Area Rug Cleaning

Area Rug Cleaning should be done regularly by vacuuming. However, once a year, they should be deep-cleaned by a professional. Before attempting the DIY process, always consult your rug’s care label to see if it should be dry-cleaned, hand-washed or only spot-cleaned.

Cotton and Synthetic Fiber Area Rugs

If your area rug is small enough, it can be thrown in your washing machine. Use a cold setting on a delicate cycle and let it air-dry. If your rug is too big for the machine, don’t fret; you can deep-clean it by hand. We recommend doing this on a sunny day because you will need to bring it outside to wash and dry it.

What You Will Need

  • Vaccuum
  • Broom
  • Carpet Shampoo or Liquid Dish Soap
  • Tarp
  • Laundry Drying Rack
  • Hose
  • Soft-Bristle Brush
  • Towels
Area Rug Cleaning

Step 1: Vacuum Vacuum the top of the area rug, then flip it over and vacuum the back of the rug. The back of the rug also collects dust and dirt.

Step 2: Take it Outside Once outside, prop it up on a fence or porch railing. With a broom, whack the back of the rug to see if more dirt comes out. Continue whacking the rug until you cannot see clouds of dust and dirt popping out anymore. On the other hand, if your rug has a latex backing, do not whack it too hard, or it may damage the latex.

Step 3: Shampoo Your Rug Lay your area rug down on a tarp or deck, close to a water supply. Follow the directions on the label of your carpet shampoo. If you don’t have carpet shampoo, you can take a bucket and make your own solution of warm water and a tablespoon of mild liquid dish soap.

Before continuing with your area rug cleaning, first spot-test the shampoo or solution in a small area of the rug to make sure the colors don’t bleed. If the colors do bleed, take the rug to a dry cleaner. If the colors don’t bleed, rinse the rug with a hose. Pour the soap solution onto a sturdy, soft-bristle brush and work it into the rug. Let the rug sit for five minutes before rinsing it off.

Step 4: Dry the Area Rug Use a towel to soak up as much of the excess water as possible. Let it air-dry outside on a laundry drying rack. This may take 24 hours or more. If you cannot leave the rug outside for a long time, move it to your garage, basement or laundry room to continue air-drying.

Step 5: Vacuum Again Place the rug back in its place and vacuum it again.

To find out how to clean other types of area rugs, visit

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