How to Clean Your Area Rugs


A welcoming area rug is the key element of a room. It’s an easy way of styling up a room. Available in a variety of colours, patterns and sizes, area rugs play a vital role in adding a personality to any space.


Basic care and maintenance are necessary to keep area rugs looking like new. Failing to do so can invite dust, dirt, odours, and stains to ruin them. It’s essential to follow a cleaning and maintenance routine to prevent them from aging prematurely.

Today’s post discusses how to clean your area rugs properly without damaging their beauty.

Vacuum Thoroughly

The first thing to do while cleaning your area rug is to vacuum it thoroughly on both sides. Use the brush attachment to clean the fibres first and then vacuum the other side to remove lingering dust on the rug. Don’t vacuum the fringe or else it can get damaged.

Brush Out Pet Hair

If you have pets in your home, then it’s likely your area rug is filled with pet hair. Sometimes, the vacuum leaves pet hair behind. Therefore, use a stiff bristled cleaning brush to remove pet hair from the fibres by brushing in the direction of the rug’s nap.

Test for Colour Fastness

A colour fastness test is necessary to ensure that your rug is safe to be washed with a cleaner or shampoo. Mix 2-3 capfuls of mild dishwashing soap in a bucket of lukewarm water. Apply the solution on a small area of your rug and watch carefully for signs of discolouration or colour change. If the colour remains intact, then you can go ahead with the washing.

Wash with a Cleaning Solution

To wash your area rug properly, you can use a store-bought cleaner/shampoo or make your own cleaning solution by mixing liquid dishwashing soap into a bucket of warm water. Don’t use hot water or else it will make the rug shrink. Apply the cleaning solution on the rug and use a sponge or a soft-bristled brush to work it deep into the fibres. Scrub with care so that the intricate design doesn’t get damaged. Let the solution sit for a few minutes.

Rinse Properly

Take a garden hose and rinse the cleaning solution from the rug. Keep rinsing until the water is clear of soapy suds. Use a squeegee to remove excess water by moving in the direction of its nap. But, be careful with the fibres while doing so.

Let it Dry

Keep your rug in your garage or laundry room for a protected drying. It can take more than a day or two for your rug to become completely dry. Once the top side becomes dry, flip it onto the bottom side so it can dry as well. Finally, vacuum the rug once again to loosen the flattened fibres and restore its appearance.

Follow these steps to clean your area rugs without damaging the fibres, colours and fringes. Don’t forget to turn the rug once or twice every year to even out the wear. If you have special types of rugs in your home, then consult a professional for proper maintenance of your carpets and area rugs.