Cleaning Area Rugs

Take your area rugs to the car wash to get them super clean! I have done this numerous times with a helper and a truck, and know others who do the same. It's amazing to see the dirt run out off the rug!


Then roll them up and load them onto the back of a truck. At home lay the rugs out to dry on the grass or on a sturdy fence.

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When washing area rugs and carpets in your home, eliminate the carpet detergent once in awhile and instead fill the tank with hot/warm water and 1 cup of white vinegar.

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I use a squeegee to clean dog hair from the area rugs. It really works well. It works as good as a rubber broom, and it is much cheaper.

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By using a wet wash rag on a Swiffer broom, I am able to get all the hair off of my area rug. It is amazing how effective this is ;) I have a German Shepherd Husky mix, named Samson, who is blowing his under-coat due to the warmer weather, so there is a big bunch of fur that comes off of this area rug.

Using a Swiffer and Washrag to Clean Area Rugs

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Ask a QuestionHere are the questions asked by community members. Read on to see the answers provided by the ThriftyFun community or ask a new question.

What do I use to clean the rug with?


April 14, 20171 found this helpful

For spot cleaning two parts hydrogen peroxide and one part blue Dawn. Spray on and brush in.

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April 15, 20170 found this helpful

I have a carpet shampoo machine. I use oxyclean and hot water with a bit of Dawn on our carpets and rugs. I run it thru the machine and it works very well.

I have never tried the peroxide method. Some of our carpets are hunter green and navy blue, and we were cautioned on those to not use anything too strong as it could cause spotting. I always tried a hidden spot first to check for color safeness.

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March 13, 2017

I have a 8 ft X 10 ft area rug with rubber backing. How do I clean it and how long does it take for the backing to dry? I use it on a hard wood floor.


March 13, 20170 found this helpful

I wash my similar rug in my bathtub with watered down laundry detergent and room temperature water, twice. Hot water is not good for the rubber backing. Step on the rug to squeeze out the water. Hang it over the shower curtain rod or outside to dry. I live in LA so it dries in a day.

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March 13, 20170 found this helpful

I would take it outside and shake it out or beat it.

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March 14, 20170 found this helpful

Thank you but it won't fit in my tub, but I will step on it to reduce the water retained in it.

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March 17, 20170 found this helpful

I use a steamer to clean and just put it outside to hang dry. It takes a day but it is warm here where I live (Southern California).

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October 30, 2015

I have a rug that has been rolled up outside leaning up in my carport for a while. I want to give it a good cleaning to bring it inside. What's the best way to clean it before bringing inside?


October 30, 20150 found this helpful

I would unroll it in the carport and give it a good vacuuming and then use a carpet steamer to deep clean it. Good luck!

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November 2, 20150 found this helpful

I have a friend whose husband picked up a large rug on the curb that someone threw out. He put it in the bed of his pickup, took it to a car wash, took it home and let it dry in his truck. He told me this after I asked my friend where she bought the new rug.

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September 10, 20160 found this helpful

Bought a rug 8x10 with some stains and dirty that has been rolled up for some time. How can I clean it outdoors on driveway before using it indoors

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March 3, 2010

I am looking for advice on rug cleaning.

By Robert Anderson from Harwich


March 5, 20100 found this helpful

Like everything else today, rugs need special care to ensure long life. Regular cleaning, using proper treatments will help extend the life of your rug.
Regardless of whether your rug is a cut pile or loop rug, vacuuming is the basic and primary step for caring for your rug. Rugs are exposed to endless mistreatment, such as treading feet, dirt, dust, oil and spills of all sorts. By frequently vacuuming, you can prevent soils from building up. Vacuums with good suction are recommended to lift surface dirt. This especially applies to looped rugs where damaging the loops is possible. Cut pile rugs on the other hand, require rougher treatment. Besides removing surface dirt it is necessary to agitate the pile to loosen the dirt which may have sunk to the core. These rugs require a vacuum with a beater or brush bar to lift the residue embedded in the rug. While vacuuming remember to never allow the soil storage bag to become too full or dirt may escape the vacuum.
Even though vacuuming removes a lot of soil, oily substances deposited on the rug also pose a problem. If left to pile up, these oils cause matting due to the pile sticking together. Gradually the rug starts to form ridges and the colors dim. If not removed when first noticed, it becomes hard to clean. It is, thus, advised to clean your rug when dullness first starts to appear. There are many ways to clean your rug but almost all require clean clothes or paper towels, warm water and a cleaning substance. To avoid altering the rug's texture DO NOT RUB as fuzziness may result.

Removing Stains:
Many rugs are treated to be stain resistant which delays the stain setting in, giving you a chance to act. The key is to treat the stain or spill quickly before it is absorbed by the rug and dries.
Basic cleaning steps for typical everyday stains:
1. Scoop up as much of the spill as possible
2. Absorb as much of the liquid that's left with a dry cloth/paper towel by blotting.
3. Apply warm water to the stain then blot again If the stain remains visible, mix warm water with a mild non-bleach laundry detergent. Using a clean cloth apply some of the mixture to the stain and let it soak for 5 minutes. Rinse the stain with warm water and blot it well to extract the residue. Repeat until there is no detergent on the rug.
When satisfied and the rug is completely dry, vacuum the area.
Specific Stains:
Since different stains require different cleaning treatments, it is important to identify the source and nature of the stain. Below is a list of common stains and how they are best removed.

Stain Cleaning Treatment
Alcohol Warm water & detergent
Asphalt Dry cleaning solvent then warm water & detergent
Blood Warm water & detergent
Butter Dry cleaning solvent then warm water & detergent
Chewing gum Freeze using ice, shatter gum, vacuum, warm water & detergent
Most Makeup Dry cleaning solvent then warm water & detergent
Shoe Polish Dry cleaning solvent then warm water & detergent
Urine Warm water & detergent then white vinegar & water (1:3)
Vomit Warm water & detergent then dry cleaning solvent
Wax Freeze using ice, shatter gum, vacuum, dry cleaning solvent then water & detergent
Wine Talcum powder then warm water & detergent
Please note that the above is provided for informational purposes only. We cannot be held responsible for any damage done. We highly recommend regular professional cleaning for your rugs. Good luck.

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March 7, 20100 found this helpful

If you truly want a clean carpet I only recommend Stanley Steamer, they are reasonable, guarantee their work and do great work! I speak from personnal experience.
They have a spot cleaner that you can buy from any dealer or service person. The secret to keeping a carpet clean to me is keeping the spills treated at the time, not waiting for them to set in so keep a bottle of Stanley Steamer's spot remover on hand and be ready. No I don't work for them I just think they are the best.

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January 21, 2017

There are many methods for cleaning a large area rug, from steam cleaning, to power washing. Learn how to clean an area rug in this page.

Large area rug.

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