the wax has been drying on the surface. Rub thoroughly. Use overlapping strokes. Use the same pressure you might use if buffing your shoes. The trick is to take your time and buff as you stroke. Keep the ball of cheesecloth wadded fairly tight, and keep refolding it to get a clean surface if it gets too filled with wax residue. You should not be leaving a thick coating of wax on the surface. The key to successful paste waxing is thin coats over time, not thick coats.
5. NEVER use any other polish on top of paste wax. In between coats of wax you can wipe the furniture with a soft cloth and water, then dry the surface completely.

Frequently Asked Questions: Paste Wax

Q: Why are Stickley Furniture Dressing and Paste Wax recommended as care products for the same finishes?
A: Both are effective, but Stickley Furniture Dressing is much easier to use than Paste Wax. We like to use the Paste Wax for top surfaces to quickly build up protection on more heavily used tops. Use the Furniture Dressing for the less-used surfaces like sides, drawer fronts, legs, doors, etc.

Q: What do I do in between coats of wax?
A: Simply keep the surface clean using a water-dampened cloth and dry thoroughly. You can even use a mister to spray the water on the finish and then dry it. Water will not harm the finish when it is properly dried with a cloth. It’s only when water sits on a finish for a long time, or if it is very hot or very cold, that it will create a white spot. Eventually, depending on use, the top will look dull and then you can wax again. This water and wax combination is time-honored.

Q: What are wax build-up and wax mix-up?
A: In most cases when a build-up of wax is being described as a problem, the real issue is not a wax build-up but a wax mix-up. Paste wax used alone provides an excellent barrier of protection for a fine furniture finish. Used alone it will not become sticky, because multiple applications have the inherent function of removing the old wax along with accumulated dirt and grease while laying down a new layer of fresh wax. The problem of stickiness occurs when any other furniture care product is applied over paste wax. Since paste wax was not formulated to blend with these products, they repel each other and cause a wax mix-up. A true wax build-up is desirable, while a wax mix-up is to be avoided.

Q: How often should I paste wax a finish?
A: The rule of thumb is to wax when the finish looks like it needs waxing. As a finish gets older, it will need less wax because you will have built up a nice patina over the years, assuming the proper care is taken when the piece is new. Generally, in the first year, three to four applications are sufficient, and two to three applications after that. Years down the road, little to no wax will be needed.

Q: If I apply the paste wax using a thicker coat, won’t that make it build up better and provide more protection?
A: No! Paste wax does not protect any better with thick coats. It also has the adverse effect of being more difficult to rub out. The key is thin, uniform coats spaced out over time to allow for proper drying.

Q: Why does a hand-rubbed lacquer finish look hazy or scratchy when I look at it in bright sunlight?
A: Fine quality lacquer finishes are hand-rubbed using fine abrasives such as steel wool, pumice, and rottenstone. These abrasives are responsible for creating the smooth lacquer surface, and they are also responsible for the scratch pattern. Rubbing is always done with the direction of the grain. The scratch pattern is visible when looking along the grain but not when looking perpendicular to it. A haze or scratch pattern is evident in newly rubbed lacquer finishes because they have not yet developed a good coating of wax. The wax will fill the fine scratches, thus eliminating the visual evidence of hand-rubbing.

White Cream Polish

White cream polishes, such as Guardsman®, have the advantage of being easy to use, but they can smear and build up if applied too frequently. Just one or two applications per year is fine while using water and a cloth for regular dusting (never use a sponge on furniture). The main concern with white cream polishes is that they not be combined with any other type of polish, wax, or oil. This is true for any type of furniture care product. Once used, do not switch.

Use white cream polish:
1. To protect and maintain a Stickley lacquer finish with a high sheen. NOTE: White cream polish can be used on low or satin sheen finishes without damage, but expect the sheen to get progressively shinier with each use.

DO NOT use white cream polish:
1. To protect and maintain low or satin sheen finishes if hoping to retain the original sheen.
2. To protect or maintain oil finishes (specifically Stickley #703 Central Valley and #708 Morris Plains)
3. In combination with other care products.

1. Often these polishes will appear to have separated, so be sure to shake them well before use. If using a concentrated polish, be sure to dilute according to instructions. Applying undiluted concentrate can cause irreversible damage to a finish.
2. Apply polish to a clean, soft cloth which has been wadded up to approximately the size of a softball.
3. Wipe the polish onto the finish using overlapping strokes and always wiping with the grain of the wood.
4. Using another clean cloth, wipe the polish until dry. You should dry the polish very soon after application. Leaving the polish on the finish too long causes it to begin to harden and makes wiping it off more difficult.

Frequently Asked Questions: White Cream Polish

Q: How often should I polish with White Cream Polish?
A: Apply white cream polishes on new Stickley furniture two to three times per year. Between polishes, simply clean the furniture with a slightly water-dampened cloth and buff dry. Always work in the direction of the grain of the wood with a clean, non-abrasive cotton cloth.



Remember that your copper furniture is a “living” product. It is natural for it to change over time and with use. Be aware that all copper products have a finish that is, by nature of the oxidation process, uneven and variable in color and pattern. This gives your product its beauty and charm. It does not constitute a defect in product.

To clean your copper product, simply use a mild soap and water and a soft cloth for drying. Since many of our products are hand-hammered with a natural finish, never use abrasive cleaners, harsh chemicals, or steel wool pads as these will scratch the surface and affect the patina of your product. Copper has antibacterial properties, so there is no need to disinfect the product with harsh chemicals or abrasive cleaners.

As with any fine furniture, care should be taken to protect copper pieces from scratches and stains. We recommend using coasters and mats on tables when food and drink are present and always wiping off spilled food or drink immediately. Acidic foods can affect the patina, leaving a shiny, light-colored spot if allowed to sit for prolonged periods of time on a copper surface. Should an acidic food such as tomato or citrus fruit affect the patina, there is no need to panic as the original patina will return in time. The best remedy is to leave the area free of wax or oil so that air can naturally re-oxidize the product. 

Our coppersmiths do not use lacquer, nor do they recommend using lacquer on their products. All their finishes are created with wax products and heat. To protect the original patina and to aid in water runoff, you can use a paste wax product such as Johnson’s Paste Wax. We recommend that you use a paste wax or an oil wax that has no citric element. Rub the wax into your product and then buff well.


Fabric Care

FABRIC CLEANING CODES (as provided in the Stickley Fine Upholstery Price List)

Please refer to the information below before attempting to clean any fabric. The cleaning code for each Stickley fabric is shown on the fabric sample and is included in your master fabric list. A Cleaning Label is also affixed to the rear deck on most Stickley pieces.

W – Spot clean only with water-based shampoo or foam upholstery cleaner. Pre-test a small, inconspicuous area before proceeding. Do not over wet. Do not use solvents to spot clean. Pile fabrics may require brushing with a non-metallic, stiff bristle brush to restore appearance. Hot water extraction and steam cleaning are not recommended cleaning methods. Cushion covers should not be removed and laundered. To prevent overall soiling, frequent vacuuming or light brushing with a non-metallic, stiff bristle brush to remove dust and grime is recommended. When cleaning a spill, blot immediately to remove spilled material. Clean spots or stains from the outside to the middle of the affected area to prevent circling. Use a professional furniture cleaning service when an overall soiled condition has been reached.

S – Spot clean only with a water-free dry-cleaning solvent. Pre-test a small, inconspicuous area before proceeding. Do not saturate. DO NOT USE WATER. Pile fabrics may require brushing with a nonmetallic, stiff bristle brush to restore appearance. Cushion covers should not be removed and dry cleaned. To prevent overall soiling, frequent vacuuming or light brushing with a non-metallic, stiff bristle brush to remove dust and grime is recommended. When cleaning a spill, blot immediately to remove spilled material. Clean spots or stains from the outside to the middle of the affected area to prevent circling. Overall cleaning by a professional furniture cleaning service only is recommended.

S-W – Spot clean with upholstery shampoo, foam from a mild detergent, or mild dry-cleaning solvent. Pre-test a small, inconspicuous area before proceeding. Do not saturate. Pile fabrics may require brushing with a non-metallic, stiff bristle brush to restore appearance. Hot water extraction and steam cleaning are not recommended cleaning methods. Cushion covers should not be removed and laundered or dry-cleaned. To prevent overall soiling, frequent vacuuming or light brushing with a non-metallic, stiff bristle brush to remove dust and grime is recommended. When cleaning a spill, blot immediately to remove spilled material. Clean spots or stains from the outside to the middle of affected area to prevent circling. Use a professional furniture cleaning service when an overall soiled condition has been reached.

X – Clean only by vacuuming or light brushing with a non-metallic, stiff bristle brush. DO NOT USE ANY WATER OR SOLVENT-BASED CLEANER.

Leather Care

Leather is a natural material and will maintain its beauty and usefulness for many years with proper care. Direct exposure to strong light can cause any leather color to fade, so always protect leather from direct sunlight and other intense light sources. It is also advised that leather be kept away from radiators or other heat sources. Periodic dusting with a clean white cloth and vacuuming is recommended for normal maintenance of leather.


4 – Minimal
Expensive and luxurious, typically a nubuck or suede, designed for fashion and style application. Clean carefully with K2R® powder and a soft brush. This leather may fade under direct or indirect sunlight.

3 – Natural
The most expensive and elegant of all leather, typically pure or naked, will gain a patina over time. Clean carefully with distilled water on a sponge; feather the moistened area. Remove excess moisture by patting dry with a clean white towel. Do not rub or scrub. Let dry naturally. This leather will fade under or direct or indirect sunlight.

2 – Standard
Deal with most spills and stains quickly and gently. Clean with water. Do not rub or scrub. Let dry naturally.

1 – Maximum
Handles spills and stains well. It is easy to clean with water. Do not scrub or rub. Let dry naturally.


Please use the following guide when choosing a grade and type of leather for your Stickley leather purchase. Depending on your lifestyle and where the furniture will be used, some leather may work better than others. For example, a family with many children purchasing a piece for their great room may choose a leather with more protection and cleanability than a couple with no children purchasing a piece for their living area.

Protected Measures – how much surface protection the leather possesses
Surface protection can be a form of Teflon® coating, wax, or additional pigments in the dye process. Typically, the more coating applied to the leather, the less natural the feel will be. A higher level of coating will afford you a greater degree of stain resistance.

Softness Measures – how soft and supple the leather is to the touch
Softness is achieved through hours of milling in drums, using a thinner cut of leather, or using fewer pigments and top coating on the product.

Lightfastness Measures – how susceptible the leather is to fading when exposed to sunlight
As we know, in time enough direct sunlight can, and will, fade anything.

Cleanability Measures – how well the leather reacts to a food or drink accident
Based on the amount of time needed to clean the affected area, the Cleanability rating will help determine which leathers are more suited for heavy use with an active family. Darker leathers are easier to clean than a bone or linen color. Periodic overall cleaning is recommended to maintain the beauty of all leather.

Natural Markings Measures – the degree of natural markings found on the finished leather hide
Natural markings consist of a variety of scars, insect bites, stretch marks, and neck wrinkles acquired in the animal’s habitat. The origin of the leather assists in determining how many scars are on the hide. Corrected grain leather will have no natural markings since it has been altered or sanded to make it more acceptable for use. A corrected grain will reduce the softness and natural feel of a full grain leather hide. Full top-grain leather has not been altered or sanded. Most leather found today is corrected grain due to price and availability. The fewer the scars, the costlier the leather.

Ratings: Stickley Fine Leather has rated the overall quality of each leather based on the above categories. Ratings are on a scale of 1 to 10 with 10 being the best rating. A rating from 8 to 7 in any category is considered very functional. A rating of 6 to 5 would be adequate and a rating of 4 to 3 would be marginal for that function.

Disinfecting your leather furniture: COVID-19 update
• Avoid touching leather furniture immediately after applying hand sanitizer
• Do not use disinfectant sprays or wipes containing alcohol as this may impact the topcoat of the leather. Once the topcoat is compromised, your leather is no longer protected
• If you must clean your leather furniture, do so in a well-ventilated area and wipe the leather with a soft cloth and weak, non-acidic soap and water solution – allow leather to air dry

Please contact your nearest Stickley dealer with questions or concerns about disinfecting your leather furniture.



Your rug is a work of art and deserves the same care and attention you would devote to a fine piece of furniture. However, the hand-knotted rug is constructed in such a manner that with surprisingly little care, it should maintain its beauty and utility for generations.

Vacuum regularly, at least once a week for high-traffic rugs. Regular vacuuming will help remove destructive grit that is tracked on the surface and sifts through the wool fibers to the foundation of the rug. Occasionally, you should vacuum the back of the rug to draw out the very short, light-absorbing bits of yarn that can otherwise dull the luster of the carpet. A good rule-of-thumb is to use low power for low pile and high power for high pile; however, it’s wise to avoid the highest setting. Also, never vacuum a rug’s fringe.

Rotate your rug frequently
to allow for equal wear and exposure to sunlight. In high-traffic areas, we recommend doing this once a year.

Wet clean as required, generally not more than once every two to five years, and preferably by a professional carpet cleaner. This will remove the grit and dirt that becomes deeply embedded as well as the surface soiling that dulls the appearance of the carpet. Cleaning should be done only by a professional cleaning service that specializes in hand-woven rugs, and not by a broadloom cleaner unfamiliar with this product.

Deal with stains immediately. Whenever possible, clean a spill before it has a chance to set. First, scrape up any solid dirt or blot up excess liquid with a paper or cloth towel. Depending on the type of spill, a simple variety of household solutions may be used. Scroll to the bottom of this page to find specific stain treatments, as supplied by The Wool Bureau.

About wool shedding:

The wool used in our Stickley Designer Rugs comes from Tibetan (or Himalayan) Highland Sheep; the elevation and harsh climate of the Himalayas results in the longest stapled wool in the world, five to eight inches! Unlike cheaper, less durable wools, a characteristic of this exceptional wool is a prolonged period of shedding, which will stop in time depending on the wear and use of the rug. Frequent vacuuming is the best way to keep shedding under control until it stops. While inconvenient, shedding is in fact a sure sign of the quality and longevity of your wool rug.

How to remove the rug label:

If you wish to remove the rug’s label, apply lighter fluid to a clean white cloth and wipe back and forth in the direction of the fringes or ends of the rug. Never wipe in a circular motion. The lighter fluid is a safe solvent that will remove the adhesive residue. Fabric cleaner and fast-drying lacquer thinner are also good, safe solvents. You will find some loose wool fibers rubbing off with the cleaning motion, but this is the result of rubbing or wiping, not a reaction to the solvent. The odor of the solvent will dissipate quickly, and there is no need to clean the area a second time with soap and water.

Note: When using solvents, never smoke or light matches while applying the cleaner. These are safe products to use but highly flammable while applying.


Stain-Removal Treatment Options


Detergent Solution One teaspoon clear dish washing soap in one-cup warm water.
Ammonia Solution One tablespoon clear ammonia in 1/2 cup water.
Vinegar Solution 1/3 cup white vinegar in 2/3 cup water.
Solvent A dry-cleaning solvent (available at hardware and grocery stores).

Alcoholic Beverages                   Detergent Solution / Vinegar Solution / Solvent
Blood                                          Detergent Solution / Vinegar Solution / Starch Paste 
Chewing Gum                             Freeze with Ice / Scrape / Solvent
Chocolate                                   Detergent Solution / Vinegar Solution / Solvent
Coffee                                         Cold Water / Detergent Solution / Solvent 
Cola / Soft Drink                         Warm Water / Detergent Solution
Fruit Juices                                 Cold Water / Detergent Solution
Furniture Polish                          Cleaning Solvent / Detergent Solution / Ammonia Solution
Gravy / Sauces                           Warm Water / Detergent Solution
Mildew                                        Call a reputable cleaner
Mud                                            Detergent Solution
Rust                                            Solvent / Detergent Solution / Rust Remover
Salad Dressing                           Detergent Solution / Cleaning Solvent
Tea                                              Cold Water / Detergent Solution / Solvent
Urine                                           Detergent Solution / Vinegar Solution
Vomit                                          Detergent Solution / Vinegar Solution / Solvent
Wine                                           Absorbent Powder / Cold Water / Detergent Solution

Techniques for cleaning stains:

  1. Work quickly.
  2. Blot up excess spills with paper towels. DO NOT RUB.
  3. Apply solution from the list above with a clean, dry cloth, working from edges to center. DO NOT SOAK.
  4. Blot excess solution with paper towels. Dry with fan or hair dryer.
  5. Restore direction of pile with clothes brush.