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The Home Depot

Rug Cleaning Guide

Pro Referral > Home Guides > Carpeting > Rug Cleaning Guide
Rug Cleaning Guide

Any interior decorator will tell you that a rug can change the whole look and feel of a room. From small throw rugs that can be scattered over the floor to add color and warmth to large ones that cover a complete floor, they are rugs of all kinds are to be found in most homes. Rugs can be inexpensive machine made ones or Persian ones that cost a small fortune. Whatever the kind of rug, cleaning it properly will maintain its appearance and keep it looking its best for many years to come. More than this, cleaning your rugs will keep your family healthy.

  1. 1.Rugs Attract Unhealthy Germs & Viruses

    Whatever the kind of rug, cleaning it properly will maintain its appearance and keep it looking its best for many years.

    Rugs, because they are on the floor, attract all kinds of dirt from people walking on them to dust falling when the room is cleaned. This dirt will get into the fabric of the rugs and become a breeding ground for germs and microbes which after a time are released in the air and are inhaled. If you have a pet at home, the problem is compounded by the addition of animal hair and perhaps urine. A regular rug cleaning routine is the solution to these problems.

  2. 2.Prevention is the Best Way to Keep Rugs Clean

    Preventing dirt accumulation and staining of rugs is the best way to keep them looking their best and to reduce the frequency with which more vigorous methods have to be used. The first and most effective thing you can do is to buy fantastic doormats so that the amount of dirt that is tracked in by shoes is kept to a minimum. For the doormats to remain effective they too must be cleaned regularly or they will become saturated with dirt.


    Another prevention step is to mop up any spill s as soon as it occurs. Use an absorbent towel to blot the stain and do not scrub at it since this will only cause it to spread and become more ingrained in the rug fibers.


    If you are not in a position to clean the rugs yourself or the dirt requires professional cleaning, you will find details of carpet and rug cleaners in your area using Google. This is not any different than searching information for the best lawn care or to find a plumber. TLC says that rugs, even inexpensive ones, add character to a home and maintaining them is one of the basics of marvelous and dedicated housekeeping.

  3. 3.How to Clean a Rug

    Vacuuming is a regular part of all cleaning routines. But just vacuuming the surface is not enough. Pick up the rug and turn it upside down once a month. Use a beater bar or rotating brush on the back of the rug. Do not use this on the front as it may damage the wool. For synthetic rugs, the beater bar or rotating brush can be used once a month on the front too.


    Be careful of the any tassels on the rug and do not vacuum them since they can be sucked into the vacuum cleaner and possibly be damaged. A simple bushing with a hard brush is enough to keep them clean and fluffy.


    Regular cleaning with a rug shampoo or spray is a shrewd idea. How often this is done depends on how dirty the rug becomes but once in 6 months a good rule of thumb to follow. Be very careful with the cleaning solvents you use as different rug materials require different cleaners. Be especially careful with delicate woolen rugs. Using the wrong cleaner can damage your rug beyond repair. Check the label to see if the cleaner is right for the rug.

  5. 4.Doing the Job Right

    Before beginning, rub the rug with a damp white cloth to see if the colors run. If so, call up a professional to do the job. And after the spay or shampoo is used, ensure that all the cleaner is rinsed out of the rug as any solvent residue can, over time, damage the material and the colors. Pets are a joy, but dogs and cats can wreak havoc on rugs because of the dirt from their paws, the hair they shed and urination. If after cleaning the rug there are still odors emanating from parts of the rug mix 1 part of white vinegar to three parts of warm water and blot the areas of the rug where there are odors. This should solve the problem.

  6. 5.Cats & Rugs

    Cats in particular like to use rugs to stretch their claws. So if you have cats, buying an expensive rug may not be wise. If you declaw your cat, you are taking away their self-defense powers and their ability to effectively protect your home. The point is, do not buy expensive rugs or plan on replacing them sooner than homes without a cat.

  7. 6.Make the Most of Your Rugs

    Rugs become dirty gradually and it’s easy to not notice the condition they are in. Regular vacuuming and inspecting the condition of the rugs for extra cleaning will keep them looking their best and make your home a healthier and brighter place to live.

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