How to Clean an Area Rug on a Hardwood Floor

Living Room Detail

Area rugs can make an entire room look more colorful, cozier, and more put together—but they can also make the room look dirtier if you haven’t kept up a rug cleaning routine. From regular traffic through the home to messy kids with dirty footprints, your rugs can take on a lot of dirt, dust, and debris.

If the stains on your rug are seemingly multiplying, it might be time to try your hand at cleaning it up. Whether you’ve never cleaned your rug or it’s been a while, here’s how to clean the area rug on top of your hardwood flooring.

Start with a Vacuum

The first thing you should do when cleaning your area rug is thoroughly vacuum it on both sides. On the side with the fibers you’ll be eliminating any debris that’s accumulated (such as crumbs and pet hair) and on the underside, you’ll be removing dust that’s piled up underneath.

Once it’s been thoroughly vacuumed, it’s also not a bad idea to take it outside (weather permitting) and beat it with a broom handle or tennis racket to get more dust out.

Shampoo It

The next step after vacuuming and dusting your area rug is to shampoo it using a specialized rug cleaner. Before you commit to shampooing the entire surface of the rug, test it out on a small corner to see if there will be any dye migration or fading. It’s also crucial to take a look at what types of fibers your rug shampoo works best on, otherwise it could cause damage that’s not repairable.

Read the back of your cleaning product to see how long you should leave it on the rug and whether there are any special instructions.

Rinse Your Area Rug 

After the shampoo has had a chance to set in, you’ll need to rinse it completely so that you don’t have any residue left on the rug fibers.

Dry It Out

Before you bring your rug back inside to put on top of your hardwood floors, you’ll need to let it completely dry. Although waiting is a big part of the drying process, there are a few things you can do to speed it up. You can use either a squeegee or a wet-dry vacuum to wring out your rug and get excess water out to help it along.

The most important thing, however, is to always dry your rug completely flat. If you drape it over something or hang it up, it can get unattractive kinks or warps.

Not sure if you want to go the DIY route? Call in a professional instead. Kiwi Services has been providing rug cleaning services for over 30 years. Your rug won’t be in safer hands, so call to schedule a service today!