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How to Clean A Rug


Ideas and Advice > How to Clean A Rug

Rugs are an essential design element that have the power to transform a room. But from foot traffic to pets, food spills, stains, dirt and water, your beloved rug can take a beating. When it’s time to clean your favorite rug follow the proper steps to ensure your rug lasts for years. Below are multiple methods on how to clean an area rug. If these methods don't get the job done, we recommend contacting a profressional rug cleaner.

Before You Clean Your Rug

  • Check the care label: First things first, read the care label that comes on your rug to know if the rug has any special instructions for cleaning. Antique, persian, and other delicate fiber rugs should be left to the professionals. These rugs are expensive and sometimes impossible to replace and so it is worth it to invest in cleaning by a rug expert.
  • Know when to clean: All rugs, no matter the material, are made to live on the floor. Most can be kept looking good with frequent vacuuming and spot cleaning as needed. But eventually your rug may need a little more. When your rug starts to look worn or simply starts to smell a little funky, it’s probably time to clean the rug.
  • Shake it out: Start by taking the rug outside and giving it a really good shake. You can even use the old fashioned method of hanging up the rug and hitting it with a broom or racquet. This helps to remove dust and dirt that has been lodged into the fibers of the rug. This especially works well for longer pile rugs (think shag) as vacuums have a hard time pulling dirt from between the fibers.
  • Vacuum both sides: Once you’ve given the rug a good shake, vacuum both sides of the rug to remove any remaining dust and dirt.

Rug Cleaning Guides

Check out our specialty guides on how to clean unique rug types:

How To Wash Rugs

If your rug can handle a lot of moisture, you can deep clean a rug by simply throwing it in the washer. Or for larger rugs, you can use a hose, some mild dish detergent or rug cleaner, and a scrub brush. Take your rug outside on a warm sunny day, preferably with little wind. Don’t wash your rug on the grass as the soap may be harmful to plants.

How To Clean An Area Rug WIth A Steam Cleaner

If your rug is not made to handle a lot of moisture, steam cleaning can be a great method. Steam cleaners come in a variety of sizes and can be purchased or rented. Steam cleaners work by forcing steam into carpets which loosens dirt, dust, mites, and bacteria from the fibers so they can be easily removed from the rug. Steam cleaners don’t require suction because the water from the steam quickly evaporates.

How To Clean An Area Rug With A Carpet Cleaner

Carpet cleaners clean by forcing soapy water into the rug and then immediately sucking the dirty water out. Carpet cleaners come in an assortment of sizes and can be purchased or rented. For spot cleaning and small jobs, a portable handheld carpet cleaner does the job nicely. For bigger jobs, you’ll want to get a machine that’s made to clean large carpets.

How To Clean An Area Rug WIth A Pressure Washer

Carpet cleaners clean by forcing soapy water into the rug and then immediately sucking the dirty water out. Carpet cleaners come in an assortment of sizes and can be purchased or rented. For spot cleaning and small jobs, a portable handheld carpet cleaner does the job nicely. For bigger jobs, you’ll want to get a machine that’s made to clean large carpets.

Cleaning Rugs By Material

The way you clean everyday spills and stains from area rugs depends upon the fabric from which the rug is woven. Here are some general guidelines:

Wool, Cotton, Acrylic and Rayon Rugs

Synthetic Rugs - Olefin, Nylon, Rayon

Silk Rugs

Natural / Plant Fibers - Jute, Sisal, Seagrass, Coir, Hemp

Helpful Hints

If you have any specific questions about the care or cleaning of your rug, please contact our Customer Service Department by calling toll-free 888-464-1447, or send an e-mail to: [email protected].

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