Knowing how to clean a rug is very important for increasing its life span and keeping it hygienically fresh. There are a lot of allergens, pathogens, contaminants, pollutants, dirt, and grime that can accumulate on your rug over time, so regularly cleaning it is crucial. Not only is this beneficial for the life span of your rug, but also for the health of people and animals who come into contact with the rug as well.
Rug cleaning at home can seem like a laborious task sometimes and there will be situations where you need to get an expert rug cleaning service. You should be very careful with the cleaning solutions and methods you use because different types of fibres respond differently to various cleaning methods. This means that while some rugs can handle steam cleaning, others will be destroyed by it.
This is why rug cleaning should only be done by professional rug cleaning companies such as Professional Rug Cleaning. While you can do mild stain removal at home, there's always a risk that what you do and use can make it worse. But until then, rug cleaning DIY is something that you can manage yourself, and here’s how.
So, you’ve decided that your rug needs a freshen up. Great! Because they need regular maintenance that should not be neglected or overlooked. Hiring a rug shampooer or rug steam cleaner machine may seem like the right choice, but for rug cleaning at home, you need to take a different approach in case you need to call a professional later.
This rug dry cleaning method actually draws from our specialised 9-stage rug cleaning process, so you know it’s effective and does a good job. If your rug has stains on it, then scroll down the page to the section on stain treatment and then proceed to step one afterward.
1. Identify Fibre Type and Construction
You first need to know what your rug is made out of before you start putting moisture and chemicals on it. This is crucial because different types of fibres respond to different cleaning methods. Look on the backside of your rug for the manufacturers label. Hopefully it’s still there and was included when the rug was made. This label should state what the rug is made of and sometimes what the backing is made of as well. If your rug is made of wool, cotton, shag, nylon, polypropylene, olefin, acrylic, or polyester, then you’re good to go.
If it’s made of either real silk or viscose (artificial silk), also known as rayon, banana silk, art silk, bamboo silk, nitro silk, acetate, modal, lyocell, or cuprammonium, then you should contact a professional rug cleaning service who knows how to clean rugs with this delicate and weak fibre construction. The same applies if your dealing with Oriental or Persian rug styles too.
The first step for cleaning your rug is to vacuum it. Make sure you have a good quality vacuum cleaner that can extract the dirt and grime that’s built up over time. A vacuum cleaner that has a beater bar will be effective for moving the fibres and exposing the particles that have been trapped in between them on high pile rugs.
Now you need to pre-spray your rug with a cleaning solution. The one that you use will depend on the type of rug you have. You also need to do a colour test to make sure that the rug won’t bleed after you clean it.
You can do this by putting a small amount of your cleaning solution in a corner of the rug and let it sit for a few minutes before cleaning it up with a white cloth. If the colour transfers to the cloth, then you should not proceed with cleaning the rug.
After you have applied your cleaning solution, you now need to agitate it in so it can work. This can be done using a hand mitten or specialised cloth with an agitator built into it if you don’t have access to a rotary brush machine or rug washing facilities.
This is a very important part of knowing how to clean a rug, because agitation makes the cleaning solutions work and do their job.
The rug now needs to have the moisture dried and removed. You can vacuum the rug again to remove some moisture from the surface of the rug. After this is done, the rug will need to be positioned in a place where airflow and temperature is ideal, especially if it was urine damaged.
This can be hanging over a balcony or rail, out in the sun briefly, or need an open door or window with cross-ventilation. If the rug is not properly dried, it will get water damage and you will have a whole different set of problems to deal with. Once the rug is completely dry it can be moved back to its place.
Baking soda is one of the best materials for cleaning various rug types. It's natural, non-toxic, and has gentle abrasive properties that make it ideal for safely removing dirt and stains from rugs made from wool, sisal, jute, synthetic fibres, and more. To use baking soda as a home cleaner for your rug:
• Sprinkle baking soda liberally over the rug's surface until it is covered in an even layer.
• Allow it to sit for at least 15 minutes.
• Vacuum up the baking soda.
If stubborn spots or stains remain after this process, you can use a damp cloth to gently scrub them off without damaging your rug's material further. Finally, vacuum the rug afterward to remove any remaining baking soda or particles.
Wool rugs are popular for many because of their natural beauty and inherent strength. Wool rugs come in various textures, colours, and patterns, making them an ideal choice for any room. In addition to being soft and plush, wool is naturally flame-resistant. This makes it easy to clean with minimal effort at home.
The best way to maintain the appearance of your wool rug is through regular vacuuming to remove dirt particles that can become embedded in the fabric over time. Spot cleaning with a mild soap solution can help lift tougher stains without damaging the fibres. If more extensive cleaning is needed, professional steam or dry cleaning may be required depending on the type of stain and severity. Lastly, periodic brushing or grooming of the rug can help keep it looking its best.
Cotton rugs are a popular and versatile type of rug used in any space. They have a soft, cosy feel and can come in many different styles and colours. Generally, these rugs require only routine vacuuming and spot cleaning for routine maintenance. For deeper cleaning, it's important to use a low-moisture or dry cleaning method because cotton doesn't like exposure to too much moisture. It is also important to note that cotton rugs should not be exposed to direct sunlight or extreme temperatures as this could cause fading or shrinking.
Shag rugs are a popular choice for many homes and are often placed under a bed in a bedroom or in a living room. They can come in various materials, including wool, synthetic fibres, cotton, and other natural fibres. Wool shag rugs tend to be the most durable and require extra care when cleaning. Synthetic fibre shags such as polyester or nylon can be easier to clean but need regular vacuuming and spot treatment for dirt and stains.
Cotton is also a great option for lightweight shags that don’t require much effort but will still last for years with proper maintenance. All these rugs should be vacuumed frequently on both sides to remove built-up dirt particles that can cause damage if left unchecked. For more stubborn spots, spot treatment and gentle scrubbing with mild soapy water or a solution of vinegar and water can help ensure your rug's longevity. If you need an extra deep clean, taking it outside and giving it a good shake will release built-up dirt while still being gentle on the material.
Polyester rugs are a popular and affordable choice of rug material. They're usually stain-resistant, long-lasting, and a popular choice for a living room. Despite this resilience, they still require regular cleaning to keep them looking fresh and new. Polyester rugs should be vacuumed routinely to remove dirt and dust particles that may have built up over time.
If necessary, polyester rugs can be steam cleaned or dry cleaned; however, do not use harsh chemicals when attempting to clean these types of rugs as this could damage their fibres. After washing, dry the polyester rug outdoors in direct sunlight or hang it indoors, so it does not shrink due to too much moisture.
Polypropylene rugs are a popular option for many homeowners due to their durability and affordability. These rugs are made from polypropylene, a type of synthetic plastic. Polypropylene is resistant to water and stains, making it ideal for high-traffic areas such as kitchens, living rooms, and hallways.
Because of its resistance, polypropylene can be easily cleaned with just a vacuum cleaner or spot cleaning with mild soap and water. Vacuuming removes deep-down dirt build-up that may have accumulated over time. Spot cleaning with mild soap and warm water works great on any spills or accidents on the rug's surface, providing you can extract the excess moisture.
Olefin rugs are a great option for the home due to their durability and stain resistance. However, they still need maintenance and regular cleaning to keep them looking their best. With proper care, Olefin rugs will last for years and remain beautiful in any home, even when placed in a kids room.
To clean an Olefin rug, it is important to vacuum regularly to remove dirt and dust build-up. It is also beneficial to spot clean spills as soon as possible with a mild soap or detergent solution and water. If necessary, you can use a carpet cleaner on an olefin rug but be sure not to over-wet the material or use too much water pressure, which can damage its fibres.
Nylon is a synthetic fibre with many advantages, including its vibrancy and durability. While nylon rugs don't tend to stain easily, they can become dirty and need cleaning from time to time. Fortunately, cleaning a nylon rug yourself at home is quite easy.
Vacuum the rug regularly on both sides, ensuring the suction power setting on your vacuum is not too high otherwise, the fibres may be damaged. Spot treat any stains with mild soap and cold water, ensuring you rinse thoroughly afterward. When necessary, give your nylon rug a deeper clean with a steam cleaner or low-moisture cleaning method.
Acrylic rugs, made from synthetic materials, can be attractive and durable additions to any home. They are available in various colours, styles, and sizes and can be used indoors and outdoors. Acrylic rugs are easy to care for but require some special attention when it comes to cleaning.
They should be vacuumed regularly with a low-suction tool attachment to keep them looking their best. Spot clean spills immediately using a mild detergent solution on a damp cloth; then rinse the area thoroughly with clear water. For tougher stains and dirt build-up, professional rug cleaners may need to be hired, as harsh chemicals or too much scrubbing can damage the fibres of an acrylic rug. Acrylic rugs can be safely steam cleaned or dry cleaned.
Silk is a delicate fibre and should be handled extra care when cleaning. Silk rugs are known for their luxurious softness and shine, but they can also easily become damaged if not cared for properly. To clean a silk rug at home, use a vacuum to remove any loose dirt and debris.
For cleaning stains, you may need professional help from an experienced rug cleaner as it requires a delicate cleaning process. Avoid harsh chemicals on your silk rug, as these could permanently damage the fibres.
Viscose rugs are popular for floor coverings and they come in many different styles. They have a soft, velvety surface with bright colours, making them an aesthetically pleasing addition to any room.
However, due to their delicate nature, they are absolute garbage and we wouldn't recommend you ever get one. Even vacuuming can cause long-term damage or early wear and tear. Do not attempt to clean these yourself, because causing permanent damage is very likely. You can contact us here at Professional Rug Cleaning Brisbane for a quote on viscose rug cleaning.
Persian rugs are known for their intricate designs, bright colours, and luxurious fabrics. These rugs often contain delicate materials such as wool or silk, which require special care when cleaning. To clean a Persian rug at home, it is important to use the appropriate materials and techniques to avoid damaging the material.
Vacuuming a Persian rug should be done regularly to remove dust and dirt. In more serious spills or stains, spot-cleaning with the correct solutions should be done in a test patch to see if the rug will have dye-bleed. If it does, then cleaning it will likely cause the colours to run.
We recommend Persian and Oriental rug cleaning should only be done by professional rug cleaning companies and not by yourself at home.
Jute is a strong, fibrous material that can be made into a thick or thin weave. It's also great for the environment because it's an eco-friendly material that is biodegradable and renewable. When cleaning your jute rug, always sweep away any loose dirt before spot-cleaning with an approved solution that the rug store recommended.
Avoid scrubbing too hard, as this could damage the rug's fibres and cause fading over time. For regular maintenance of your jute rug, use a vacuum cleaner with only low suction settings so as not to damage the threads. Jute does not like exposure to moisture and it can experience cellulosic browning if the moisture is not removed.
Sisal rugs are strong, durable, and hard to care for. The most common way of cleaning a sisal rug is vacuum cleaning it regularly with an attachment with soft bristles. This method ensures that the dirt and debris do not accumulate in the rug's fibres over time, preventing wear and damage.
Spot cleaning is also necessary when needed, and you should only use an approved solution that the rug store has given or recommended you. This material can also experience cellulosic browning from exposure to moisture.
Sheepskin rugs are known for their soft, luxurious texture and warmth. However, they can be tricky to maintain due to their delicate nature. The best way to care for a sheepskin rug is by using simple, gentle cleaning methods that won’t cause any damage or fade.
Start vacuuming the rug with the upholstery attachment to remove any excess dirt and dust from the fibres. Use a very mild detergent such as wool wash when spot-cleaning any stains or areas of heavy wear. You can use a fabric refresher spray to freshen up the rug in between cleanings.
Cowhide rugs are the perfect addition to any interior space. They provide an interesting texture and warmth, and cowhide rugs can also add a sense of luxury to the room. Cowhide is durable and often resilient to everyday wear and tear, but maintaining its original beauty requires periodic cleaning.
To ensure your rug stays in top condition for years to come, follow these simple steps: Vacuum regularly using your vacuum's upholstery attachment. Use as little moisture as possible on the top-side of the rug for cleaning to ensure the hide doesn't get damaged. A low-moisture cleaning method would be the best approach.
1. Scoop up the solids
2. Blot as much of the liquid as possible
3. Hold a cleaning treatment solution 20-30cm from the area
4. Spray the affected area
5. Clean it using a microfibre cloth with gentle agitation
6. Allow the area to dry and repeat steps 1-5 after 24hrs
7. Allow to dry and vacuum
The rug cleaning cost may be a factor before you hire a rug cleaning company, but remember that they are the experts and can get a much better result than you can achieve at home when it comes to stain removal and treatment.
We how to clean a rug at home or in your workplace, and just having a professional rug cleaning service come to you annually can make a big difference for your rug so please don’t hesitate and make a booking now through the button below and to ask about carpet protection to increase the lifespan of your rug.