How to Wash a Rug Right- Everything You Need to Know!

How to Wash a Rug

Our rugs and carpets have definitely seen better days. Our guests love them, our pets love them, and most often than not we let our rugs sit there for months on a stretch. But how to wash a rug? How to clean it properly? 

Well, it can certainly be a challenge. For one thing, you need to be very careful of what you’re using to clean it, and whether you’re doing it right. But don’t worry, we’re here for you!

Keep reading to find out how to wash a rug (and how to do it right!).

Types of Rug and How to Maintain Them

Before you get going with your rug, it’s important to know what kind of rug you have. Each rug needs its own special care, and it is very important to keep this in mind! Let’s have a brief look at each of them. 

Wool And Cotton Rugs:

Lucky for you, these rugs hardly require any special care. As a fabric, wool and cotton are the easiest to care for. They’re soft, durable, easy to clean, and water-proof! However, these rugs do hold a lot of dirt over-time.

The good part, though, is that it does not require any extra care as such. Regularly vacuum your rug. Do not worry about all the fiber shedding in the first few months, it’s natural. Once you’ve taken good care of your rug, it will last you years! 

Jute Rugs

Jute, being a very tough fiber, rarely attracts any dust. Vacuuming once in a while should do the trick with these rugs. 

One important thing to remember is to keep them away from water. Jute rugs tend to hold on to water for a long time, and may develop molds and other bacterial growth. If your rug does have any spillage, resort to spot treatment and thoroughly dry the spot. Do not leave it to dry on its own.

Synthetic Fiber Rugs

Synthetic rugs are very popular in the market today. They successfully imitate wool rugs, minus the special care that wool actually needs. Most synthetic rugs are washable and suitable for vacuuming.

However, synthetic fibers show dust and dirt very easily and hence need constant cleaning. 

How To Wash A Rug

Now that you know the do’s and don’ts of each type of rug, let’s look at how to wash a rug (and how to do it right!)

To properly wash your rug, carefully read the next few steps: 

  1. Read the labels on your rug

First and foremost, read your labels for any special instructions or things to avoid while washing your rug. Even synthetic rugs have a jute backing. Check to see if your rug has any such conditions. If it does, you wanna be very careful to not leave any moisture in your rug once you’re done washing it. 

  1. Prep ahead of time

Cleaning your rug can be an exhaustive piece of work. And this is why it is best that you gather all your supplies and prep your workstation ahead of time. Plan and schedule your rug-washing session, so that there’s plenty of sunlight and a place for your rug to dry once you’re done cleaning it. 

If your rug is compact enough to fit in your washing machine, prepare for a drying spot ahead of time. If not, you probably wanna set up your workstation outside for hand-washing the rug. A sloped driveway or outside the garage works great!

  1. Vacuum the rug

First things first, once you’re done prepping your materials, you need to thoroughly vacuum your rug. Clean both sides to loosen any built-up debris or dirt. You can even go ahead and pound the rug with the help of a broom to lift up the dirt. 

You may also like: Best Kitchen Area Rugs and Runners

  1. Treat spots and stains

Before you wash your entire rug, it is important to check for any stains or spills from the previous days. If there are, spot treat them before you move ahead.

To do so, use warm, soapy water and rinse the stain with a soft brush or a sponge. You can refer to this video for more tips to spot clean your rug. I like to make my own cleaning solution at home. You can check it out here!

  1. Use a mild rug-cleaner or detergent

Keeping in mind the previous steps, we now need to move on to washing the entire rug. You can either do that using a washing machine or hand-wash it if it’s too long to fit into the machine. 

In the machine, remember to use cold water and keep it at a slow speed. When hash-washing it, use a soft brush and be gentle but thorough. Whichever way you end up choosing, always use mild detergents. Do a patch test to make sure that your detergent does not fade the color of your rug. 

  1. Fully dry the rug

While people often neglect this step, it is just as important as the others, if not more. It’s not enough to partly hang your rug so that it is dry to touch. Your rug should be left in the sun for at least 6-8 hours, even more depending upon your rug.

Place a tissue onto your rug and press hard. If it’s moist, you need to further use a hair-dryer or a wet-or-dry vacuum to air dry it. Remember that a moist rug can invite a lot of molds and other bacterias. Always dry your rugs.

  1. Vacuum again 

As the last finish, vacuum your rug once again once it’s fully dry. This will get rid of any loose fibers from the washing and leave your rug feeling good as new! 

How To Deep Clean A Rug?

If, however, your rug simply looks like a lost cause, there’s no need to worry. There are ways to get your rug professionally cleaned. And with the right tools, you can even clean them at home! 

If you’re curious about how and what you will be needing while deep cleansing your carpet, check out this video.

How To Dry A Rug?

This part deserves a separate mention because that’s how important it is to follow. After all, you do not want uninvited mildew and mold in your carpet, right?

These are the following ways you can dry your carpet:

  1. Under direct sunlight
  2. Using a wet-and-dry vacuum cleaner
  3. Using a dehumidifier
  4. Using a fan
  5. With the help of proper ventilation 
  6. Using carpet cleaners

You can check out this video for further help!


Can you get your rug professionally cleaned?

Yes! There are so many domestic and corporate companies that will professionally clean and dry your carpet and get rid of any dirt or stains for you.

Is it safe to put your rug in the washing machine?

It depends on the type of your rug. You can machine dry cotton or synthetic rugs, but should never wash jute rugs. 

How to dry a wet carpet?

There are many ways to dry your carpet. The best of these is to hang your carpet to dry under direct sunlight, but you can also use a fan, a dehumidifier, a wet-and-dry vacuum cleaner, or even a carpet cleaner. 

Final Thoughts

Whether it’s a small stain that you can’t get rid of, or whether you haven’t cleaned your rug for ages, it can be a very intimidating task to do at home. But hopefully, you now know how to wash a rug right! 

Next time your rug feels dusty, remember to routinely clean it. Wash it from time to time and follow proper care. After all, your rugs need some TLC too!