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An area rug is essentially a carpet that is much smaller than your average, wall-to-wall carpet. The colors, patterns, and shapes can vary greatly. A good area rug can make or break the beauty of a space. Wwhether you are placing it in a bedroom, or under a table in the kitchen. They are an excellent piece of decor and can give bring warmth, color, and comfort to any space.

But with all its advantages come a few challenges as well. Because they are placed in spaces that are frequently used and see a lot of foot traffic, area rugs tend to get pretty dirty pretty quickly. Cleaning an area rug is not always at the top, or even near the top, of anyone’s priority list.

However, it’s important to give your area rug a good, deep cleaning once in a while. Keep them from getting worn out earlier than their time, and being thrown away. Oftentimes, area rugs are an investment, so you want to maintain them for as long as possible. An essential part of maintenance is regularly cleaning them.

Keep in mind that because there are so many different types of area rugs available, the way you clean them, plus the kind of supplies you use, depends on the stitching and fabric of your area rug. In need on how to clean a living room? We always can help.

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Do You Need a Clean Area Rug?

If your area rug is starting to get smelly, sticky, and filled with stains, then consider giving it a good, thorough deep cleaning. You can decide whether you want to give it to your local dry cleaner or do it yourself. 

If you are trying to gauge whether the time for a clean area rug has finally come, here’s a simple test: pick up one corner and let it fall to the floor. If you see some dust clouds rising out of the fall, then I’m afraid it’s time.

How to Get a Clean Area Rug

Set up Your Station

On a day when the sun is shining, and you know it’s not going to suddenly start to rain, set up your rug cleaning station outside. You need to find a place to hang the area rug that’s strong and sturdy. A clothesline is a bad idea since a wet rug will be heavy. So opt for something like a thick rope tied between two ends, or even the ledge of a wall.

Identify Materials

The first step of having a clean area rug is to identify the materials your area rug is made from. This will go a long way in ensuring that you start off on the right foot. Now you can pick the correct cleaning method and material for your particular rug.


The second step is to vacuum your area rug. Now, you should be vacuuming it on a regular basis anyway. But the difference with vacuuming it for deep cleaning is to vacuum both sides. Once you’re done with the front, turn your area rug over and vacuum the backside as well. This ensures that all the dirt, grit, and grime that gets collected and sits under your area rug is picked up.

clean area rug

Lint Roll or Brush

Once you are done vacuuming both sides, go over it with a lint roller or a stiff brush. Get rid of any small fibers or hairs that the vacuum may not have picked up. This is especially important if you have pets or small children.

Rug to Station

When you’re satisfied with the vacuum and brush cleaning, take your rug outside. Stand it up on a railing or against a tree, whatever is easily available, and start hitting the rug with a broom. This will allow any dirt that’s still left inside the rug to come out. Keep hitting the rug until the dust clouds stop.

Shampoo Time

You can either invest in a good carpet shampoo for this part. Or DIY your own with some warm water and some mild, liquid dishwashing soap. If you have set up your station outdoors, now is the time to get out the tarp. 

Remember to keep your station close to a water supply, since you’ll be needing water to wash and rinse the rug. First, spray water on the whole rug to make sure it’s fully wet. Then dip a thick, sturdy brush (preferably the one you brushed it with earlier) into your soap water and start working it into the rug. 

Rub the soap water into the sticky, dirty spots that you can see with a bit more elbow grease than the rest. Let it sit in the soap water for about 5 to 10 minutes, and then thoroughly rinse with water.

Time to Dry

Soak up excess water with a towel as much as possible, then let it air-dry outside on whatever drying rack you DIY’d. Don’t rush this part, since the area rug can take over 24 hours to dry, depending on the fabric.

One Last Vacuum

Once your rug is clean and dry, bring it inside and vacuum it one more time to get rid of any loose debris that might have fallen on it while it dried.

And voila! You are officially the owner of a clean area rug.

clean area rug

Different Area Rugs and How to Clean Them

Woven or Braided Rugs

If the rug is small enough, place it in a mesh laundry bag and put it in your washing machine with cool water, preferably on a gentle cycle. If it’s a large rug, then place it on a tarp or concrete surface with something like a throw or blanket underneath it. Start sponging carpet-cleaning foam and then rinse and vacuum.

Hand-Knotted, Antique, or Oriental Rugs

Tie a piece of nylon mesh (use laundry mesh if urgent) over your vacuum attachment and vacuum your rug. Ask for specific care tips from the seller as well, since many of them are unique.

Coir, Sisal, Rush, and Grass Rugs

These rugs are made from natural fibers, which means that more often than not, there’s an open weave in them that allows dirt to collect and settle through to the floor. You can vacuum them as normal rugs, but make sure to pick them up and vacuum the floor underneath as well.
Flip over every time you vacuum for even maintenance. If your rug has a stain, then put a piece of cloth or plastic under it, and clean the stained area with soapy water and a brush. Rinse and blot with a towel to dry.

Fur, Sheepskin, Hair-on Hides

The simplest and easiest to clean, despite how intimidating it may seem, use an unscented talcum powder and shake it evenly across the rug. Leave for a few hours before you begin to brush the powder through the hair, taking out as much as you can. Repeat this as often as you can, and then shake the rug out to remove excess powder.
Cleaning the back is as easy as any other rug. Dip a cloth in warm, soapy water and wipe it across the rug. Do the same process if there are any spills.

clean area rug

Is the Process Difficult and Time Taking? 

The process to clean an area rugh is relatively easy if the dirt is not much. But if you haven’t had them cleaned in a while, it might get tricky. 

On average, routine cleaning and deep cleaning, both shouldn’t take more than a day. But if you don’t have time to do these chores, we do have a solution for you! 

Let us handle all your cleaning duties at the most reasonable prices ever. From cleaning your living rooms to your bathrooms and bedrooms, leave it all on us. We have a team of extremely professional cleaners just a call away from you. Book cleaning service online with us now and free yourself from all the household cleaning duties!