How To Clean Your Rug At Home?

How would you feel if you were ‘walked on’ all day long?

Ah, the humble area rug never complains. It’s simple but important mission is to make your home cozy and stylish. It serves as a buffer between your delicate feet and the cold, hard reality of bare floors.

Many times our area rugs are the unfortunate victims of life’s messy moments. They bear the burden of our clumsiness, serving as a canvas for spilled drinks, muddy footprints, and the occasional pet “accident.”

You can almost hear them sigh in resignation, wondering when their next cleaning rescue will come. But fear not, dear rug owners, with a little time and effort, we can restore these once-proud rugs to their former glory. So, let’s roll up our sleeves and give those dirty area rugs the TLC they deserve.

Can You REALLY Get Pro Results At Home?

Every time we do a video about rug cleaning online inevitably a few people will respond that we only get good results because of the professional tools at our disposal. And while good tools are important for any craft, a determined DYI’er can get great results with a little time and effort. (Plus a little extra Clean Freak Weekly knowledge helps too!)

IMPORTANT NOTE! Today we are going to discuss rugs made with SYNTHETIC FIBERS. In an upcoming edition we will be talking about cleaning Oriental (Typically Wool) Rugs, Braided Rugs and Specialty Rugs.

1. Assess the Situation!

Before diving into the cleaning process, take a moment to assess the condition of your rug. Determine the material (* See Note Above), size, and level of dirt or stains. This will help you choose the most suitable cleaning method and avoid any unexpected surprises along the way. Remember, knowledge is power, even in the world of rug cleaning!

Pro Tip: Newer area rugs may have the cleaning instructions written clearly on a label on the back of the rug.

Word of Caution: If you are uncertain about the composition of the rug you are planning to clean, it never hurts to ask a professional. Most Professional Rug Cleaners provide free evaluations.

2. Give Your Rug a Good Beating?!?

Years ago, rugs were taken outside and beaten! Imagine clouds of dust filling the air like a scene from a wild western duel. 

Today we are much more civilized! We let a machine do the ‘beating’ for us!

As Professionals: At our Shop, we have a large machine with rotating leather straps that ‘beats’ the dust out of the rug. And while even the most determined Clean Freaks don’t have room for such a large device- Almost all of us have a simple device that can tackle this important step of rug cleaning. What is it?

Your Vacuum!

Dry vacuuming removes excess dirt, soil, hair etc. – This will lead to better results and minimize issues with drying. (aka streaking and blotchy areas)

Vacuum in different directions, paying extra attention to high-traffic areas.

Even with the Pro Level ‘Rug Beating’ Machine we still vacuum the rug several times from different directions. (Even flipping the rug over and vacuuming both sides)

Pro Tip: Make sure your vacuum is suitable for your rug’s material, as some delicate rugs require special attachments or a lighter touch. 

3. Pump It Up!

Mix your cleaning solution in a pump-up sprayer.

For Rugs made with Synthetic Fibers there are a variety of soaps and DIY mixes on the market, and some of them work well. However, we highly suggest using Ultrapac Trafficlean from Prochem or Green Dragon 🐉. Both solutions give professional results when properly mixed and used as directed. 

To apply the cleaning solution, you’ll pump up the solution and evenly spray it across the rug. Let it sit for about five to ten minutes.

You can get a one-gallon or two-gallon pump-up spray bottle at your local big-box store, like Home Depot or even Amazon. This step is extremely important to loosen up soil from the carpet fibers. You are essentially pre-treating the rug which helps give the soap time to loosen up and dissolve the dirt and grime sitting in the carpet fibers.

Stubborn stains got you down? Apply the cleaning solution to a clean microfiber towel and gently blot the stain, avoiding excessive rubbing.

4. The Machine Matters

Use your carpet cleaning machine the right way.

We like to use the Hoover SmartWash, it works great and gives great DYI results:

  • Fill your fresh-water tank with warm water from the sink, and ONLY clean the pretreated rug with water. Do not add any soaps or any sort of additives to this water. You are rinsing not only the dirt and grime but also soap, so you want your rinsing water to be clean.
  • Go slowly. Rinse all that dirt and soap off the rug and then go over it again with just the vacuum function so that you’re extracting as much moisture as possible.
  • If an area isn’t cleaning up as well as other places, repeat the pre-treatment in step three and then rinse it out again.

5. Quick Dry!

The quicker your rug dries, the better the results:

Lay it flat on a clean, dry surface, preferably in a well-ventilated area.

Turn on a box fan or even turn on the ceiling fan if you have one in the room to get the airflow moving through the area you just cleaned.

Make sure the home environment is about 70 degrees Fahrenheit so you can either turn on the air conditioning, turn on the furnace, or open the windows. The key is to make sure the air temperature is around 70 degrees Fahrenheit.

Pro Tip: Use extreme caution cleaning or drying rugs on wood floors! Moisture can be trapped beneath the rug and damage the floor. Also, on some older wood floors, moisture can cause color transfer from the floor stain to the rug causing permanent damage.

Finally, allow the rug to air dry completely before placing it back in its rightful spot.

There you have it! We have ‘unraveled’ the mystery of DYI Rug Cleaning!

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