How to Clean a Rug

Instead of spending a fortune getting your area rug professionally cleaned, just follow these cleaning tips from DIY experts.

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Area rugs are a beautiful way to pull a room together. They add color and warmth, and feel good under bare feet. To make a rug last for years, you need to clean and maintain it. When it’s time to deep clean you can roll it up and send it out to a professional, or you can do it yourself and save a ton of money. Here’s how to clean a rug and remove stains without spending a fortune.

First, vacuum the rug on front and back to remove surface dirt and debris. Use the brush attachment to remove pet hair. Take the rug outside and lay flat on a waterproof surface. A driveway or patio is perfect.

If you’re using a store-bought rug shampoo, follow the instructions on mixing and on how to clean a rug. You can also make your own cleaner by mixing a few squirts of liquid dish soap into a bucket of warm water. Don’t use hot water as it could shrink and fade the rug. Test the solution in a small, inconspicuous area of the rug to make sure it’s colorfast. If the colors don’t run, you’re ready to go.

Using a sponge or a soft-bristled cleaning brush, apply the cleaning solution to the rug and work it into a lather. Do not oversaturate the rug. Allow the cleaner to sit on the rug for 5 minutes. Use your garden hose to rinse the rug off. Use a wet/dry vacuum to remove as much water as possible from the rug. Leave the rug outdoors until it’s completely dry before returning the clean area rug to its place in the house.You may need to flip it over and allow the rug to dry one side at a time.

Wondering how to clean a Persian rug? Take it to a professional. Persian rugs are expensive and you don’t want to ruin one with a DIY cleaning job. Spot-clean them only.

To remove stains from your rug, mix 1 teaspoon liquid dish soap, 1 quart of warm water and 1 teaspoon of vinegar. Use a soft cloth to apply cleaner to the stain and blot gently. Don’t rub because you can cause the carpet fibers to mat. Let the solution remain on the spot for at least five minutes. Use a clean cloth dipped in water to rinse out the soap. Blot with a dry towel to dry. For stubborn stains or to remove mold and mildew, spot clean with a mixture that’s one part hydrogen peroxide to five parts water.

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