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Tips For Cleaning An Area Rug


tips for cleaning an area rug

Tips For Cleaning An Area Rug

Do you need tips for cleaning an area rug? If so, keep reading!  In this post we’re going to give you some great tips and hacks for maintaining and cleaning your area rugs!

What Are Area Rugs

Area rugs are usually large sized rugs that are placed on flooring.  Many times, wood flooring or other hard flooring types will utilize area rugs to add warmth the a space and protect flooring from hard to clean scuffs and marks.

Area rugs are a great alternative for that homeowner who might not want carpeting but still wants the softness and coziness rugs can offer a residential space.  Area rugs add aesthetic appeal and protection to the flooring in your home.

PRO TIP: Read these 5 summer carpet cleaning tips if you have carpeting in your home as well!

tips for cleaning area rugs and oriental rugs
tips for cleaning area rugs and oriental rugs

Why Area Rug Cleaning Matters

Keeping your house looking fresh and clean is easier than you think. But it’s important to focus on all of your flooring — while most homeowners know all too well how to clean their hard floors and carpets, area rugs are too often ignored or forgotten. That’s why we recommend regular cleaning of your area rugs, in addition to spot cleaning whenever accidents or spills occur along the way.


All you need to properly clean an area rug, Oriental rug, or other smaller piece of carpeted material are some basic household cleaning products. You likely have many of them in your home already, and the others can be found at any local grocery store, hardware store, or big-box store. 


How to Clean an Area Rug

First, you’ll need the following materials:


  • Vacuum cleaner
  • Rug shampoo, cleaning solution, or mild soap
  • Bucket or other container (to fill with water)
  • Clean water
  • Brush, sponge, or other cleaning utensil
  • Garden hose (Optional)
  • Gloves (Optional)
  • Wet-dry vacuum (Optional)


From there, you can get to work and start making your home feel new again. Bring your rug outside or somewhere else where water will not cause any damage. Then, use your vacuum to remove any visible dirt, crumbs, hair, fur, and other debris. Next, mix your cleaner in your bucket or other container by following the directions on the label. If you’re using mild soap instead, mix the soap in a bucket with warm (but not hot) water.


Before applying the cleaning solution to your entire rug, do a color test by scrubbing a small portion into a corner of the rug to ensure no color damage occurs. If you see any damage or color bleeding, immediately stop using that cleaning solution and try a different product. Once you’re confident that the cleaning solution is safe for your rug, use your brush or sponge to lather the cleaning solution onto your rug. Let the cleaner soak on your rug for 5-7 minutes.


After the 5-7 minutes have passed, rinse out the cleaning solution thoroughly with a garden hose or buckets of clean water. Next, remove all excess water and let the rug dry on a clean surface. You can also use a wet-dry vacuum if you have one to complete that step quicker. Once the rug is completely dry (including the top and bottom), vacuum the rug one last time to make the fibers look their best. Finally, return your rug to where it belongs and enjoy your cleaner floors.

how to clean an area rug

Other Things to Keep in Mind

As you complete the above steps, be sure to keep the following helpful tips in mind:


  • Vacuum both sides of the rug to ensure cleanliness
  • If you have pets, clean your rugs more frequently to reduce odors and fur buildup
  • If you’re not using a store-bought cleaning solution, mild dish detergent and water is your best option
  • Do not use hot water on your rugs – that may cause shrinkage and/or clor fading
  • Use a fan to speed up the drying time
  • Clean spills and stains immediately – do not wait for your regular cleaning time to treat those issues
  • Cleaning not only makes your rugs look better — it also makes them last longer


Perhaps the most important thing to remember about cleaning an area rug is to take your time and be gentle. Scrubbing harder won’t necessarily make your rug any cleaner, and it may cause damage. You’ll also want to make sure that you’re getting all parts of the rug and aren’t missing any dirt or debris. It can be easy to breeze through a small rug, but putting in the extra effort upfront will pay dividends for months to come. 

Everyone Loves A Clean Home

Whether you entertain often, or reserve your home as your own personal sanctuary, cleaner floors will improve your quality of life. And with area rugs and Oriental rugs increasingly used to accent space and showcase your style, it’s more important than ever to keep your rugs clean. Following the above simple steps a few times per year will accomplish that. Be sure to add these tips for cleaning an area rug to your home-maintenance file and routine!


Hire A Rug or Carpet Cleaning Service

The bottom line is that not everyone should try to clean their rugs on their own. The best plan of action for doing so is to hire a professional carpet cleaning service or rug cleaner near you.  In doing so, you will guarantee a professional clean and ensure you do not damage your precious area rugs.

Most floor cleaning services will also offer area rug cleaning. Companies such as Carters Carpet Restoration is a very well known carpet cleaning company that also offers area rug cleaning.  Check out our service areas here to learn more about areas that Carters services.

how to clean an area rug
area rug cleaning tips

We hope this post has been helpful and that you’ve learned some great tips for cleaning an area rug!

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