Tips and Steps to Make Rug Cleaning As Easy as Possible

Rugs are one of the most cost-effective ways to give a room a facelift while also infusing a bit of your personality. At the same time, nothing can detract from the aesthetics of a room like a dirty rug. And, hey – it happens to the best of us, especially when we place rugs in high-traffic areas. Thankfully, rugs are relatively easy to clean yourself, and the finished product will be worth some serious bragging rights. We will advise here at the beginning that, if the rug is very soiled, it’s probably best to rent a steam cleaner. Or perhaps check out new rugs for sale. If not, however, cleaning it yourself is a very doable option. Never cleaned a rug before? We’ve rounded up the best way to go about it and shared the steps below.

Get Your Supplies Together

As with any DIY project, the first step is to make sure you’ve got the tools you need on hand and, if not, you’ll need to make a run to the store. Here’s a list of what you’ll need:

  • Rug shampoo, mild dish soap, or other safe cleaning solution
  • Towels
  • 2 Buckets
  • Water
  • A fan or two
  • Soft-bristle brush or sponge
  • A tarp
  • A broom or something else to beat the rug
  • Possibly rubber gloves and a wet/dry vacuum (you can forego the latter if you make sure to do this project on sunny days)

Rid the Rug of Dirt

Use a broom to beat all of the dirt and other debris off the rug. If you have animals that shed, you’ll probably want to use a brush attachment.

Read the Directions

Groan! We know, we know. No one likes to do this, but the directions of how to clean your rug are there for a reason. You want to make sure you’re not planning on using something to clean the rug that will do more harm than good. 

Mix the Cleaner

Use one bucket to mix the cleaner using the directions on the bottle of whatever cleaning solution you’ve chosen to use. Fill the other bucket with water. If you’ve chosen to go with mild dish soap, mix approximately 2-3 teaspoons into a 5-gallon bucket of warm water. Take a quick second to test for colorfastness as well. 

It’s Time to Wash

Get a bit of old-fashioned elbow juice going by working the cleaning solution into a lather using a brush or sponge. Start at one end of the rug and work your way to the other end. It might sound like a lot, but try to keep this up for about 5-10 minutes to get the best results. Make sure not to wet the fibers too much, and rinse out the sponge or brush as you go to avoid transferring dirt back onto the rug. 

Rinse and Blot

It’s crucial to get all of the soap out of the rug, as the soap will attract dirt back to the rug quickly. Use a clean sponge and the bucket of rinse water. Get as much of the excess water out as possible using a squeegee and towels. Blot each area before moving on to the next one.

Dry the Rug

Lay the rug flat to allow each side to dry completely before flipping it over. We recommend using risers underneath to allow air to circulate. Fans can expedite the process. You definitely want to make sure it’s completely dry before replacing it in the room.

Vacuum or Brush the Rug

Threads in the rug have likely gotten a bit squished during the cleaning process, but you can bring them back to life by running a vacuum or your soft-bristled brush over it. 

Keep it clean and make it last

And voila, you’re done! Very few things in life can bring a greater sense of satisfaction than doing something yourself, so take the time to admire your good work. However, not all of us will have the time to do this. If you would like your rug professionally cleaned for peace of mind and convenience, contact and/or visit Outrageous Rugs today to keep your rug looking gorgeous!