With a few easy cleaning materials and a garden hose, you can clean your area rugs at home. It’s best to clean carpets outside, where you can spray them down and lay them flat to dry. After rug cleaning, the sun is the quickest and simplest way to dry it, so choose a sunny day for this task. It’s better to wrap your rugs up and transport them to a professional rug washer if you don’t have access to an outside location and hose.
Different cleaning processes are required for different textiles.
Different cleaning solutions are required for different types of fibres. You can clean cotton, synthetic, wool, and natural fibre rugs on your own for the most part, but always read the rug’s tag for cleaning instructions before getting started.
- Wool: When washing a wool rug, use a wool-specific rug cleaning solution.
- Dish soap and water or rug shampoo can be used to clean cotton and synthetic fabrics.
- Jute and sisal: Natural fibre carpets should only be spot cleaned, but they clean up quickly—think of them as a wipeable surface rather than a washable cloth.
- If you have an antique, oriental, Persian, or other fragile rug, take it to a specialist or hire a professional to clean it in your house. Professional cleaners will use gentler washing and drying techniques to help protect your rug.
Colorfastness should be tested.
Always test an area rug for colorfastness before cleaning it. Colorfast materials are constructed in such a manner that they do not bleed or change colour when exposed to rug cleaning chemicals or detergents. To see if your cleaning procedure creates any obvious damage, test a tiny corner of the rug. If it passes the test, use the step-by-step instructions to discover how to properly clean the area rug.
Colorfastness may be tested in a variety of ways.
- Using a clean cloth or paper towel, apply your cleaner to the rug corner.
- Allow for at least one hour of resting time.
- Using a clean white cloth or paper towel, dab the affected area. If the cloth does not take up any colour from the rug, it implies that the rug cleaning agent you choose is colorfast, and you may deep clean the entire rug.
- If it still picks up colour, try a new cleaning product or procedure until you discover one that doesn’t.
In 8 simple steps, learn how to clean an area rug.
- Work space outside (driveway or yard)
- Liquid dish soap and warm water, or rug shampoo
- Garden hose
- Sponge or soft bristled brush
Rug Cleaning Instructions:
- Set up a tarp near your garden hose outside.
- Take the rug outdoors by rolling it up. Place the rug on the tarp and lay it flat.
- Vacuum both sides well.
- Spray the top side of the carpeting with a rug cleaning solution. Work the cleaning solution with a sponge or soft brush until it becomes sudsy.
- Rinse the rug with the hose until the water runs clear—no dirt or suds should be visible.
- Use a squeegee to remove any excess water from the rug.
- Allow to air dry fully. Flip the rug to dry the other side if the top side is dry but the backing is still damp. Rugs made of synthetic fibres dry the fastest, while those with a higher pile take longer to dry.
- Vacuum both sides of the rug before bringing it inside.
Press a paper towel to each side of the rug to see if it’s completely dry. If the rug absorbs any moisture, leave it outside to dry.
When vacuuming isn’t enough to clean shag rugs or other high pile rugs, hang the rug over a fence and whack the dirt away with a broom or rug beater.
Rugs, like carpets, benefit from spot rug cleaning in Melbourne and vacuuming on a regular basis. To keep the backing in good condition, vacuum both sides of the rug—you don’t need to pull up and flip the entire rug; simply fold half onto itself, vacuum the backing, and repeat with the other half. Cleaning your rugs once a year during your summer deep clean (for that sunny day) or more frequently as needed if you notice a rug looking dingy is a good idea.