How to Clean an Area Rug in 7 Easy Steps

By Gladys K. Connelly Updated December 20, 2020

Don’t panic, cleaning your area rug is not rocket science

How to Clean an Area Rug in 7 Easy Steps

This is my guide on how to clean your area rug. 

In today’s post, you’ll learn:

Let’s get started.

The Materials You Will Need

Here are the necessary materials you need at hand:

Step by Step Guide

This step by step solution breaks down the cleaning process for you.

1.Set Up An Outdoor Station

First, you need to set up an environment outdoors where you can clean this area rug.

The weather is an important factor to consider and in this case, summer is the best time.


For the following reasons:

Next, select a dry area (cemented is better) so that you don’t soak onto the soil or grass while cleaning your area rug.

Your area rug can be bulky, so you need to choose a robust support system, probably a thick rope, bench, a wall or a hanging line made of strong thick wires.

2.Vacuuming An Area Rug

Now, vacuum your area rug(2) thoroughly until there are no more dust clouds.

Then flip it over and thoroughly vacuum the bottom side. If you have a pet, use a soft brush to remove any stray hair in the carpet fiber.

Now it’s time to roll up your area rug and take it outside. Place it on your support system with the top side up.

To get rid of any last bits of dust, use a small piece of wood or broom handle to smack your area rug softly. Do this until to the point when no dusty clouds come out.

3.Try Carpet Shampoos

I recommend that you first test the effects your rug shampoo has on your area rug, a sort of patch test(3).

Back to the patch test, first, apply a little shampoo on a small corner or patch of your area rug and with some water.

Let this carpet shampoo settle for approximately 5-10 minutes while still observing.

Now rinse off this patch with clean water and keenly check for any color change or fiber damage. If there’s no negative effect, you are good to go.

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Carpet shampoos are made so that you can use them on specific materials used to make rugs. Therefore, you should be careful if you use your homemade rug cleaners on your area rug. By doing so, you may risk damaging it.


4.Wash The Rug

Now that you have the right carpet shampoo, it’s time to wash your whole rug.

Lay it on a clean flat surface and make it wet using clean, running tap water for easier shampoo application.

Now apply your shampoo all over your rug.

Using a soft brush or sponge, thoroughly scrub your area rug until the shampoo mixes with water to form a lather. If your rug has stained patches, scrub on them until the stains disappear.

Sometimes, warm water can help to loosen the dirt and work on stains better that cold water. While at it, be gentle to avoid damaging your carpet fiber.

Let the shampoo rest on your area rug for approximately 5-10 mins to give it enough time to sink in and wash away all dirt.

At this point, the lather or foam formed should be a bit dirty due to dirt particles and stains.

5.Rinse The Rug

Using buckets of clean water or garden hose, rinse off the shampoo-water solution until no shampoo residue is left on your area rug.

And how do you know the shampoo is thoroughly washed?

Easy, the running water should be crystal clear. Turn it over and rinse the bottom as well.

6.Dry It Up

I earlier on advised that you should wash your area rug during the summer, remember?

I also gave a few reasons.

Still, your rug will need help getting rid of as much excess water as possible to hasten the drying process.

Here are two ways of doing this:

Once you do this, leave it out to dry in the sun and on a flat surface. Remember to flip it on the bottom side after the top side has completely dried up.

7.Vacuum One Last Time

Now return your completely dry rug to your house and lay it in position.

By now, your rug’s carpet fibers are completely fallen and twisted, right?

Vacuum your rug or use a soft brush and comb it to revive the fibers.

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Just as a parting shot, you should not wash natural fiber rugs like jute, sisal, and bamboo area rugs because water weakens their fibers. Just vacuum both sides of these area rugs and the floor where they are placed. To wipe off stains, use a wet microfiber cloth dipped in a water-laundry detergent mixture.


Now I Would Like To Hear From You…

I hope you enjoyed my guide on how to clean are rug.

Now it’s your turn:

Let me know by leaving your comment below.

About the Author

Gladys K. Connelly

As a HouseKeeping Technical Writer, Gladys actively enjoys writing guides and tips about housekeeping for Thehousewire's audience. She's a housekeeping specialist with just shy of 9 years' experience to boast. That, combined with seven years prior experience in teaching, helps her create content that is both captivating and insightful.

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