How to Properly Clean a Rug

Rugs add beauty and warmth to a room but also collect dirt, dust, and debris that can prematurely wear the fibers. Professional cleaning removes soil from rugs and allows them to dry quickly.

Before washing a small rug, consult the care label or check the manufacturer’s website for instructions. A few basic tools are also necessary: white cotton towels for blotting stains, mild dish soap, diluted as directed, and stain remover. Contact Rug Cleaning EL Dorado Hills CA now!

Stains are a rug’s worst enemy but don’t have to be permanent. With the right cleaning tools and techniques, most stains can be removed. To clean a rug, you will need:

  • A vacuum cleaner with a removable attachment or a carpet shampooer.
  • A bucket of water.
  • White cotton towels.
  • Hydrogen peroxide and baking soda.
  • Rubbing alcohol.
  • Commercial cleaner (check the care label for safe use on your specific rug).
  • A brush or scrub pad.
  • A plastic drop cloth.

Before starting to remove a stain, test the fabric for colorfastness by running a white cloth across it. If the colors run, you will need to take your rug to a professional cleaner. If the colors hold, proceed with spot treatment. If your rug is made of natural fibers, you should also protect the floor beneath it with a clean sheet or tarp.

First, blot the stain with a damp towel to absorb excess liquid. Then, pour a small amount of hydrogen peroxide over the stain to dissolve it. Follow by a small amount of baking soda, and blot the area again. Continue until the stain is completely gone and your rug is dry.

If the rug is made of natural fibers, such as wool or cotton, a mild detergent can be used. Test a small area of the rug for colorfastness before applying the detergent, and use only as much as recommended on the label. If the rug is made of synthetic fibres, a gentle, non-toxic, plant-based cleaner such as distilled white vinegar can be used instead of a chemical detergent.

It is also possible to machine-wash a rug, but be sure to read the care label carefully and check that the rug is not too delicate for this type of cleaning. If the rug is a large, washable size, shake it outside to reduce the risk of tangling long fringes and to reduce the amount of water it absorbs.

A very small rug or one that is very delicate should only be cleaned by a professional. Always follow the cleaner’s instructions exactly, and rinse thoroughly. It’s a good idea to let the rug air dry outdoors, rather than inside your home, to avoid mold and mildew problems. If you want to speed the drying process, you can place the rug on a tarp or clean deck and use a portable fan to move air over the surface. A few hours should be enough to fully dry a rug before putting it back in place. You should also shake or brush the rug to get rid of any loose dirt and debris. You can even sprinkle the rug with unscented talcum powder, which will help to keep it fresh and clean until you are ready to clean it again.

Enzymatic cleaners

Enzyme cleaners use non-pathogenic bacteria to break down and digest organic waste, stains and odors. These cleaners are usually dormant until they come into contact with water, when they act as a catalyst to help the natural process of breaking down these stains and odours by destroying odor-producing bacteria and converting them into carbon dioxide and water. Enzyme cleaners are non-corrosive and biodegradable. They’re safe for families with kids and pets to use, gentle on fabrics, and work well in a wide variety of surfaces.

These types of cleaners are most effective on biological stains and odours, such as those caused by pet urine and stool or vomit. They work by releasing the enzymes that are naturally produced in our bodies to break down the proteins in these stains and odours. The cleaners also contain bacteria that kill the odour-causing bacteria, and a surfactant to lift oils and dirt.

They’re often sold in powder form for blending into other cleaning products, or as ready-to-use cleaners with the consistency of lotion. For example, OxiClean’s combines sodium percarbonate, sodium carbonate and a polymer to remove oils and lift odours. These chemicals are safe for colorfast surfaces and are on the EPA’s list of approved non-toxic ingredients.

Other popular products include Rocco and Roxie’s Stain and Odour Eliminator, which has over 78,000 5-star reviews on Amazon, as it works hard to eliminate organic stains such as urine, vomit and faeces and their associated odours. This product uses only five ingredients, has a green label and is safe for children and pets. It also received the Carpet and Rug Institute’s Seal of Approval, meaning it won’t damage or stain your carpets or rugs.

To use, simply apply the cleaner to the affected area and let it sit for about 20 minutes or so, allowing it time to start working on the odors and stains. Once the time is up, you should blot as much of the liquid away as possible with a clean cloth. If there’s more liquid than the enzyme cleaner can deal with, it may be necessary to soak it overnight before trying again. You can use a fan to speed up the drying process if it’s a large area or use a towel to gently pat it dry. Leaving the area wet for a few hours after treatment can also help reduce mold growth, and it’s a good idea to use a dehumidifier if it’s humid where you live.


Cornstarch is a kitchen staple that serves a multitude of purposes. It thickens gravies, sauces, and an untold number of desserts. But this inexpensive household item can also be used to perform a number of cleaning tasks, including removing stains and eliminating odors from rugs. Its powerful absorbent properties make it an effective natural alternative to store-bought cleaners for a variety of surface types.

In fact, it’s one of the most versatile household cleaners you can have on hand. It’s easy to use and it’s safe on the environment. It’s especially useful for absorbing organic stains and odors, such as blood and grease, from rugs and carpets. It can be applied as a paste or sprinkled directly on the stain to instantly remove it.

It’s also a great dry shampoo for greasy or slightly stinky hair. It’s a quick and easy solution to lift dirt, oil, and sweat while it leaves your hair feeling clean and refreshed. It’s even an excellent skin exfoliator when mixed with milk or honey and applied to a sunburn or insect bite. It can also be used to clean leather items such as a handbag or briefcase that’s gotten wet. Simply apply a paste of cornstarch and let it dry before vacuuming.

Similarly, it can be used to quickly remove grease stains from fabric items such as clothing or dish towels. Just mix a thick paste of cornstarch and water, apply to the stained area, and allow to dry completely before brushing or vacuuming away. It can even be sprinkled on the back of books that have become damp to absorb moisture and prevent mildew.

Another way to use cornstarch for rug cleaning is by applying it to squeaky floorboards to stop them from rattling. It can also be sprinkled inside shoes to absorb perspiration and odors. A powdered mixture of cornstarch and water can also be rubbed into silver to remove tarnish. And last but not least, a light dusting of cornstarch can be added to a buffing rag for an all-natural way to shine your car.