how to clean an area rug

A 2013 study by the National Realtor’s Association found that 54% of new home buyers preferred hardwood flooring so much they were willing to offer more on a home that had it.

Our design tastes changed from wall-to-wall carpeting to hardwood or laminate. Now more than ever, area rugs are so vital for our interior design. While they look great, they can be hard to clean.

Are you wondering how to clean an area rug? Read on for important rug cleaning tips.

Routine Maintenance

Keeping an area rug clean depends on your routine maintenance. How often do you vacuum and brush away pet hair? That sort of basic maintenance helps keep up appearances.

There’s more to do on a regular basis to keep your area rugs clean. Perform the following routine maintenance every week.

  • Shake debris from smaller rugs outside
  • Kill odor by spreading baking soda before you vacuum
  • Make sure to vacuum under the edges

Stain Removal

No matter how careful you are, stains are unavoidable. You’ll spill something sooner or later, and good luck if you have pets.

When removing old stains from your rug, your strategy depends on the type of stain. There are two levels of water-soluble (stains that dissolve in water). Easy and stubborn.

Some examples of easier stains are:

  • Soda or beer
  • Berries
  • Urine
  • Certain food dyes

Some examples of stubborn stains are:

  • Wine and coffee
  • Chocolate
  • Vomit
  • Tea

Area Rug Stain Removal Procedure

The process for stain removal is the same no matter how tough the stain. Try home remedies like white vinegar and water. All you need is a spray bottle, paper towels, and water.

  • Mix a homemade cleaning solution of one cup white vinegar and two cups water
  • Spray the stain with the cleaning solution but be careful not to saturate
  • Let sit for 20 minutes so the stain rehydrates
  • Blot with paper towels
  • Rinse with a damp paper towel then blot dry again

You may have to repeat this process a few times before the stain comes up. If it doesn’t, you may need a professional rug cleaner to lift the stains.

Area Rug Deep Cleaning

Regular maintenance and stain removal are two ways to keep your area rug looking clean. They’re ultimately not enough. You’ll have to do a deep cleaning at least once a year to keep your rug as fresh as possible.

Depending on the rug size and material, cleaning an area can be a job too big for one person. If you’re deep cleaning an area rug of considerable size, make sure to get some help.

Step 1: Prepare Your Workstation

Cleaning an area rug from a year’s worth of dust, dirt, and pet dander is a messy job. You’re best to do it outdoors so you won’t get your house dusty or dirty.

Set up outside with a support system like a wall, benches, or heavy clothesline to hang the rug.

Step 2: Vacuum

Area rug cleaning involves vacuuming. Before you drag the rug outside, vacuum the surface fibers. If it’s small enough to flip indoors, flip the rug and vacuum the bottom.

If you don’t have enough room for a flip, roll it up and take the rug outside to your workstation and vacuum the bottom side there.

Step 3: Remove Extra Dirt

Vacuuming both sides will remove most of the debris, but you’ll still have some embedded dust and dirt. You need to get it all out before you start scrubbing.

Work out your aggression and remove embedded debris by beating your rug with a broom handle or a similar tool.

Step 4: Shampoo Test

Area rug cleaning involves a cleaning agent like shampoo or cleaning solution. Rugs are made from many different materials, and some require specific cleaners.

Before you start, make sure to test the shampoo or solution you’re using. Apply on a small patch or corner and let it sit. Rinse and check for color damage.

Step 5: Time to Wash

If your shampoo passes the test, you’re ready to wash your area rug.

  • Rinse with a hose
  • Apply shampoo with a heavy brush
  • Scrub, scrub, scrub
  • Let the shampoo sit and work into the fibers
  • Rinse well, making sure you rinse all shampoo residue

Step 6: Dry

Drying an area rug is not passive. You can’t let it sit out and dry on its own. Area rugs are too heavy and hold too much water.

Assist the drying process by squeegeeing out excess water. After you remove as much excess water as possible, you can then leave your area rug to dry.

Check the weather before you leave it lay. If there’s a chance of rain, move your rug to a sheltered area and let it dry.

Step 7: Vacuum Again

Your last step to clean an area rug is to return it to its place and vacuum once again. Given the amount of water you used, your rug will be stiff. The fibers won’t look right.

A thorough, deep vacuuming restores your area rug to its original shape and texture.

Delicate Rugs Need Extra Care

Old or antique rugs need a gentle hand. If you scrub too hard or use too much water, you run the risk of permanent damage.

Vintage rugs need soft bristles, gentle shampoos, and easy scrubbing. If you’re unsure how to clean a rug like this, don’t attempt to do it yourself. Call an experienced professional to restore your rug’s original look. 

How to Clean an Area Rug? Call Towers Restoration & Cleaning

A do-it-yourself rug cleaning is a big job. You might be able to handle your runners and smaller rugs, but the larger ones? You’re going to need help.

Do you want to know how to clean an area rug the easiest way? Have a professional clean it. Towers Restoration & Cleaning will make your rugs look good as new. Call us today to set up an appointment.

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