How to Clean a Rug

Carefully placed area rugs are a foundation piece to any decor. Area rugs can create a feeling of warmth or add a sharp, professional feel to a room depending upon the style and pattern. Given the investment in a sharp, stylish rug, knowing how to clean a rug and in good repair is very important. Clean your area rug often using the following tips and hints.

Preparing Your Rug for Cleaning

You will need these items:

  • Vacuum
  • Broomstick or Other Rug Beater
  • Broom
  • Scissors

Before beginning the cleaning process, preparing your area rug is important. First, move all furniture on or around the rug. Next, remove all loose dirt and dust. Depending upon the size of your rug, you can shake it out or hang it over a clothesline to beat with a large solid tool like a broomstick. If shaking and beating are less than appealing, use a vacuum cleaner to vacuum the top side of your rug. When vacuuming your area rug be sure that you are not using the beater bar on the machine as this will cause damage to your area rug over time. After one side is vacuumed, clean underneath the rug and flip it over to vacuum the other side. Finally, clip any loose strands to help your rug look good as new.

Pre-Treating Stains

You will need these items:

  • Dry Cloth
  • Damp Cloth
  • Soft Bristled Cleaning Brush
  • Rug Stain Remover

First, test a small area of your rug for colorfastness. Check the label on the rug for any special care instructions. Some materials, like wool, may require special spot cleaners. If your rug has any stains, blot up excess stain with a dry cloth and use a damp cloth to gently press into the area, removing as much of the stain as possible. Use rug stain remover, and follow directions on the container. Sometimes allowing stain remover to soak for 30 minutes can help loosen ground in particles. Use a soft bristled brush to work the stain remover into the spot. Alternate use of damp and dry cloths to lift and remove the stain by blotting. Scrubbing too hard can sometimes grind a stain into the rug fibers. Take care to consistently blot the stained area as the stain is lifted.

Cleaning Your Rug

You will need these items:

  • Rug/Carpet Cleaner
  • Carpet Shampooer or Steam Cleaner
  • Water
  • Cleaning Solution
  • Fan

Professional grade carpet shampooers and steamers are available at many local retail outlets for renting. Follow manufacturer directions for optimal results. When using a shampooer or steamer, move the machine slowly in rows. Usually, water and soap are released by squeezing a handle as the machine is navigated in a straight line. Upon moving up the length of the rug with the machine, go back over the same line to vacuum up the dirty water, leaving behind a fresh, clean row. Move the machine over slightly to repeat the process until you have cleaned each row of the rug. Setting up a fan or turning on your ceiling fan will shorten drying time.

Final Thoughts

Sometimes, cleaning a rug is more trouble than it is worth. If your rug is simply not salvageable, look to our helpful, friendly Carpet & Tile Mart staff to select a beautiful new rug for your space. We have an abundant selection of colors, styles, shapes, and sizes to spruce up your living space.

 See This In My Room Designer Joanna Gaines of Fixer Upper, showcases quaint country charm with Magnolia Home by Loloi Rug Company. Joanna's simple and fresh, yet timeless style is highlighted by the rugs in the Lotus collection. These high-contrast designs are enhanced with a high-low cut pile that adds a distinctive texture to each rug. LOTUS LB-01 BLACK SILVER AREA RUG - MAGNOLIA HOME BY JOANNA GAINES