How to Clean Your Rugs at Home

Here’s how we recommend you clean your rugs at home:

How much dust and dirt is trapped in those fibres.

TOP TIP: this is a job best done in spring or summer, when there is no rain forecast for a couple of days.

Set up your outdoor station

This can be a messy job, so our suggestion is do it outside (that way you won’t worry about soaking through to the carpet or furniture getting in the way. Set up your rug cleaning station on concrete or your deck – basically any flat surface that isn’t the lawn. You’ll also need a support system that’s strong and sturdy enough to support your heavy rug – a clothesline probably won’t cut it, so if you have a strong fence, wall or bench to hang it over this will be ideal.

Give it a thorough vacuuming

First vacuum the fibres (visible side), then flip it over and vacuum the underside to remove any dust. Then when it’s clean, roll it up and take it outside to your cleaning station. If your rug is still dusty, grab a broom handle and give it a few hard whacks to beat some of the dust out. If dust clouds keep coming out, keep whacking until you’re either exhausted or satisfied most of the dust is gone.

Test your carpet shampoo
Before getting stuck into the cleaning, make sure you have a rug shampoo that is recommended for the your specific rug fibre/fabric. Then test it (as per its directions) on a small part of the rug – leave it for a couple of hours then examine the section to make sure it hasn’t discoloured or dislodged the fibres.

Let’s get cleaning!

First using a hose or some buckets of water, give your rug a good rinse to get it wet (don’t worry about getting it too wet, you need to soak it well for the shampoo application). Then apply the shampoo either all over the rug or, if it is a large rug, work on sections at a time. Using a sturdy brush with a short handle is usually the best way to really work the shampoo deep into the carpet fibres and give them a good clean. Work in slow circular motions, rather than vigorous scrubbing that may damage the fibres.

Follow the directions of your rug shampoo as to how long to leave the solution soaking.

TOP TIP: This may get messy, so dress accordingly. If you have a large rug, grabbing someone else to help will also make this easier as it can be quite tough on the arms.

Rinse it off

Once ready get the hose or buckets of clean water again and rinse the shampoo out of the rug. This may take a few goes, but make sure no residue is left behind and the rug has been rinsed clean (a good way to know the solution is all gone, is when the water runs off clean and bubble-free).

Dry it completely

Try ring as much water out of the rug as possible (again, if it is a large rug you will need more than one person to help do this). Then hang it on your support system to dry completely – this may take a day or more so make sure it is hung somewhere dry. If it isn’t going to be raining outside in the fresh air would be ideal, otherwise in a laundry or garage will also work.

Don’t take the rug inside until it is COMPLETELY dry – it won’t feel wet, even when you squeeze it hard, and it may even seem a little stiff.

Vacuum one last time.

Once its dry you can bring it inside. Lay it out and give it one last vacuum to restore the fibres to a nice, soft finish. You may like to use a soft bristle brush if the rug is looking a bit flat or ruffled from the wash.

This is certainly not a small task, but one that certainly makes a huge difference to the cleanliness of your house, as well as ensuring your air is clean and germs aren’t lurking and making you or your family sick.

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