6 Area Rug Cleaning Tips to Help Keep Your Rugs Looking New

March 15, 2021 4 min read

There’s nothing better than having a beautiful area rug at home. From their wonderful aesthetic effects to the warmth, comfort, and coziness they lend the room, these rugs make amazing additions to any household. However, they also take a beating!

Your pets shed their fur and tread on them with dirty paws. Your kids drop their dinner and spill their drinks on them. And everybody sits, lays, and walks on them throughout the day.

If you’re not careful, your once ravishing rug can start looking worse for wear!

That’s why regular area rug cleaning and maintenance are so important. With the right insight and approach, you can stop your rug from falling into disrepair. Better still, you don’t even have to call those expensive professional cleaners for help.

Want to learn how to do it? Today we’re going through 6 top tips for cleaning large area rugs. Check them out!

1. Identify the Material

Take a second to check the materials before you go grabbing your cleaning equipment. Why? Because not all rugs are made equal and their materials play a key role in how you’re supposed to clean them!

For example, antique rugs require special care and attention. You have to place a protective nylon cover over the top instead of vacuuming straight over the top. And some woven area rugs are machine washable (on cool, gentle cycles), whereas others aren’t.

Always check the label for details on the material and specific care instructions. As a general rule of thumb, though, you can treat it as a standard carpet! Here’s how to do it…

2. Vacuum the Rug

Start by vacuuming the rug to remove any loose dirt that’s accumulated. It might be riddled with dust, crumbs, and hairs- especially when you have young children and pets in the house! Take your time and do a thorough job to get rid of it all.

Here’s where the magic happens, though. Don’t stop when you’ve finished vacuuming the top! Doing both sides (both on top and underneath) of your unique area rug will ensure no dirt or debris gets left behind.

Oh, and you should avoid vacuuming the fringe too (if your rug has one). The suction power could tangle it up and cause unsightly damage. For shag rugs, it’s a good idea to turn off the beater bar on the vacuum cleaner for the same reason.

3. Assemble the Supplies

Vacuuming your rug is usually the only maintenance task you have to do on a regular, ongoing basis. Every now and again, though, you’ll have to do a deep clean! It’s the only way to eradicate any nasty smells and stains that have formed!

If that time has come, then you’ll need to acquire certain supplies. A suitable rug cleaner/shampoo (mild liquid dish soap can also work well), a bucket of water, rubber gloves, a sponge/bristle brush, and a squeegee are all necessary for the task at hand. A wet-dry vacuum cleaner can also prove useful, although it isn’t essential.

4. Test and Employ the Cleaning solution

With the vacuuming done and the supplies assembled, it’s time to move onto the main event! The actual area rug cleaning process involves:

  1. Working your chosen rug cleaner into the rug with the soft-bristle brush (or sponge),
  2. Leaving it for a few minutes to work its magic, and then
  3. Rinsing the soap suds off with water (either from the bucket or using a garden hose).

It goes without saying that you’ll want to be outside to do this wet and dirty work! However, we also recommend testing the cleaner first. Apply a small amount of it to one of the corners to see if it impacts the colors.

After all, the last thing you want is to apply a cleaner that bleaches your rug or does irreparable damage! The results of this test will reveal whether or not it’s safe to continue with the cleaning process we just outlined.

5. Dry It Out- Part 1

At this point, you’ll have a sweet-smelling but sodden area rug on your hands!

It’s time to dry it out. Start this all-important step by getting rid of the excess water.

This is where your squeegee comes in (for anyone who’s unsure, this is the rubber-edged tool often used for cleaning windows!). Press it firmly into the rug, and pull it across the surface from top to bottom to remove the water. If you bought or rented a wet-dry vacuum cleaner, then this is another effective way to eliminate the moisture.

FYI, both of these methods are only appropriate for durable materials. For fragile and/or cheap area rugs, pressing dry towels down onto the surface would be a better solution.

6. Dry It Out- Part 2

It’s time to let your rug dry completely. This is usually a matter of laying it flat and giving it time! When one side has dried, you can turn it over so the other can do the same.

To speed things along, you could try placing it on a clean surface in the sunshine on a warm day. Fans, blowdryers, heaters, and dehumidifiers can all help here too. Interestingly, sprinkling baking soda on the rug,leaving it for a while, and then vacuuming it away will absorb the moisture too!

From there, the final step in the cleaning process is to brush and/or vacuum the dry rug again. This loosens its fibers back up again and returns it to its former softness.

Remember These Area Rug Cleaning Tips

Area rugs are perfect additions to any household. However, they can and will lose their aesthetic appeal as the weeks and months go by! Only by cleaning and looking after them properly will they maintain their positive qualities.

We hope the area rug cleaning tips in this article will help in that regard!

Are you looking to buy some new area rugs for your home? We can help. Click here to see our full catalog of stunning area rugs and start shopping now!

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