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How to Clean A Rug at Home

Castlery|Mar 20, 2024

Rugs are not just decorative pieces that add warmth and comfort to a room, but they also bear the brunt of daily foot traffic, spills, and dirt. Over time, rugs can accumulate dust, dirt, stains, and even odours, making them look dull and unclean.

The Odette Performance Bouclé Sofa, Paloma Bouclé Armchairs, and Lorenzo Wool Rug. Picture credits: @ayshaharun

However, you don't have to break the bank to keep your rug looking pristine. With the right tools, techniques, and a little bit of effort, you can easily clean your rug at home and restore its original beauty.

In this comprehensive guide, we walk you through the process of how to clean a rug at home, so you can enjoy spotless floors and a fresh-looking rug.

A step-by-step guide to cleaning rugs

Step 1: Gather the right tools

Before you start cleaning your rug, it's essential to gather all the necessary tools and materials. Here's what you'll need:

  • A vacuum cleaner

  • A carpet brush or a stiff brush

  • A bucket

  • Mild dish soap or rug cleaner

  • White vinegar

  • Clean towels or cloths

  • Water

Make sure that the tools and materials you use are suitable for your rug's type and material before beginning the cleaning process.

Step 2: Start with vacuuming

The next step in cleaning a rug at home is to thoroughly vacuum it. Vacuuming helps to remove loose dirt, dust, and debris from the rug's surface and deep within its fibers.

Use a vacuum cleaner with attachments, such as a brush, to clean the rug's edges and corners. Depending on the material of your rug, adjust the vacuum cleaner’s suction strength as needed to prevent damage.

Step 3: Spot clean stains

After vacuuming, inspect your rug for any visible stains or spills. If you spot any stains, it's important to spot treat them to prevent the stains from setting in or spreading.

Use a mild dish soap or a rug cleaner to clean the stains. You can also use white vinegar as a natural solution. Dilute the soap, vinegar, or cleaner in a bucket of water, and then use a clean towel or cloth to gently blot the stain.

Avoid rubbing the stain vigorously, as it can spread the stain and damage the rug fibers. Once the stain is removed, rinse the area with clean water and blot dry with a clean towel.

Step 4: Deep clean the rug

Now, it's time to deep clean your rug. Fill a bucket with water and add a small amount of mild dish soap or rug cleaner. Avoid using too much soap, as it can leave residue on your rug.

Dip a carpet brush or a stiff brush into the soapy water and gently scrub the rug in small circular motions. Pay extra attention to high-traffic areas and any remaining spots or stains. Avoid saturating the rug with water, as excessive moisture can damage the rug's backing or cause mould and mildew growth.

Step 5: Rinse and dry

Once you have thoroughly scrubbed the rug, it's time to rinse off the soap and dirt. Fill a bucket with water and use a clean towel or cloth to rinse the rug by blotting the surface. Rinse the towel or cloth frequently to remove the soap and dirt effectively.

After rinsing, use a clean towel or cloth to remove as much access moisture. Leave the rug outdoors to air dry completely before bringing it in and using it again.

A rug can help center your furniture. Pictured: Lilou Jute Rug and Austen Chairs.

How do I clean a wool rug?

The process is pretty much the same, but take note to be more gentle when scrubbing and cleaning the rug.

The Desi Wool Rug has earthy tones that gel well in any interior.

Use a wool-specific cleaner and avoid using harsh chemicals like bleach as they can damage the wool fibres. It’s also best to hand wash the rug to avoid excessive moisture.

After washing, it's crucial to ensure that the wool rug is dried properly to prevent mould or mildew growth. Hang the rug or lay it flat on a clean, dry surface in a well-ventilated area away from direct sunlight. Avoid using heaters or fans, as they can shrink the wool fibres.

How do I clean a jute rug?

As jute rugs are made from natural plant fibres, they require special care to avoid damage.

The Marc Oval Jute Rug is handwoven and creates an earthy charm.

Jute rugs are not recommended for heavy-duty cleaning or wet cleaning, as the fibres are highly absorbent and can easily be damaged by moisture. For stubborn stains, it's best to have the rug dry cleaned by a professional to avoid discolouration or deformation.

Smaller spills or stains can be cleaned using dry cleaning methods like using a dry cloth or cleaning powder. Blot the stain gently without rubbing or scrubbing, and vacuum or brush away the dry cleaning powder after it has absorbed the stain.

Air out the rug by flipping it and exposing it to fresh air and sunlight occasionally to prevent odours and mould growth.

Cleaning rugs at home is a practical and cost-effective way to keep them looking their best. Whether you have a wool, jute, or cotton rug, following the appropriate cleaning techniques and using gentle cleaning agents can help maintain their quality and prolong their lifespan.

Regular vacuuming, spot cleaning, and proper drying are essential steps in rug maintenance. With proper care and attention, you can enjoy clean and beautiful rugs in your home for years to come.

Castlery acknowledges Australia's First Nations as the Traditional Custodians of country throughout Australia and their connections to land, sea and community. We pay our respects to their Elders past and present and extend that respect to all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples today.
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