Ideas + Advice


Rug Cleaning Guide

An area rug may be perfect for pulling a room together, but you want everyone to admire the overall effect—not stare at the stains on the rug. Luckily, you can avoid this scenario by keeping your rugs clean year round. Whether you need to remove crumbs, furniture dents or stains, these tips can help you keep your rugs clean, so you can proudly show them off.

Vacuuming Rugs

The easiest way to keep your woven and shag rugs looking their best is to vacuum them often to remove dirt and dust, just as you would with carpet. In fact, go ahead and vacuum them at the same time as you vacuum your carpet or tile, as rugs should be cleaned this way about every week or two. But before you pull out the vacuum, take your rugs outside and shake them out to get rid of most of the dust, dirt and crumbs.
Once you bring your rugs back inside, you can sprinkle some baking soda on them to remove any odors. Then check your vacuum to see if it has any settings or tools for rugs, such as a lower airflow setting and an upholstery 

attachment. These can help you clean debris from the surface without the rug getting stuck in your vacuum. Vacuuming both sides of the rug is a good idea, especially if it’s reversible. But as you vacuum, be especially careful around any delicate details, such as fringe — which you don’t want to get stuck as you clean.

Making Furniture Dents Disappear

rug cleaning - remove dents

There is one common rug issue that vacuuming doesn’t fix on its own, and that’s dents from table and chair legs that have probably been resting on your rugs for years. You might not notice this issue most of the year until it’s time to rearrange the furniture, such as during the holidays.
So how can you remove those small — but noticeable — dents? With ice! Place a few ice cubes on each dent and wait for the rug to soak up the water. Once the area is mostly dry, vacuum it and the dents should be gone. If you can still see any dents, use a comb or your fingers to fluff up the fibers so the area looks the same as the rest of the rug.

How to Remove Stains from Rugs

No matter how careful you are, chances are that you will have to deal with some stains on your indoor rugs and outdoor rugs over the years. But you won’t have to stare at those stains for long, because there’s a way to get nearly every type of stain out. Here are a few tips on cleaning some of the most common rug stains:

  • To remove stains from soda, alcohol, berries or milk: Mix 1/4 teaspoon of white vinegar and 1 quart of warm water. Apply this mixture to the stain, and then rinse with water and blot it dry.
  • To remove gum or melted wax: Peel off as much as you can, and then put some ice in a plastic bag and leave it on top of the stain so it hardens. Then use a spoon or butter knife to scrape the stain off. Follow this up by blotting any remaining gum or wax with rubbing alcohol, and then vacuum the area.
  • To remove vomit, blood, red wine or mustard: Mix 1 tablespoon of ammonia with 1 cup of water, and then scrub the stain until it disappears. Rinse and blot the area until it’s dry.
rug cleaning - remove stains

How to Deep Clean Rugs

Aside from regularly vacuuming rugs every week or two, you should also deep clean them about once per year. This means applying a carpet-cleaning foam to the entire rug and then rinsing and drying it. Follow this up by vacuuming the surface. You may also be able to dry clean the rug, depending on its size.
If your old rugs are starting to show their age, it may be better to replace them than to try to clean them. At Living Spaces, we have a wide selection of area rugs in a variety of sizes and designs, so feel free to browse today! You can also check out our room ideas to get some design inspiration before you buy a new rug.

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Editorial Disclaimer: Articles featuring tips and advice are intended for educational purposes and only as general recommendations. Always practice personal discretion when using and caring for furniture, decor and related items.