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How to Clean an Area Rug

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How to Clean an Area Rug

Area Rug Cleaning

Area rugs beautify a room by adding lovely designs and color. Some people think that vacuuming their rugs and blotting stains that occur is considered cleaning area rugs. Regular maintenance is imperative to the preservation of overall appearance and quality of area rugs.


Consult with a certified technician to determine the cleaning method based on the area rug’s dyes, fibers, and origin. Area rugs should be handled carefully and only cleaned when necessary, especially those made of natural fibers. Some area rugs need to be cleaned annually. Others can go a few years without professional cleaning.

Determining the Need for Cleaning Area Rugs


Here are three methods to use to determine if an area rug needs to be professionally cleaned:
1. Kick or hit a back corner of a rug as hard as possible. If a lot of dirt appears, it is time to have the area rug professionally cleaned.
2. Use the palm of the hand to rub the rug pile for about ten seconds. It is time to clean the area rug if a lot of dirt sticks to the hand.
3. Pick up a corner of the area rug, fold it back, and look into the base of the pile’s foundation. Seeing visible dirt is an indication the area rug needs to be professionally cleaned.

 area rug cleaning

Regular Maintenance

Regular maintenance is needed to prolong the beauty and life of area rugs. Spot clean, vacuum regularly, and remove shoes before walking on area rugs are due diligence. Those maintenance items, along with routine professional cleaning keep area rugs clean and fresh.

Cleaning Methods

Almost any fiber imaginable is used to make area rugs. The methods of cleaning them vary dramatically. Before deciding to clean area rugs on your own to save money, review the cleaning information on the tag to familiarize yourself with the recommended process. Sometimes taking the area rugs to professional is preferable to cleaning them at home.

Cleaning Synthetic Area Rugs

Small synthetic rugs can be thrown into the washer and washed with cool water and mild detergent. While most synthetic rugs are sturdy, it is recommended to run a delicate or gentle cycle and spin slowly. Potential high-speed damage is prevented.
A bathtub can be used for over-sized synthetic area rugs. Partially fill the tub with cool water and approximately a half cup of detergent. Wash one rug at a time by submerging it in water and gently agitating it. A broom handle is useful for agitation. A handheld shower head makes rinsing easy.


Only area rugs with tags that say they can be machine-dried should be placed in the dryer. It is best to air dry them. Hang area rugs over a deck railing or porch. Do not put them in direct sunlight for extended periods of time, no more than a few hours.

Cleaning Wool and Silk Rugs

Wool and silk area rug cleaning should be left to professionals who are equipped to give these area rugs a safe and thorough deep cleaning.

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