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The Ultimate DIY Guide to Cleaning Area Rugs Yourself

demonstation of how to clean area rugs at home

Area rugs are the unsung heroes of our homes, adding a touch of style, warmth, and coziness to any space. However, they also collect dirt, dust, and stains from daily wear and tear. That's where this ultimate DIY guide comes in handy, we'll show you how to clean area rugs at home like a pro! So, roll up your sleeves and let's get down to business. BONUS: if you're in need of new rugs, Halifax & Moncton residents can rely on Floors Plus for a fantastic selection of carpeting that can be turned into personalized area rugs!

How to Clean Area Rugs at Home: A Comprehensive Step-by-Step Guide

Follow these simple steps to the ultimate DIYers guide to a clean area rug at home.

Step 1: Understand Your Rug's Material

Before diving into cleaning, it's crucial to understand your rug's material, as different fabrics require different cleaning methods. Check the rug's label or consult a professional if unsure. Common materials include:

  • Wool
  • Silk
  • Synthetic fibres (e.g., nylon, polypropylene, polyester)
  • Animal Skins
  • Sisal
  • Seagrass

This article will primarily focus on wool, as it is the most common type of rug. These other materials may require special attention that cannot be completed as an at-home DIY project.

Step 2: Gather Your Supplies

Next, make sure you have everything you need for the cleaning process. Here's a list of supplies you'll need to clean your area rugs:

  • Vacuum cleaner
  • Rug beater or broom
  • Mild dish soap or rug shampoo
  • Bucket or large container
  • Soft-bristle brush
  • Clean, absorbent towels
  • Water
  • Rubber gloves (optional)

Step 3: Give Your Rug a Good Shake and Vacuum

First things first, take your area rug outside and give it a good shake to remove loose dirt and dust. Use a rug beater or broom to whack the dust out if your rug is too big or heavy. Now, vacuum both sides of the rug thoroughly to eliminate any remaining dirt. For those who are ready to give up at this point and find a new rug, Halifax Floors Plus has a lot of options.

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a Clean Area Rug

Step 4: Spot Cleaning Stains and Spills

It's time to tackle those pesky stains. Mix a solution of mild dish soap and water in a bucket or use a rug shampoo, then dip a soft-bristle brush into the solution. Gently scrub the stained area using circular motions. Avoid rubbing too hard, as it might damage the rug's fibres. Rinse the area with a clean, damp cloth and blot dry with an absorbent towel. For Halifax carpet enthusiasts, proper spot cleaning is the key to extending the life of your rugs.

Step 5: The Deep Clean

Now that you've spot-cleaned, it's time for a deep clean. Fill a large container or bucket with water and add a small amount of mild dish soap or rug shampoo. Submerge a small section of the rug into the soapy water and gently scrub it with the soft-bristle brush. Repeat this process for the entire rug, ensuring you clean both sides.

Step 6: Rinse and Dry Your Rug

Rinse the rug thoroughly with water, making sure all soap is removed. To remove excess water, use a squeegee or place absorbent towels on the rug and press down. Finally, hang the rug to air-dry, or lay it flat on a clean surface, turning it occasionally to ensure even drying.

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Rug Maintenance Tips

To keep your area rugs looking fresh and clean, follow these simple maintenance tips:

Tip 1:

Regular Vacuuming

Vacuum your area rugs at least once a week to remove dirt, dust, and allergens. Regular vacuuming keeps your rugs looking fresh and extends their lifespan. Remember that all rug maintenance starts with proper vacuuming.

Tip 2:

Rotate Your Rugs

Rotate your rugs every few months to ensure even wear and prevent fading from sunlight. This will help maintain your rug's appearance and prevent any one area from wearing down too quickly.

Tip 3:

Use Rug Pads

Place rug pads underneath your area rugs to prevent slipping and provide extra cushioning. Rug pads also help extend the life of your rugs by reducing friction between the rug and the floor.

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DIY clean area rug example

Tip 4:

Act Quickly on Spills

In case of spills, act quickly to prevent stains from setting into the rug fibres. Blot the spill with a clean, absorbent cloth or paper towel, and then follow the spot-cleaning steps mentioned earlier in this guide.

Tip 5:

Professional Cleaning

Every 12-18 months, consider having your area rugs professionally cleaned. Professionals have specialized equipment and expertise to deep clean your rugs without causing damage.

Common Rug Cleaning Mistakes to Avoid

To keep your rugs in top condition, steer clear of these common cleaning mistakes:

1. Over-wetting the rug:

Excess water can cause the rug's colours to bleed, leading to mould and mildew growth or damage to the rug's fibres. Use just enough water to clean the rug, and ensure it dries thoroughly.

2. Using hash chemicals:

Stick to mild dish soap or rug shampoo when cleaning your rugs. Harsh chemicals can damage the rug fibres and cause discoloration.

demonstration of how to clean area rug yourself

3: Scrubbing too hard:

Use gentle circular motions to avoid damaging the rug fibres when spot cleaning or deep cleaning.

4: Skipping regular maintenance:

Consistent vacuuming, rotating, and spot cleaning is crucial to keeping your rugs looking their best.

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sample of a clean area rug DIY

Final Thoughts

With this comprehensive guide on how to clean area rugs yourself, you're now equipped to tackle even the dirtiest of rugs. Don't let dirt and grime ruin your beautiful rugs; follow these simple steps and maintenance tips to keep your rugs looking their best. And remember, if you're searching for area rugs, our Halifax, Dartmouth, Truro & Dieppe locations have plenty of options.

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How often should I clean my area rugs?

It's a good idea to vacuum your rugs at least once a week and perform a deep clean every 6-12 months, depending on foot traffic and the rug's material.

Can I use a carpet cleaner on my area rugs?

It depends on the rug's material and the carpet cleaner's instructions. Always test a small, inconspicuous area first to avoid damaging the rug.

How can I prevent my area rugs from getting dirty?

Place doormats at entryways, remove shoes before walking on the rug, and vacuum regularly to keep your rugs looking fresh.

How do I remove pet hair from my area rug?

Vacuum your rug regularly, using the appropriate attachment for pet hair if available. For stubborn pet hair, use a rubber broom or a slightly damp cloth to gather the hair, then vacuum it up.

Can I machine wash my area rug?

This depends on the rug's material and size. Some small, durable rugs made from cotton or synthetic materials may be machine washable. Always check the rug's care instructions or consult with a professional before attempting to machine wash your rug.

What should I do if my rug's colours bleed during cleaning?

If you notice colours bleeding while cleaning, immediately stop and blot the area with a clean, absorbent towel to remove excess water. Consult with a professional rug cleaner for further assistance.

How do I remove odours from my area rug?

After vacuuming, sprinkle baking soda over the rug, let it sit for 15-30 minutes, and then vacuum it up. Baking soda is a natural odour neutralizer and can help remove unpleasant smells. For persistent odours, consider having your rug professionally cleaned.

How can I protect my area rug from furniture indentations?

Use furniture coasters or pads under the legs of heavy furniture to help distribute weight and prevent indentations. You can also rearrange your furniture periodically to avoid excessive wear on specific areas of the rug.

How do I store my area rug?

First, clean your rug thoroughly and ensure it is completely dry. Roll the rug with the pile facing inward, and wrap it in a breathable fabric like cotton or muslin. Store the rug in a cool, dry, and well-ventilated area away from direct sunlight.

Is steam cleaning safe for my area rug?

Steam cleaning may be suitable for some types of rugs, but it is not recommended for delicate materials like silk or antique rugs. Always check the rug's care instructions or consult with a professional before attempting to steam clean your rug.

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31 Sterns Court, Dartmouth

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