Considering how many different types of rugs exist, with a variety of fabrics used in different rugs, there is no such thing as a universal rug cleaning solution. Some materials are more delicate than others, and thus require detergents and cleaning methods that will not damage the rugs fibers.
If you have a high end rug that needs to be cleaned but you are afraid of damaging it, don’t try to save money by doing it yourself. Even though it can be expensive, take your high end rug to a rug cleaning professional so that it is safely cleaned. The cost of sending it to a professional will be less than the cost of replacing your high end rug.
For most rugs, however, there are some steps you can follow to deep clean it yourself at home. To make sure you don’t damage the color of your rug, test any homemade or store bought shampoo for colorfastness on a small inconspicuous spot before using it on the entire rug.
What You Will Need To Clean Your Rug
- an upright vacuum or a vacuum with a beater bar
- a store bought or homemade rug shampoo
- a bucket or spray bottle
- a sponge, cloth, brush or steam cleaner
- dry towels or a squeegee
- an electric fan
3 Steps For Cleaning Your Area Rug
- Rug Preparation – first you will have to prepare the rug for deep cleaning by removing as much loose dirt and debris as possible. To do this, thoroughly vacuum both sides of the rug.
- Wash the Rug – once the rug is prepared and you have chosen a rug cleaning solution that will not damage the rug, it is time to wash the rug with the chosen shampoo. To do this you can either use one of the following methods, making sure to work the shampoo deep into the rugs fibers and letting it sit as long as is recommended on the shampoo instructions (typically around 10-20 minutes):
- Use a spray bottle to cover the rug in the shampoo and scrub the rug in the direction of the nap with a sponge, cloth or brush.
- Fill a bucket with the rug shampoo. Soak a sponge or cloth in the shampoo and thoroughly scrub it into the rug.
- Use a steam cleaner with your rug cleaning shampoo to clean the rug, carefully following the instructions on your steam cleaner. The high heat of a steam cleaner will clean 99% of bacteria in the rug but extra care must be taken to make sure the rug is not damaged.
- Dry the Rug – this is a very important step in the rug cleaning process to ensure that no bacteria or mildew will begin to grow inside the rug. Dry the rug as quickly as possible by placing it in a well ventilated area and scrubbing dry towels across the rug in the direction of the nap. To speed the process up even more, place an electric fan to blow in the direction of the rug. Never use heat when drying your rug as this can compromise the fibers making them warped and ultimately damaging your rug.
When the cleaning and drying process is complete, your rug may have a stiff feel to it. To get rid of this, simply scrub the rug with a brush or pass a vacuum with a beater bar over the rug to give it that soft feeling we all enjoy.