How To Clean An Area Rug: A Guide By Atlantic Cleaning

Jul 4, 2023 | Rug Cleaning

An area rug never fails to add a touch of comfort and style to your home. But that too comes with a promise for maintenance, which means cleaning. However, caring for an area rug with the appropriate method can be difficult. That’s why our Fall River experts are here to help you clean your area rug to get it squeaky clean.

Steps To Clean An Area Rug – An Expert Guide

1. Pre-Cleaning Steps

Yes, the very first step you’ll take if planning to wash your rug is checking the weather outside. That’s because you want to have your rugs dry as soon as possible. So, make sure that there is no rainy or cloudy day today. Sunny weather will better support your cleaning efforts.

As it’s likely that you don’t want to flood the insides of your home to clean your rug, preparing the outdoors is required. Get ready with a hanging rope to tie it firmly outside and a clean surface to lay the rug on for cleaning.

2. It’s Beating Time!

Roll your area rug and bring it outside. Hang it on the rope you just tied and make sure it’s strong enough to bear the weight of the rug.

Then, take a broom, a stick, a tennis racket, or anything similar to begin beating your rug from all sides. If you’ve not cleaned your rug for a long time, you’ll be amazed to see the dust that it releases while shaking and beating.

We advise you not to hit it really hard which can damage it. It should just be enough to beat the dirt and debris out of it.

3. A Vacuum Is A Must!

Now even after beating, it may still have small dirt particles hiding. That’s when vacuuming helps. Our Fall River rug cleaning experts have noticed many homeowners skipping the vacuuming and directly hopping on the rinsing of the rug.

But removing the surface dirt and soil as much as you can will greatly help you with further cleaning.

Take a nice vacuum and hoover it all over your area rug. Go in all directions (360°), go slowly, and clean it from both the lower and upper sides, suggest our pros at Atlantic Cleaning Co.

Make sure you remove all the dry soil by vacuuming before wetting the rug for a wash.

4. Don’t Forget To Pre-Treat The Rug

Get your rug ready for cleaning outside, such as in your driveway or garage. (However, using a tarp for cleaning inside would also do. Especially, if you want to clean an area rug on a wood floor without damaging it, a tarp can help.)

Grab your favorite rug cleaning solution to pretreat your rug before cleaning. We recommend using safe yet effective solutions and specifically the ones designed for your rug’s material.

For more detailed cleaning for every rug type, you can refer to the carpet and rug care guide by CRI (The Carpet and Rug Institute.)

→ Tip 1: Test the solution on a hidden section of your rug. This will help catch any discoloration or bleeding issues before using it on the entire piece.
→ Tip 2: Don’t add detergent or solution to your carpet cleaner’s tank. This way, you won’t be able to remove the soapy residue which may soil the rug.

Our suggestion would be to use a separate pump-up sprayer or a garden sprayer to spray the solution over your rug.

And preferring spray over sprinkling will also let it spread properly. But make sure you don’t oversaturate. Whether it’s carpet or rug, overwetting is a no-no.

5. Let The Solution Work For Some Time

Now, once you have thoroughly sprayed your rug with a pre-treating solution, don’t hop on sucking it up immediately afterward.

As experts in rug cleaning, we highly focus on dwell time. It’s the time given to the solution to work into the rug fibers. This helps in the effective breakdown of dirt and soil that’s embedded.

Generally, 10 to 15 minutes would be enough to let it sit and work. But it’s even better if you follow the labeled instructions on the product you’re using.

6. Agitate With A Brush

Although being an optional step, it can make the process even more effective. Take a soft-bristled brush and scrub the rug fibers gently. The agitation will not just let the solution get deeper but will also loosen the sticky grime clinging onto the fibers.

7. Give It A Final, Thorough Rinse

Next, there are two options you can go for:

→ Cleaning the rug with a carpet cleaning machine
→ Rinsing it with a garden hose.

Both methods are fine for a routine DIY rug cleaning. However, cleaning with a hose can use a lot of water and then, a lot of time to dry later.

Therefore, we’d say you prefer the carpet cleaning machine for effective rug cleaning and rinsing.

So, fill in your carpet cleaner’s tank with warm water. Yes, you don’t have to add any solution/detergent to the cleaner. The purpose of this step is to rinse out all the loosened dirt along with the applied solution. And warm water can do it effectively enough.

Tip: You can add some white vinegar to the water tank. This is called an acid rinse that’s known for better cleaning and deodorization too!

The technique:

Go over the carpet with the machine, in back-and-forth motions, covering each corner thoroughly. Again, you don’t want to oversaturate while using the machine. Your machine would probably have a switch to control the flow of water, use it.

As you go, you’ll see the hot water rinsing and the machine sucking up the grime as you move. Don’t hurry the process, rinse it well, going over the rug from all directions.

When to stop?

Many homeowners ask us whether they should keep going until the dump water is clear.

If your rug is very dirty, it would surely take many rinses until fully cleaned. But however clean the rugs are, the dump water never tends to come out to be crystal clear.

→ The trick here is to check the sucking portion of your machine. If that’s showing clear water being pulled in, that means your rug’s good to go!
→ Moreover, you can also check if your rug is clean with a clean white cloth. Just rub it over a small section of your rug and see if that comes out clean and just damp. This means you are done with your thorough cleaning.

8. Dry Your Squeaky Clean Rugs

That’s a crucial step.

If you use the traditional hose to rinse your rug, you’ll get to hang it outside (on a railing or wall) to let it drip all the excess water.

But if you have used a carpet cleaner machine, it would be just damp. So bring in the dehumidifiers or floor fans near the rug and let it air dry. Ensure the rug is fully dry to avoid any mold growth.

A dehumidifier is by far the best way to dry a large rug area at home.

9. Get The Fluff Back

Once your rug is nice and clean, it may still have matted fibers due to cleaning. You can easily bring those fibers to life with a simple hoovering or a gentle brush.

And here is your area rug cleaned to continue adding beauty and comfort to your rooms!!

If you need any help cleaning your area rugs, our Fall River pros are always at your service. Just give us a call to have them deep-cleaned professionally.

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