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How to clean my area rug?

Eliminate all stains, smells and dinginess with this DIY deep clean for your oriental area rugs.

For many people, area rugs are a significant investment in décor. They add color and warm up our rooms. They provide soft places to play games, watching tv and having a slumber party. For the rugs to last for years, they must be well maintained. A big part of that maintenance is regular cleaning.

While you may want to vacuum your carpet twice a week, you only need to deep clean an area rug when it is dirty. If the rug is not visually dingy or have an odor, try this test: Pick up a corner of the rug and let it flop down on the floor. If a little cloud of dust pops up, a cleaning is in order.

You can send a rug to be cleaned off-site by professionals,  which may be the best route, but if you are willing to put in a couple days of work it is entirely possible to do a good job of cleaning your rug in your own home. As an added benefit, you will know exactly what types of cleaners are being used on your rugs. This is important especially to those with young children or chemical sensitivities.

Here is a full tutorial on how to clean an area rug the DIY way:

Tools & Materials You Will Need

  • Vacuum
  • Rug Shampoo
  • Dish Soap
  • 5-gallon Bucket
  • Sponge
  • Scrub Brush
  • Garden Hose
  • Squeegee
  • Rubber Gloves

Now it’s time for action. Apply the tools you have gathered with the following tips and tricks. 

  1. Use a vacuum to remove loose dirt.

Thoroughly vacuum the rug on both sides. Don’t neglect the back, which accumulates crumbs, dirt and dust.

  1. Test your cleaner on your rug for colorfastness.

You have two options for cleaners:

  • You can follow the mixing instructions on a store-bought rug cleaner/shampooer. Bissell makes a good one available on Amazon.
  • You can add a couple capfuls of mild liquid dish soap to a bucket of warm water. Do not use hot water, as it may shrink the fibers or fade the color.

Now, test your cleaner whether it is store bought or homemade on an inconspicuous part of the rug, such a small part of a corner, to make sure the colors don’t run. If it doesn’t run, proceed to the next step.

  1. Work your cleaner into the rug and let it sit for several minutes.

Use a sponge or brush to work the cleaner into the rug until you see suds. Allow the solution to sit on the rug to work for several minutes before rinsing it.

  1. Hose off your rug.

Thoroughly rinse the rug with a garden hose, making sure the water is clear of soap suds before you are finished.

  1. To remove excess water, use the squeegee.

This tool, used mostly for cleaning windows, will do the trick to squeeze excess water out of your rug. Press the squeegees rubber edged blade firmly into the rug, and pull to extract as much liquid as possible. Be careful to only work in the direction of the rugs nap.

  1. Allow your rug to dry completely on both sides.

Lay your rug flat to dry. Once the top side is dry, flip it over so the bottom can dry as well.

  1. Brush or vacuum the rug to loosen compacted fibers.

Run a vacuum or clean soft bristled brush over your area rug to loosen up the fibers of the rug, as they may have compacted during the washing/drying process. Return your rug to your room and enjoy!


If these tips don’t help call your local area rug cleaning near me company for professional help.

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