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How To Clean a Large Area Rug

One of our followers' most frequently asked questions about area rugs is how to clean them. Cleaning an area rug at home may seem like challenging work, but with the tips, you can find in this article, you can fight with even the most persistent stains. Deep cleaning a rug might be cheaper than having professional help. There are various techniques you can apply for different materials.  

Deep Cleaning Area Rugs 

If you are a rug owner, they are a big part of your life. You step on them, sit on them, lay on them every day. Unfortunately, although they are fantastic and provide excellent comfort, they get dirty. When this happens, you will need to clean them thoroughly. 

This cleaning method depends on where your rug is, how dirty it gets, and your purpose. However, area rug cleaning is not complicated. 

This section will give tips regarding various cleaning methods for your rugs. Then, you can combine them to deep clean your rugs.  

Importance of Material 



When you clean an area rug, it is always essential to choose the correct method. You cannot apply every technique to all kinds of rugs. Some of them are sensitive to specific procedures. It would help if you always referred to a product label when choosing a method. If you are not satisfied with the provided information, contact your manufacturer to get more information on cleaning your rug in the best way. Even though it is always good to clean area rugs, you should always tread carefully not to ruin them. You should especially be careful with natural fibers such as wool! 

Shake and Beat 

Being on the floor and being stepped on daily, dust and dirt particles sometimes make their way deeper into a rug, and simple vacuuming cannot get them out. To clean an area rug with this method, depending on your rug size and if you have a good place you can hang it, it might be an excellent method to give it a good shake. 

It will allow your area rug to release the dust and dirt inside it. It is much better to do this procedure in an open space and with old clothes because if your area rug has been in high-traffic areas, it will release a significant amount of dust and dirt. Also, if you are allergic to dust, you need to pay close attention not to trigger your allergies. Maybe using a mask would be a good idea. 


Carpet Beating
Carpet Beating

 Along with shaking, a similar method to clean an area rug is to beat it! It would help if you hung it freely and hit it with an ordinary stick, vacuum handle, broomstick, or anything sturdy enough. It will get even more dust out of your carpet, but it is a physically demanding activity to beat your carpet. On the other hand, although it requires a bit of strength, it is a relaxing activity.  


Area Rugs mostly see high foot traffic, and they eventually get dirty. When dust and dirt get into them, they tend to get darker, and you will need to clean them. Vacuums are an excellent way to clean an area rug. But for an extensive cleaning, you should go over every spot a few times. Then, after visually checking there are no bigger particles on it, and it looks clean, you can move it and vacuum under it.  

Vacuuming is a fundamental part of every cleaning process for your area rug. It is the best way to get dust, pet hair, crumbs, dirt, solid particles, and other rough things from your carpet. Almost every cleaning process starts with it. It will be easier to vacuum if you have vacuum attachments such as beater bars.  

Can you use a carpet cleaner on an area rug 

Vacuum cleaners cannot get all the dust and dirt from your area rugs. It might be better to use a carpet cleaner for far more stubborn stains, odors, and embedded dirt. Carpet cleaners can clean more profound and more thoroughly. Most of the time, after application stains vanish, original color returns, and you will feel like your carpet is resurrected.  

How to clean area rug with a carpet cleaner 

Before anything else, check the area rug label to ensure it is not made from a material that should not be used with carpet cleaners. This method is usually preferable with synthetic fibers. 

As the next step, move furniture that might be an obstacle out of your way to ensure the whole area rug is cleaned correctly. 

Vacuum the carpet as described in previous steps to ensure any solid particles are out of the way.  

Read carpet cleaner instructions to find out how much detergent to use. If you are unsure, you can always contact your manufacturer to get extensive information.  

Cleaning area rugs with a steam cleaner 

Steam cleaning is one of the best ways to clean area rugs. Before you start, you should move any furniture that might be an obstacle. This process will require a lot of push and pull, and you will need some space for yourself to work on your area rug.  

Vacuuming beforehand is always necessary with most of the cleaning procedures. Solid particles and dust make it easier to use any other cleaning method.  

Steam Cleaning
Steam Cleaning


Before steam cleaning, it would be better to spot clean the stains you see in your rug. After you are ready and your steam cleaner is ready, you can start cleaning by starting from one corner to another in straight lines. It would help if you went in straight lines in every move. After cleaning process ends it can take up to 10 hours of drying time for your area rug to dry.  

Do not forget to ventilate the room you are going to use your steam cleaner in because steam produced by steam cleaners may contain chemical fumes which would harm you if you get exposed for prolonged times.  

Spot cleaning  

Spot cleaning is an effective method to get the minor stains out. But the catch is you need to intervene in minor stains before they settle immediately. Once they dry, it will be significantly harder to get them out.  

Like any other cleaning method, you need to start with a vacuum for spot cleaning. Then, you can get to actual work after you get clusters and debris out of the way. 

Always start around the stain and get a wider area than the stain. You should try your luck with warm water at first to see if it can get the color out. Pour as much liquid as it takes to blot it completely. Dry the excess water with clean towels. If not, you can get to more substantial things to clean area rugs. Sticky stains may get out easier with cold water and ice cubes. Most stains can be rinsed with water but sometimes you need to use some other thing from your arsenal.  

Vinegar and Baking Soda 

If you have a large area rug in your dining room or your kitchen, a stain is bound to happen. When it happens you need to intervene it as soon as possible in order not to let the stain settle and remove it as fast as possible.  


Vinegar and Baking Soda
Vinegar and Baking Soda


A really powerful method for this is to pour vinegar into the stain and sprinkle baking soda over it. When baking soda bubbles up, you will be able to rub the stain with clean towels or let the blot dry and vacuum. If you own rugs, it is always good to have some vinegar and baking soda at your home for such an instance.  

Dry Shampoo 

Dry Carpet Shampoos clean and capture dirt and dust on sensitive fabrics such as silk or wool. It helps you clean the material without damaging it. It is a highly preferred method as it removes dust and dirt, stains, smears and helps your area rug regain its color.  

Vacuuming is an essential part of getting rough particles out of the way before you start using dry shampoo.  

After vacuuming, spread the shampoo to the area rug surface evenly. Next, brush the rug with a soft bristle brush or sponge and allow it to settle for 1 to 2 hours. 

After several hours, vacuum the surface of the entire rug, and with the help of carpet, shampoo should be free of stains, smears, dust, and loose dirt.  


Soaking is probably the most complex and most effective way to clean your rug. The main problem with soaking is that it is not suitable for every rug so you should check rug label before you attempt to soak your rugs.  

Depending on your area rug's size, you will need an enormous container to soak it. Bathtubs are usually suitable for this purpose. It would help if you vacuumed them beforehand, as always.  

You can use warm water not to damage the rug as too hot water may damage it. Soak it using a detergent or cleaning product that is safe for your area rug to remove stains. Brush the colors with a soft bristle brush and get them out. After soaking, you should rinse them to get the dirty water out, hang them, and let them dry for a long time.  

Beware When Soaking Your rugs!  

Be careful; once your rugs are soaked, they will get heavier. It is not much of an issue with small rugs and small area rugs. Although this is a great way to clean your rugs, carrying soaked large area rugs might not be easy for you, especially in water-absorbing materials such as wool.  


Especially with spring around the corner, it is an excellent activity to wash your rugs! You do not need any complicated tools to do this.  


Hand Washing
Hand Washing

To wash your rug, you need to start with good vacuuming to get solid particles out of the way, as always. Then you can either lay your carpet on a rugged, water-resistant surface or hang it.  

After hanging it you should wet it with water, you can use your garden hose for this job. After it is wet, apply some detergent and start brushing with a soft brush. Brush for a reasonable amount and then maybe some more. You can also use a stiff brush. You will see it get cleaner with your efforts in a few hours! 

Rinse with water again to get the dirty water out and leave them for air drying on a rope, wall, and hanger or maybe in the laundry room. It would help if you let your rug dry completely. Then, you can leave it under the sun for speed drying! 

Professional Cleaners 


Professional Rug Washer
Professional Rug Washer

With rugs becoming more widespread, professional cleaners are also gaining popularity. So if you are working or have some sensitive rugs, or do not enjoy cleaning your rugs, you can always get professional help! They will take your rug from your home, clean it, and deliver it back to you. But bear in mind this process may take a few days, so you need to plan accordingly.  

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