How To Clean An Area Rug: Cleaning Ideas

Learn how to clean an area rug with our quick tutorial using safe and natural cleaners. You’ll be able to repair your area rug and return it to a state of beauty in no time! Just follow the steps outlined below, and you’re on your way to magazine-worthy results.

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Please note that the pictures posted in this guide might differ from the actual ones due to lighting.

How to Clean Area Rugs Using DIY Natural Cleaner

Step 1. Prepare the DIY area rug cleaner.

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This method involves the use of DIY natural-ingredient carpet cleaner.

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It’s a great way to clean an area rug, the natural way, and to keep some on hand for small spills and stains.

Step 2. Spray on the stains.

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Note: Check out the exact way to prepare this cleaning solution on the DIY natural-ingredient carpet cleaner blog post.

Once the DIY area rug cleaner is prepared, begin your cleaning job by spraying it on stains and dirt, then let it sit for a few minutes.

Step 3. Vacuum the spot-treated area.

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Vacuum the problem area after letting the cleaner sit for a while.

It’s also recommended to vacuum the rug before attempting to treat the spots.

Step 4. Check the area rug for other stains.

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Scan the entire area rug for other stains and spots that need cleaning.

Step 5. Spot-clean the remaining stains.

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Spot-clean the stains by spraying on them too.

Best Way To Clean Area Rugs If DIY Natural Cleaner Won’t Cut It

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As you can see by the wet spots on this stair rug, there were quite a few little spots to clean.

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There are times you need more intense measures to clean your area rug.

No worries, we have the steps to take to remove hard hitting stains, like grape juice.

Step 1. Steam clean area rug with plain hot water.

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The next step in rug cleaning is to steam clean with plain hot water.

Sometimes, that’s all the rug or carpet needs to lift the stain.

So, to remove a spot stain, you’ll want to steam that spot.

Step 2. Blot dry the rug with a clean cloth.

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Then blot it as dry as you can with a clean, white rag.

You can also use old t-shirts or cloth diapers if you don’t have a clean, white rag at hand.

Step 3. Let it air dry.

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When you’ve blotted up as much as you can, let the spot air-dry.

Note: Do your best not to walk on the spot-cleaned area, as dirt and grime easily stick on a wet rug if stepped on.

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One word of warning: Some rug cleaning advice involves scrubbing with the steamer’s scrub attachment after the area has been steamed.

Use caution with this advice.

If you have a loose-weave rug, or one that is looped or easily frayed, or are trying out an oriental rug cleaning, this scrubbing movement may cause more damage to the rug itself – and make it look much worse than having a simple stain.

Always pre-treat the under area of the rug if you’re unsure.

How To Clean An Area Rug At Home When It’s Stained With Oil Residue

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Oil spots happen. When they do, here’s how to get rid of them.

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Use a hand steamer.

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The first thing you need to do is to thoroughly steam the area with simple water steam and do some light scrubbing,

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The spot will appear darker than the rest of the area rug.

No fear – this happens because wet textile is always darker in appearance than dry.

How Do You Clean Are Rugs When Steaming Doesn’t Work

Step 1. Grab a bottle of Dr. Bronner’s Sal Suds.

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If steaming didn’t work, it’s now time to attempt our third round of area rug cleaning using Dr. Bronner’s Sal Suds.

This is a great cleaner for a variety of things.

It’s natural and biodegradable, so it’s a nice way to clean “green.”

Step 2. Preparing Dr. Bronner’s Sal Suds solution for steam cleaning.

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Mix equal amounts of warm and hot water (1 quart each).

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Pour the water into an old cleaning bucket, such as a gallon ice cream bucket.

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Add a drop or two of Dr. Bronner’s Sal Suds to the two quarts of hot water.

Don’t add more than this, or your area rug will be left with a filmy residue.

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Stir the Sal Suds into your water until it’s evenly dispersed.

Step 2. Fill your steamer with the prepared solution.

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Fill up your steamer’s fill cup with the prepared solution up to the mark

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Pour the Suds solution into your steamer using a funnel.

Step 3. Secure the lid and attach the attachments needed to your steamer.

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Screw the steamer lid on tight, and plug your steaming unit in so the water can start heating up.

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Affix your steam attachments to the steamer as the water heats up.

Follow the directions on your steam cleaner for heating times and other safety precautions.

Step 4. Spot-clean the stains.

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Go ahead and hit up any spot stains on your area rugs.

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Steam the area, then let it sit for a couple of minutes to allow the Sal Suds to work.

Step 5. Dry the spot-treated area.

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After the Suds steam/water has sat there on the stain for 3-4 minutes, blot it dry with a clean, white rag.

Your rug won’t look completely dry at this point.

You’ll have to wait quite a bit longer until it dries thoroughly.

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After waiting a few minutes, blot the Suds water dry with a clean, white cloth.

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Note: You can’t necessarily tell, but this is the blotted-up oily-boots section of the area rug that is now left alone to dry completely.

It sure looks terrible in this state.

Again, try to keep any foot traffic off of wet area rugs while they’re drying.

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Here is the oily boots section of the nursery area rug after drying thoroughly.

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Here is a shot of the stairs rug above while waiting for the cleaner to sit for a few minutes.

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Here is a photo of the top two stairs after the Sal Suds area rug cleaning regimen.

The area pointed out by the arrow used to have a spot stain on it.

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For reference: For the final example of the effectiveness of this area rug cleaning regimen, this is a quick “before” shot of our front door Flor tiles.

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The lighting is different in this photo than in the “before” shot but the Flor tiles look amazingly clean and bright.

The stains are gone, as is the underlying dirtiness of the carpet tiles themselves.

So, all in all, this area rug cleaning regimen might not take out every one of your stains– but, in fairness and in all honesty, it will take out (or at the very least lighten) most of them.

Conclusion

If you want your area rug to last longer than one season, and want to avoid paying big bucks to have a professional clean your rug, this guide will help you achieve that goal.

Yes, it’s possible to clean your rug on your own, and it can be done easily if you have some patience and know what you’re doing.

We hope this guide was informative, educational, and that it gave you a few good tips on how to clean your area rugs.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)FAQ

How do you deep clean an area rug?

Tough stains require tough cleaning and above is a quick guide on how to deep clean an area rug. Here’s some quick steps: 1) Vacuum the entire rug to remove loose dirt.2) Grab your trusted rug cleaner. 3) Don’t forget to test the cleaner on the inconspicuous part of your rug for colorfastness. 4) Scrub your rug with the cleaner and allow it to sit for several minutes. 5) Thoroughly rinse the suds off your rug by hosing it off. It’s better if you can use a pressurized hose. 6) Squeeze excess water out of your rug using a squeegee. 7) Allow the rug to thoroughly dry. 8) Vacuum and brush the rug once it dried off completely.

How do you clean a rug by yourself?

If you’re someone who doesn’t want to spend bucks on getting your rugs professionally cleaned, the tutorial outlined above is the best way to clean area rugs all by yourself.

How do you clean an area rug without moving it?

The easiest way to clean area rug without moving it is through the use of a vacuum cleaner. If your area rug is stained, the best way to clean it is through spot-treatment. Refer to the tutorial above for the exact steps on how to clean area rug at home.

What is the easiest way to clean a rug?

Spot cleaning is the easiest way to clean a rug. All you need to do is to grab your favorite cleaner and let it work on stubborn stains for several minutes.

You can also use a mild dish soap diluted in water as an alternative rug cleaner. All you need to do is to spot-clean the problem area, let it sit for a while, then blot dry it with a clean piece of cloth.

How do you clean a large area rug without water?

For rugs that cannot be cleaned with water, the best go-to option to clean an area rug is to simply sprinkle baking soda all over the area rug after vacuuming it thoroughly.

Let the baking soda do its magic by leaving it on the carpet overnight. Next thing you need to do is to vacuum the carpet to remove the baking soda and watch as your rug comes back to life again.

How do you clean a dirty rug by hand?

For small spills and stains, cleaning it by hand is the best way to go. Just grab a rug cleaning spray and spot clean the area rug.

After soaking the spills and stains with the cleaner, all you have to do is to blot dry it to remove excess moisture.

Can I clean my carpet with vinegar and baking soda?

Absolutely yes! Just prepare a paste by mixing small amounts of vinegar and baking soda together. Once a paste-like consistency is achieved, the next thing you want to do is to spread it over the affected area. Let it dry for a few hours before brushing it.

Does vinegar ruin carpet?

While vinegar is one of the ingredients we use in DIY carpet cleaning, using it on carpets made of silk, wool, or any other natural fibers can permanently damage and ruin these delicate fibers on your carpet.

How do you clean expensive rugs?

Cleaning an expensive rug is rather tricky but one way to make sure it stays in good condition is to clean it with a mild liquid detergent and some light brushing. Dry the rug in the sun after rinsing off the suds.