Home>Articles>How To Clean Area Rugs At Home

How To Clean Area Rugs At Home How To Clean Area Rugs At Home


How To Clean Area Rugs At Home

Written by: Samuel Turner

Learn the best techniques for cleaning articles area rugs at home. Get expert tips and advice for maintaining the cleanliness and longevity of your rugs.

(Many of the links in this article redirect to a specific reviewed product. Your purchase of these products through affiliate links helps to generate commission for Storables.com, at no extra cost. Learn more)


Area rugs are a beautiful addition to any home, adding warmth, style, and comfort to a space. However, like any other type of flooring, area rugs require proper cleaning and maintenance to keep them looking their best. While professional rug cleaning services are available, it’s also possible to clean your area rugs at home, saving both time and money.

In this article, we will guide you through the process of cleaning your area rugs at home, step by step. We will provide you with the necessary materials, preparation tips, and techniques to effectively and efficiently clean your rugs. By following these guidelines, you can maintain the cleanliness and longevity of your area rugs, ensuring they continue to enhance the beauty of your home.

Note: Before you begin the cleaning process, it’s important to check the care instructions provided by the rug manufacturer. Some rugs may require specific cleaning methods or professional cleaning.

Key Takeaways:

  • Regular maintenance, including vacuuming, rotating, and using rug pads, is crucial for preserving the beauty and longevity of area rugs, ensuring they continue to enhance your space for years to come.
  • Proper preparation, including clearing the area, checking for colorfastness, and protecting the floor, is essential before diving into the process of cleaning area rugs at home.

Materials Needed

Before you start the cleaning process, gather the following materials:

  1. Vacuum cleaner with attachments
  2. Broom or soft-bristle brush
  3. Mild detergent or rug cleaner
  4. White vinegar
  5. Bucket
  6. Soft cloths or sponges
  7. Clean, white towels
  8. Fan or dehumidifier (optional)

Having these materials readily available will ensure that you have everything you need to successfully clean your area rugs at home.


Before diving into the actual cleaning process, it’s important to prepare your area rug and the surrounding area:

  1. Clear the area: Remove any furniture or objects from on top of the rug. This will give you full access to the rug and prevent any damage during the cleaning process.
  2. Check for colorfastness: Test a small, inconspicuous area of the rug with a mild detergent or rug cleaner. This will help ensure that the colors won’t bleed or fade during the cleaning process.
  3. Secure loose threads or fringes: Check your rug for any loose threads or fringes and gently secure them. Avoid pulling or tugging on these as it can cause further damage.
  4. Protect the floor: Place a plastic or tarp under the area rug to protect the flooring underneath from any potential moisture while cleaning.

By taking these preliminary steps, you can ensure the safety of your rug and the surrounding area during the cleaning process. With the preparation done, you can now move on to the actual cleaning steps.


Vacuuming is an essential first step in cleaning your area rug. This helps to remove loose dirt, dust, and debris that may be trapped in the fibers. Follow these tips for effective vacuuming:

  1. Choose the right vacuum setting: Most vacuums allow you to adjust the height setting for different types of rugs. Set the vacuum to the appropriate height to avoid causing any damage or putting excessive strain on the rug fibers.
  2. Use attachments for different areas: Attachments like the upholstery brush or crevice tool can be used to reach areas that the main vacuum head cannot reach. Pay special attention to the edges and corners of the rug.
  3. Start from the center and work outward: Begin vacuuming from the center of the rug and move towards the edges. This method helps to remove dirt in a systematic manner and prevents it from spreading to other areas.
  4. Repeat the process: Depending on the traffic and dirt accumulation, you may need to go over the rug multiple times to ensure thorough cleaning. Be gentle and avoid excessive pressure, especially on delicate or antique rugs.

Vacuuming your area rug regularly helps to prevent dirt from becoming embedded in the fibers, prolonging the rug’s lifespan and keeping it looking fresh and clean.

Spot Cleaning

Accidents happen, and when spills or stains occur on your area rug, it’s important to address them promptly. Spot cleaning can help remove the stains and prevent them from setting in. Here’s how to effectively spot clean your rug:

  1. Blot the stain: If the spill is fresh, quickly blot it with a clean, white cloth or paper towel to absorb as much of the liquid as possible. Avoid rubbing, as this can push the stain deeper into the fibers.
  2. Prepare a cleaning solution: Mix a small amount of mild detergent or rug cleaner with warm water according to the product instructions or dilute white vinegar with water in a 1:1 ratio. Test the solution on a small, inconspicuous area of the rug to ensure it won’t cause any color bleeding or damage.
  3. Gently clean the stain: Dip a soft cloth or sponge into the cleaning solution and gently blot the stained area. Start from the outer edges of the stain and work towards the center to prevent it from spreading. Be careful not to saturate the rug with too much liquid.
  4. Rinse with clean water: After the stain is removed, dampen a clean cloth with water and blot the area to rinse off any remaining cleaning solution.
  5. Dry the spot: Use a clean, dry towel to absorb excess moisture from the spot. Allow the area to air dry completely before placing any furniture back on the rug.

Spot cleaning is a quick and effective way to address small stains and spills on your area rug. However, for larger or stubborn stains, it may be necessary to move on to deep cleaning methods.

Vacuum your area rug regularly to remove dirt and debris. For a deeper clean, spot clean with a mild detergent and water, or use a carpet cleaner for larger rugs. Allow the rug to air dry completely before placing it back in the room.

Deep Cleaning

Deep cleaning your area rug on a regular basis helps to remove embedded dirt and grime, refresh the fibers, and restore its original appearance. Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to deep clean your rug:

  1. Choose a suitable cleaning method: Depending on the size, material, and condition of your rug, you can choose between a wet cleaning method or a dry cleaning method. Wet cleaning involves using water and cleaning solutions, while dry cleaning methods use powders or foam.
  2. Read the instructions: Whether you’re using a commercial rug cleaner or a DIY cleaning solution, carefully read and follow the instructions provided by the manufacturer.
  3. Test the cleaning solution: Before applying the cleaning solution to the entire rug, test it on a small, inconspicuous area to ensure it won’t cause any discoloration or damage. This step is particularly important for delicate or antique rugs.
  4. Apply the cleaning solution: If using a wet cleaning method, apply the solution evenly to the rug using a sponge, soft brush, or spray bottle. Work the solution into the fibers using gentle, circular motions.
  5. Allow the cleaner to penetrate: Follow the instructions on the cleaning product, allowing it to penetrate the rug and break down dirt and stains. This may take several minutes to an hour, depending on the product.
  6. Rinse or extract the solution: If using a wet cleaning method, thoroughly rinse the rug with clean water to remove the cleaning solution. You can use a clean sponge or a wet-dry vacuum cleaner to extract the excess moisture from the rug.
  7. Dry the rug: After rinsing, gently squeeze out any excess water and blot the rug with clean towels to remove as much moisture as possible. Properly ventilate the space and use fans or dehumidifiers to speed up the drying process.

Deep cleaning should be done periodically, depending on the level of foot traffic and dirt accumulation. It’s essential to let the rug completely dry before placing it back in the room to prevent mold or mildew growth.


Proper drying is crucial after cleaning your area rug to prevent moisture-related issues and maintain its integrity. Here are some guidelines to ensure your rug dries effectively:

  1. Remove excess moisture: After cleaning, gently squeeze the rug to remove excess water. Avoid wringing or twisting, as this can damage the fibers.
  2. Blot with clean towels: Use clean, absorbent towels to blot the rug and soak up as much moisture as possible. Press firmly but avoid rubbing, which can cause friction and damage the fibers.
  3. Air dry in a well-ventilated area: Hang the rug or lay it flat in a well-ventilated area away from direct sunlight or heat sources. This allows for proper air circulation and prevents mold or mildew growth.
  4. Use fans or dehumidifiers: If possible, place fans or a dehumidifier near the rug to speed up the drying process. Ensure that the airflow is evenly distributed to prevent any areas from remaining damp.
  5. Rotate the rug: Periodically rotate the rug during the drying process to ensure that all areas receive equal airflow and dry uniformly.
  6. Check for complete dryness: Touch the rug to ensure it is completely dry. If there is any dampness or lingering moisture, continue the drying process until it is fully dried.

It’s important to note that drying times may vary depending on factors such as humidity, fabric composition, and the thickness of the rug. Patience is key to avoid any damage or moisture-related issues.

Maintenance Tips

Regular maintenance is essential to keep your area rug looking its best and prolong its lifespan. Here are some helpful tips for maintaining your rug:

  1. Vacuum regularly: Regularly vacuum your rug to remove dirt and debris. This helps prevent the accumulation of dirt that can cause wear and tear on the fibers over time. Remember to use the appropriate vacuum setting for your rug type.
  2. Rotate the rug: Rotate your rug every few months to ensure even wear. This helps prevent certain areas from becoming more worn or faded than others, especially in high traffic areas.
  3. Use rug pads: Place rug pads underneath your area rug to provide cushioning, increase comfort, and prevent slipping. Rug pads also help to protect both the rug and the underlying flooring.
  4. Protect from sun exposure: Prolonged exposure to sunlight can cause fading and damage to your rug. Use curtains or blinds to shield your rug from direct sunlight, or consider rotating the rug periodically to minimize sun exposure.
  5. Address spills immediately: Attend to spills or accidents on your rug as soon as they happen to prevent stains from setting in. Blot the affected area with a clean cloth or paper towel and follow the spot cleaning instructions mentioned earlier.
  6. Avoid heavy furniture: If your rug is placed underneath heavy furniture, use furniture pads or coasters to distribute the weight and prevent indentations or damage to the rug fibers.
  7. Professional cleaning: While regular maintenance can keep your rug clean, professional cleaning is recommended every 12 to 18 months, depending on usage and environmental factors. Professional cleaning helps remove deep-seated dirt and rejuvenates the fibers.

Following these maintenance tips will help preserve the beauty and longevity of your area rug, ensuring it continues to enhance your space for years to come.


Cleaning and maintaining your area rugs at home doesn’t have to be a daunting task. With the right materials, preparation, and techniques, you can ensure that your rugs stay clean, fresh, and looking their best.

Regular vacuuming, spot cleaning, and deep cleaning are important steps to remove dirt, stains, and allergens from your rugs. By following the proper procedures and using the appropriate cleaning solutions, you can effectively tackle spills and stains while safeguarding the quality and color of your rugs. Remember to always test any cleaning solution on a small, inconspicuous area of your rug before applying it to the entire surface.

In addition to cleaning, regular maintenance plays a crucial role in the life of your area rugs. Rotating the rugs, using rug pads, protecting them from direct sunlight, and promptly addressing spills can prevent damage and extend the lifespan of your rugs.

However, if you’re unsure about the proper cleaning methods or have valuable or delicate rugs, it’s always best to consult a professional rug cleaner who can provide expert advice and services.

By following the guidelines outlined in this article and incorporating regular rug cleaning and maintenance into your routine, you can enjoy the beauty and comfort of your area rugs for years to come. A clean and well-maintained rug not only enhances the overall aesthetics of your home but also creates a healthier and more inviting living environment.

Frequently Asked Questions about How To Clean Area Rugs At Home

What are the benefits of cleaning area rugs at home?

Cleaning area rugs at home can help improve indoor air quality by removing dust, allergens, and other particles that can accumulate in the fibers. It also helps to maintain the appearance and longevity of the rugs, saving money on professional cleaning services.
Can I clean all types of area rugs at home?

While many area rugs can be cleaned at home, it’s important to check the care instructions and material of the rug before attempting to clean it. Some delicate or specialty rugs may require professional cleaning to avoid damage.
What are some common methods for cleaning area rugs at home?

There are several methods for cleaning area rugs at home, including vacuuming, spot cleaning, steam cleaning, and using rug shampoos. The method you choose will depend on the material and condition of the rug.
How often should I clean my area rugs at home?

The frequency of cleaning your area rugs at home depends on factors such as foot traffic, pets, and environmental conditions. As a general rule, it’s recommended to vacuum high-traffic areas weekly and deep clean the rugs every 12-18 months.
Are there any tips for maintaining the cleanliness of area rugs at home?

Yes, there are several tips for maintaining the cleanliness of area rugs at home, such as using rug pads to prevent slipping and wear, rotating the rugs to even out wear and sun exposure, and addressing spills and stains promptly to prevent them from setting in.

Was this page helpful?

At Storables.com, we guarantee accurate and reliable information. Our content, validated by Expert Board Contributors, is crafted following stringent Editorial Policies. We're committed to providing you with well-researched, expert-backed insights for all your informational needs.


0 thoughts on “How To Clean Area Rugs At Home

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Related Post