A Guide To Cleaning Your Area Rug

Could your area rug benefit from a thorough cleaning? Learn how to clean a rug on your own and you'll be able to bring all of your floor coverings back to life whenever you choose. Area rugs can help to tie a room together, but they can also take a hammering from foot traffic, pets, and spills. After a while, vacuuming simply isn't enough to make it completely clean—which is where learning how to do it yourself comes in handy.

How To Safely Clean Your Area Rug

Area rug cleaning is a simple task that you may complete on your own. Unless your rug is exceptionally sensitive, there's no need to contact professional rug cleaners (for example, an antique rug, Persian rug, or oriental rug).

1. Gather Your Tools and Materials

Here's everything you'll need to conduct a good area rug cleaning:

  • Shampoo for rugs (or mild dish soap)
  • Soft-bristle brush or sponge
  • Water
  • Bucket


  • Garden hose
  • Wet-dry vacuum
  • Rubber gloves

2. Clean Up the Dirt and Debris

Vacuum the carpeting well on all sides. You want to make certain that all debris has been removed. If you have pets, you can use the brush attachment to remove any stray hairs.

3. Prepare Your Cleaner

When it comes to the cleaning solution, a rug shampoo like this one from Bissell might be used. Follow the mixing instructions on the bottle of any shampoo you pick.

You can also use mild dish detergent combined in a gallon of warm water. Hot water should not be used since it can shrink the rug or cause fading.

4. Perform a Color Test

Before you begin scrubbing, check to see if the cleaner will cause the colors to run. To ensure that the solution is colorfast, test it on a corner of the rug. If the color does not bleed, proceed to the next step.

5. Clean the Rug

Work the cleaning solution into a lather on the carpeting using a sponge or soft-bristle brush. Allow the cleaner to rest on the rug for five minutes before rinsing. Anything less, and you'll be shortchanging the cleaning process. Allow it five minutes to sink in and begin lifting dirt.

6. Rinse the rug

Using a yard hose or buckets of clean water, rinse the soap out of the rug. Ascertain that all of the cleaning solution has been thoroughly removed from the area rug and that the runoff water is crystal clear.

7. Drain Excess Water

At this point, you'll want to get rid of as much excess water as possible in the rug so it will dry quickly. If you have a wet-dry vacuum, you can use it, otherwise, a squeegee in the direction of the nap would suffice.

8. Allow the Rug to Dry

Allowing an area rug to dry is the final step in cleaning it. Allow the top of the rug to dry completely before laying it flat. Then turn it over to dry the bottom side. Fans can assist in hastening the process. Before returning the rug to the room, make sure it is completely dry.

9. Clean the Rug with a Vacuum or a Brush

Threads and fibers might become crushed and squeezed during the cleaning procedure. Restore them by vacuuming or brushing the now-dry rug with a soft-bristled brush. You are now completed and may relax on your freshly cleaned carpet. You know how to clean an area rug on your own and can do it whenever you want.

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