Do you have an area rug that needs cleaning? Do you want to know how to clean an area rug with a carpet cleaner?
An area rug can brighten up any room in your home and add an extra layer of warmth and comfort. But, like any other type of flooring, area rugs must be properly cleaned and maintained to keep them looking their best.
Carpet cleaners are a great way to clean area rugs, as they can remove dirt, dust, and stains that vacuuming alone can’t. But, before you start cleaning your rug with a carpet cleaner, there are a few things you need to do first to ensure the best results.
In this article, we’ll show you how to clean an area rug with a carpet cleaner step-by-step. We’ll also share tips on keeping your rug looking its best in between cleanings.
Getting Ready to Clean
Before you start cleaning your rug with a carpet cleaner, there are a few things you need to do to get it ready.
➜Find Out If You Can Clean It
The first thing you should do when thinking about cleaning an area rug is to decide if you can do it yourself. Antiques and fragile rug materials require different cleaning methods than you can use at home. It can be costly to replace them if you make a mistake.
Therefore, if you have timeless pieces and want to preserve them for future generations, you should hire a professional cleaner. Also, if you have questions about your rug’s care, it is always best to ask a professional’s cleaning service opinion before proceeding with any type of cleaning.
➜Check For Damage
You should also check for any damage on your rug before starting to clean it. If there are any loose threads or fraying, you should trim them before proceeding with the cleaning.
It would help if you also repaired any tears or holes in your rug to prevent them from worsening. If you’re unsure how to do this, you can always take it to a professional for repairs.
➜Check The Manufacturer’s Cleaning Instructions
Every type of rug is different and requires different cleaning methods. Therefore, you should always check the manufacturer’s instructions before starting to clean your rug.
This will ensure that you don’t damage it during the cleaning process. You can clean many rugs with a carpet cleaner, but some require special care.
➜Create an Outdoor Station
It would be best to wash your rug on a sunny day and set up a drying area outside. You shouldn’t leave it on the lawn since the grass will absorb the rug’s dyes and other chemicals.
Area rugs are too heavy to dry on a standard clothesline. There is no way to prevent the line from snapping under strain. Instead, use something solid, such as two trees in your yard growing quite close together.
If you can’t wash your rug outside, you should create a similar drying station indoors. You’ll need to open all the windows and doors in the room to ensure proper ventilation.
Prepare Your Cleaning Solution
You should always use a cleaning solution designed for use with carpet cleaners. These solutions are usually made specifically for the type of machine you’re using.
You can always check the manufacturer’s instructions if you’re unsure which solution to use. You should also ensure that the solution you’re using is safe for the type of rug you’re cleaning.
Some solutions are only meant for certain types of carpeting and rugs. If you use the wrong solution, you could damage your rug.
Area Rug Cleaning Preparation
The first step in cleaning your rug with a carpet cleaner is to prepare the rug. You will need to remove all furniture from the room and vacuum the rug. Be sure to vacuum both sides of the rug. If your rug is reversible, be sure to vacuum both sides.
Next, you will need to pretreat any stains on the rug. You can use a carpet cleaner’s pretreatment solution or make your own. To make your own pretreatment solution:
- Mix one-part white vinegar with two parts water.
- Pretreat any areas with heavy traffic or stains.
- Apply the pretreatment solution to these areas and let it sit for five minutes before proceeding to the next step.
Start At the Top
Put the vacuum on the carpet setting if it has one. Be cautious if your rug has particularly long fibers. They can get tangled in the vacuum’s beater bar or rollers or even ripped right out of the carpet.
To vacuum, you should move the vacuum back and forth. In order to ensure complete coverage of a wide area, it is best to divide it into smaller portions and work on each individually.
Applying baking soda to your carpeting once every three months will help keep it smelling fresh. Evenly disperse it throughout the rug and let it sit for a few minutes.
The baking soda will immediately neutralize any residual stench. Then, thoroughly vacuum the entire rug to remove the powder.
Be careful when vacuuming an oriental, Persian, antique, or handmade rug. A low suction without attachments will work, or you can place a nylon screen over the carpeting. In this way, the fibers can be safeguarded while effectively cleaned of dirt and dust.
Flip Your Rug Over
The underside of an area rug is often overlooked. As time passes, a surprising amount of grime and dirt can accumulate beneath your carpet.
Use long, back-and-forth strokes to vacuum the underside after you’ve flipped it over. When you’re done, just turn the rug back over.
If you do this, you won’t have to worry about allergens spreading across the house. This can be a lifesaver when one or more family members suffer from allergies. Dust mites attract dark, dense materials, and their skeletal remains can harm human health even after the insects have died.
Let It Dry
After you have cleaned the entire rug, turn off the machine and let it sit for five minutes. This will allow the cleaning solution to penetrate the rug and break up any remaining dirt.
After five minutes, turn on the machine and use the hose attachment to rinse the rug. Be sure to rinse the rug until the water from the machine is clear.
Once you have rinsed the rug, turn off the machine and let it sit for another five minutes. This will allow the rug to absorb any remaining water.
Cleaning Various Types Of Rugs
The information above will go a long way with most rugs, but there are some extra steps you should take depending on the type and material of your rug. Continue reading to learn how to clean a rug of any fabric or construction.
📍Wool Rug and Cotton Rug
Wool is a fantastic material. It’s softer, more durable, and more waterproof than most other fabrics. Unfortunately, the shape of the fibers makes them excellent at retaining dirt. As a natural fiber, cotton has the majority of these advantages and disadvantages.
Fortunately, these rugs do not require more maintenance than you might think. Vacuum frequently, particularly during the first few months. Wool rugs shed a lot when they are fresh. Don’t be concerned! Your rug will not be left bare-once all of the loose fibers have been shaken out, it should look beautiful for years to come!
When cleaning an oriental rug, you need to take certain precautions. Think about the nap or the direction the fibers naturally fall, and make sure to vacuum in that direction. This will help maintain the rug’s shape.
If your oriental rug is small enough to fit in your washing machine, you can use it on a delicate cycle with a mild detergent. Larger rugs will likely require oriental rug cleaning services.
Jute rugs are made of natural fibers and are usually quite durable. They can be a bit tricky to clean, however. Because they are so absorbent, they will retain any water or cleaning solution you use on them. This means you have to be careful not to overwet the rug while cleaning it.
To clean a jute rug, start by vacuuming it. Then, mix one teaspoon dish soap with one cup of warm water. Using a clean cloth, sponge the solution onto the rug. Be sure only to use as much as is necessary to dampen the rug lightly-you don’t want it to be soaked!
After you’ve dampened the rug, use a clean cloth to sponge off any remaining soap. Finally, use a hairdryer on the low setting to dry the rug completely.
📍Synthetic Fiber Rug
Nowadays, most rugs comprise synthetic materials such as polypropylene, polyester, and acrylic. These carpets look like wool and cotton rugs but cost a fraction of the price and need no special care. However, it is critical to limit expectations when it comes to synthetic rugs.
Synthetic fibers are very smooth, unlike cotton, wool, and other porous natural fibers. This implies they will show more dirt, will not keep dye, and will fade with time. Fortunately, you can avoid these problems with regular maintenance.
You should also be aware that many synthetic rugs include a jute backing and thus share all of the issues associated with a complete jute rug. If this is the case with your rug, avoid using water to wash it and promptly dry any spills.
Vacuum frequently and use a carpet cleaner when necessary to maintain the beauty of your synthetic rug.
Shag rugs, regardless of material, will require extra care to keep them clean. The long strands of shag rugs attract dirt and keep it buried deep within the pile. The huge pile also makes vacuuming difficult. Strong suction can damage fibers, and the beater bar can rip them out.
NEVER use the beater bar to vacuum a shag rug. If the rug is small enough, turn it upside down and vacuum the back instead. This will dislodge any dirt that is buried beneath. You may then quickly sweep up the floor beneath the rug, picking up any debris that has been shaken away.
If you must vacuum the top of the rug, do so very gently. A handheld vacuum is ideal for this task. If you don’t have one, use the softest setting on your regular vacuum and make sure the beater bar is turned off. Move slowly over the rug’s surface, careful not to damage any fibers.
When it comes to cleaning, the best way to clean a shag rug is by using the dry extraction method. This involves using a carpet cleaner with no water. You will need to buy or rent a machine designed for this task. Be sure to read the instructions carefully before using them on your rug.
To use the dry extraction method:
- Start by vacuuming the rug.
- Sprinkle a generous amount of dry cleaning powder over the entire surface of the rug.
- Use a brush to work the powder into the pile.
After you’ve worked the powder into the rug, let it sit for about 15 minutes. This will give it time to absorb any dirt and oils. Then, the dry extraction machine removes the powder from the rug.
If you don’t have a dry extraction machine, try using a carpet shampooer. Be sure to read the instructions carefully before using them on your rug.
Regular Care and Maintenance
The obvious solution to the problem of stains is to prevent their appearance. Maintaining your rugs regularly is essential to keep them looking beautiful and maintain the coziness level in your house high. Here are some tips on how to keep your rugs clean and fresh all the time:
✔️Vacuum Rugs Frequently
Vacuuming rugs and carpets at least once per week or twice per month is recommended. You may want to vacuum up to twice a day in high-traffic areas. Sprinkle some baking soda on the rug’s surface before vacuuming to remove odors and keep it feeling fresh. Last but not least, turn down the airflow setting and skip using the beater bar to protect the rug’s fibers and extend its life. This is especially true when cleaning shag rugs.
✔️Deep Clean Rugs Periodically
How often you need to deep clean your rug will depend on how often it’s used and the traffic it experiences. A good rule of thumb is to clean heavily trafficked areas every 12 to 18 months and lightly trafficked areas every two to three years. You can opt for professional cleaning services or rent a carpet cleaner from your local home improvement store.
✔️Spot Clean Rugs as Needed
Spot cleaning is essential to prevent a permanent stain if you spill something on your rug. Use a clean white cloth to blot the spill and remove as much liquid as possible. If the spill is dry, scrape it up with a blunt knife. Once you’ve removed as much of the spill as possible, apply a carpet cleaning solution and let it sit for 10 minutes. Blot the area with a clean cloth to remove the solution, then rinse with cold water. Repeat this process until the stain is gone.
✔️Use Door Mats and Rugs in High-Traffic Areas
Doormats and rugs protect your floors from dirt, mud, and snow. Placing them in high-traffic areas like entryways, mudrooms, and kitchens can help reduce the amount of dirt and grime that gets tracked into your home. Be sure to clean these mats and rugs regularly to prevent them from becoming stained and smelly.
✔️Take Your Shoes Off
One of the best ways to keep your rugs clean is to take your shoes off when you enter your home. This simple step can help reduce the amount of dirt, mud, and snow tracked into your home. If taking your shoes off isn’t realistic, be sure to clean your floors regularly to prevent them from becoming stained and smelly.
✔️Always Keep a Rug Cleaner on Hand
A high-quality rug cleaner is useful since most stains can be removed with minimal effort if addressed promptly. Even though some may wish to stock up on a wide variety of specialty cleaners, the vast majority of the population can get by with only one good all-purpose product.
There are many different types of carpet cleaners available on the market, so it’s important to choose one that’s right for your needs. If you have a pet, you may opt for a cleaner specifically designed to remove pet stains and odors. For general cleaning, any all-purpose cleaner will do the trick. Be sure to read the manufacturer’s instructions carefully before using any cleaner on your rug.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: How often should I vacuum my rug?
A: It’s generally recommended that you vacuum your rug at least once a week or twice a month for lightly trafficked areas. However, you may want to vacuum up to twice a day in high-traffic areas.
Q: Can I use a carpet cleaner on my rug?
A: Yes, you can use a carpet cleaner on your rug. However, read the manufacturer’s instructions carefully before using one. Additionally, it’s generally best to opt for professional cleaning services or rent a carpet cleaner from your local home improvement store for deep cleaning.
Q: Why do I need to take my shoes off before entering my home?
A: Taking your shoes off before entering your home can help reduce the amount of dirt, mud, and snow tracked into your house. Furthermore, it can help extend the life of your rug by preventing premature wear and tear.
Q: What’s the best way to remove a stain from my rug?
A: The best way to remove a stain from your rug will depend on the type of stain. For general spills, it’s best to blot the area with a clean white cloth and apply a carpet cleaning solution. Let the solution sit for 10 minutes, then blot the area with a clean cloth to remove the solution. Repeat this process until the stain is gone.
Q: How can I prevent my rug from being stained in the first place?
A: You can prevent your rug from being stained by taking your shoes off when you enter your home, placing door mats and rugs in high-traffic areas, and always keeping a rug cleaner on hand. Additionally, it’s best to vacuum your rug at least once a week to remove any dirt or debris that could potentially cause a stain.
Q: Can steam cleaner be used on rugs?
A: Yes, you can use a steam cleaner on rugs. However, read the manufacturer’s instructions carefully before using one. Some rugs are not meant to be steam cleaned and can be damaged by the process.
Q: How can I remove pet urine stains on my rug?
A: If you have a pet, you may want to opt for a cleaner that’s specifically designed to remove pet stains and odors. For general cleaning, any all-purpose cleaner will do the trick.
Cleaning your rug regularly is the best way to keep it looking its best. However, accidents happen, and stains can occur. When this happens, acting quickly and using the proper cleaning solution for the specific stain is important. Always test any cleaner in an inconspicuous rug area before using it on the stain. With a little care and effort, you can keep your rug looking new for years to come.