How To Clean Area Rugs On Hardwood Floors In 8 Steps

Area rugs are one of the best ways to add class and personality to a room. They bring warmth and color to your space, helping you create an interesting and beautiful environment.

Area rugs are a great decoration for your home. But, if they get dirty and dirty, then it is not good to keep them in your house any longer. This can cause health problems such as fungal infection or respiratory problems for you and also for your loved ones.

Cleaning area rugs on hardwood floors can be a challenge. You see, area rugs come in all types and sizes. Some are made of different materials, and some have colors that may or may not match other area rugs in your home.

If you’re looking for insight into cleaning area rugs on hardwood floors, you’ve come to the right place. In this article, I’ll discuss how to get your area rugs clean and stain-free through several steps.

How To Clean Area Rugs On Hardwood Floors?

MethodsEstimated Required Time
Vacuum The Dirt10-20 minutes
Spot Clean The Stains60-120 minutes
Remove Odors6-12 hours
Prepare The Space30-60 minutes
Clean The Rug60-120 minutes
Steam The Rug30-60 minutes
Dry The Rug6-12 hours
Place The Rug10-20 minutes

Step 1: Vacuum The Dirt

Required Tools

  • Vacuum.
  • Broom or rug beater.


  • The first step in cleaning your area rug is to give it a good vacuuming on all sides.
  • Any accumulated debris (such as crumbs and pet hair) should be removed from the fiber side, and any accumulated dust should be removed from underneath.
  • Once it has been properly vacuumed, take it outdoors (if the weather is suitable) and beat it to remove more dust using a broom handle or rug beater.
  • Remember to take out the protective padding below the area rug and clean it as well as thoroughly clean the rug.

Step 2: Spot Clean The Stains

Required Tools

  • Plastic tablecloth or placemat.
  • Dishwashing liquid.
  • Warm water.
  • Brush.
  • Clean cloth.
  • Bleach.
  • Books or bowls.


  • Put a plastic tablecloth or placemat underneath the spot and on top of the rug pad for minor stains.
  • The floor underneath will be shielded from moisture by doing this.
  • Spot cleaning with a solution of one teaspoon of dishwashing liquid mixed with two cups of warm water helps remove many different types of stains, including grime and food stains.
  • Use a soft-bristled brush, and spread the solution over the stained area.
  • After giving it about 10 minutes to work, use a clean cloth to blot the dirty water and stain away.
  • Soak a clean towel with fresh water and dab the stained area to remove any leftover soapy solution.
  • If the stain is still noticeable, prepare a bleach solution using oxygen-based bleach and warm water as recommended on the product label.
  • To gently reduce the stain, apply the solution directly to the stained area and let it sit for one to two hours.
  • After spot cleaning, lift the cleaned rug area with books or bowls to improve airflow and accelerate the drying process.

Step 3: Remove Odors

Required Tools

  • Baking soda.
  • Sponge mop.


  • Sprinkle baking soda evenly over the area rug’s whole surface to brighten it and eliminate odors.
  • Use a sponge mop to gently massage baking soda into the pile’s long or fluffy fibers all the way to the back.
  • The best time to leave the baking soda on the carpet is overnight. The next day, vacuum it up.
  • In addition to reducing odors, baking soda’s mild abrasiveness can help loosen any dirt that needs to be vacuumed.

Step 4: Prepare The Space

Required Tools

  • Vacuum.
  • Plastic sheeting or tarp.
  • Masking tape.


  • The hardwood must be safeguarded if the rug requires extensive cleaning and cannot be transferred to another area.
  • Clean the area rug.
  • Roll the rug and put it aside.
  • Roll the rug pad and place it somewhere else.
  • To get rid of any debris, grit, and dust, vacuum the hardwood floor or dry mop it.
  • A plastic sheeting or tarp that is bigger than the area rug should be placed on the floor.
  • Use masking tape to hold the plastic in place.
  • On top of the plastic sheeting, unfold the area rug.

Step 5: Clean The Rug

Required Tools

  • Sponge mop or brush.
  • Carpet shampoo.


  • Check the carpet shampoo’s label to see if it needs to be diluted or if you can use it straight from the bottle.
  • Use a sponge mop or soft-bristled brush to apply the shampoo.
  • Use just enough liquid to moisten the carpet without over-wetting it thoroughly.
  • To remove any dirt, use the brush in badly discolored places.
  • To remove soap residue, rinse the mop’s fibers after dipping them in fresh water.
  • Until no more dirt is visible, periodically change the rinse water.

Step 6: Steam The Rug

Required Tools

  • Carpet steamer.
  • Cleaning solution.
  • Comb.


  • You can clean your area rug with a home or rental carpet steamer after the room has been prepared.
  • Use a steamer’s manufacturer-approved cleaning solution, and follow the cleaning instructions.
  • If the rug contains fringe, clean it by hand using a sponge or microfiber cloth and a warm water and dishwasher detergent solution.
  • Once a small area has been cleaned, rinse it with new water and pat it dry between two clean towels.
  • After you’re done, air dry the fringe before straightening the threads using a wide-tooth comb or your fingers.

Step 7: Dry The Rug

Required Tools

  • Rotating fan.


  • To boost ventilation and accelerate drying, open windows, install ceiling fans, or add a rotating fan.
  • Turn the rug over and let the back air dry once the surface feels dry.
  • The drying process can take up to 48 hours, based on the area rug size.
  • Before putting the rug back on the floor, be patient and make sure it is completely dry.

Step 8: Place The Rug

Required Tools

  • Vacuum.
  • Rug pad.


  • Reverse the process once the rug has dried completely.
  • Move to one side and roll up the cleaned rug.
  • Take off the floor’s plastic covering.
  • Take the rug pad outside if you can, and shake it thoroughly.
  • Purchase a new rug pad.
  • On the pad, replace the area rug.
  • Reposition the area rug and thoroughly vacuum it to lift and level the pile.

And we are done! If you follow these steps, you will soon have a rug that is almost good as new.

But cleaning your area rug once in a while may cause it to lose quality over time. So, here’s how you can maintain your area rug at an optimum level.

Additional Tips For Cleaning Area Rugs On Hardwood Floors

  • Hardwood floors are particularly vulnerable to damage and stains from cleaning fluid.
  • Be extremely cautious when washing your area rug to prevent damaging the floors.
  • To remove dirt, hair, and other debris from the rug’s surface, vacuum it.
  • Flip the rug over and clean the bottom as well if it can be relocated.
  • Additionally, sweep the hardwood floor and rug pad.
  • Inspect and clean the bottom of the area rug when you lift it to clean it.
  • Make sure the barrier between your area rug and the hardwood floors is thick enough to stop moisture from leaking through when it’s time to spot clean.
  • To shield the hardwood floors from water damage while the rug is wet, spread out and attach a thick plastic sheeting.
  • Use carpet shampoo or a carpet steamer to clean the rug, then wait to place it until it is completely dry.

Final Words

One of the most expensive home furnishings is an area rug. They provide the interiors with a dash of flair, coziness, and style. On a cold night, one cannot resist the warmth it offers. The drawback is even though you might be regularly vacuuming them; they require more.

Rug cleaning is not difficult. Rugs put on a hardwood floor, however, are difficult to clean.

The hardwood floor cannot be moistened much.

But if you follow the steps that I have mentioned in this article, it will make it simple to clean area rugs without soaking them.


Can you steam clean a rug on hardwood floors?

It is not recommended to do this since the moisture from the steam cleaner could harm the hardwood floor. Placing a plastic barrier with padding between them is best to avoid this.

Is it OK to put area rugs on hardwood floors?

Cheap area rugs can scrape and fade the gloss of hardwood flooring, causing damage.

You should buy high-quality rugs and the appropriate rug pads to preserve your hardwood floors. Area rugs can be prevented from sliding by using rubber pads without harming the wood.