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DIY Cheap and Effective Rug Cleaning


I like to use area rugs to make my home feel warm and inviting.  Area rugs help absorb noise and add pops of color throughout your home.  While regular vacuuming is important, you'll want to deep clean your rugs periodically, especially if you own pets, 

Today I want to show you how I clean my area rugs.  It is a cheap and effective rug cleaning method.

How to Clean Your Area Rugs

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Cheap and Effective Rug Cleaning
Cheap and Effective Rug Cleaning

This post will focus on cleaning polypropylene rugs like I have in my front entry hall and wool rugs like I have throughout the rooms in my house. 

Polypropylene rugs are workhorses and take a beating. That's why polypropylene is a good choice for the entry location. Good quality wool rugs are also workhorses and my preferred choice for my home.  They can be pricey, making them an investment decision for many.

You can easily clean a wool rug at home.  Read how.



In my experience, good-quality wool rugs can also be cleaned using this method.  Just be sure to test for colorfastness before you begin. I have wool rugs in my family room and living room.  Both are heavily used rooms and I have cleaned those rugs using this method, too.

The Keys to Rug Cleaning Success

Don't attempt to clean rugs with a canvas or cotton backing.  In my experience, the cotton backing shrinks and the rug will never lay flat again. I won't buy a rug with a backing for this reason.

Clean your rugs outdoors.  When cleaning outdoors, first make sure you have a space that is large enough to accommodate your wet rugs for two to three days.  It will take that much time for the rugs to dry. 

Check the weather forecast. You will need a three-day span of dry, sunny weather for large rugs. You'll also want to be sure no rain is expected until the rugs are dry.  

Recruit help. If you are cleaning a large rug it will be difficult to move them once they are wet. So, you'll want to recruit some help for moving the wet rugs.
How to Clean Your Area Rugs

Don't rush the process. It will take a couple of hours to get the rugs cleaned and a couple of days for them to dry.  The hardest part is moving the wet rugs around.  They do get heavy.  You'll definitely want help for a rug that is 8x10 feet large or more.

Rug Cleaning Tools

A bucket
A sturdy stiff-bristled brush
A hose with a spray nozzle
Oxy Clean Powder
Woolite

The Steps to Clean Your Rugs

The steps for cleaning your rugs are the same for polypropylene and wool rugs. The only difference is using Woolite versus Oxy Clean as the cleaning solution.

Thoroughly vacuum your rugs and pre-treat any spots.  Check the front and the back of the rug for spots and stains.  This is especially important if you have a pet. Try this really good spot treatment.

Rinse the rug with spray from your garden hose, soaking the rug completely.  As an aside, I use this Fireman's spray nozzle on my hose and it is the best! This is an important tool, so you may want to invest in this nozzle.  You'll want to rinse and rinse again.

Spray the Rug
Rinse with the Garden Hose

Scrub the rug with a mixture of water and Oxy Clean for your polypropylene rugs.  Follow the directions on the Oxy Clean box to make your cleaning solution. Use Woolite for your wool rugs.

Scrub with a sturdy brush and your bare feet. I like to start with the brush and finish with my feet. Make sure you have distributed the soapy water well and worked the soap into the fibers of the rug.

Rug Cleaning Tools
Rug Cleaning Tools


Rinse each rug well, spraying a strong stream of water from your hose.

Roll the rug and stand it on its end to drain.  This will remove a lot of the water from the rug.

Roll and Drain the Rugs
Roll and Drain the Rugs

Rinse each rug again using the hose.

Roll the rugs again and stand them on their ends to drain.  Leave the rug to drain for a couple of hours.

Open the rug and spread it over a railing or lay it flat to dry.  You'll want to lay the rug flat for most of the drying time so it doesn't get any annoying lumps in it.  I like to lay mine over my deck railing for a day and then lay them flat to finish drying.

Drying the Rugs
Drying the Cleaned Rugs

Check your rug periodically to monitor the drying process.  Sometimes I flip the rug over to help the back to dry.

Admire your work. After twenty-four to forty-eight hours your rug should be dry enough to bring back inside.

The Cleaned Rugs
The Cleaned Rugs in My Entry

Small rugs can be washed using a similar method in your bathtub or kitchen sink, depending on the size.  Some rugs can even be washed in your washing machine.  

However you choose to clean your rugs, you'll find the effort worth your time. Cleaning your rugs using any of these methods takes some effort but you'll know they are clean and fresh.

    

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