Do You Know How To Wash Rugs: It’s Super Easy!

Rugs: the friend of your feet.

Jute, woolen, rectangle, or round – rugs are the comfy and cozy members of your home. With their tender texture, they make your colder night warmer as well as liven up your room with their bright colors.

However, vacuum and light cleaning is always not enough. Sometimes your rug needs a deep cleaning to restore its true self.

Wondering how to wash rugs? It’s easy. You can do it alone without the help of a professional cleaner.

Just follow some simple steps, and your rugs will flourish flawlessly on your floor.

Different Kinds Of Rugs

Before we explore how to wash your rugs, let’s know about different types of rugs.

Depending on the material, weaving, and style, there is a wide range of rugs.

Wool, cotton, silk, synthetic, Jute, bamboo, rubber backing, etc are a few of the popular materials of rugs.

Remember, material matters. With the looks, durability, and quality of material, a rug can add drama to your room.

There are throw rugs, area rugs, hallway runners, kid’s playmat, doormat, etc. Hand-woven or machine-made rugs are 100% comfort creators.

Different Kinds Of Rugs

How To Wash Rugs

Rugs are dust collectors. In addition, foot traffic, stains, and spills provide much pain. So, you need to vacuum your rugs regularly.

However, after a while, vacuum or light cleaning fails to flourish the floor covering. That time, they need deep cleaning.

Relax. You don’t need to hire a professional cleaner for this task. All you need is the right tools, the right cleaner, and the right steps.

However, the washing of rugs may vary widely as rugs come with different types of weaves and materials. So, there is no single way of cleaning all types of rugs.

However, there is a general guideline for rug-wash. You can follow them to wash rugs made of cotton, synthetic, polyester, or polypropylene.

But, if you have any extra-large, delicate, oriental, or antique rugs, better take professional help to avoid any damage.

Washing Rugs: Step By Step

Don’t know how to wash rugs? Just follow the steps below.

Your Tools For The Task

Great work requires the right tools. Therefore, before washing your rugs, be ready with necessary tools and materials that include:

  • Soft-bristle brush
  • Rug shampoo or mild soap
  • Bucket
  • Water
  • Glove (Optional)
  • Vacuum

Dirt And Debris First

Dirt and debris: your first foes.

Thoroughly vacuum the fibers first. Now flip the rug and vacuum the back of the rug. Remember the back of your rugs also store dust. Therefore, vacuum every last bit of dust from both sides of your rugs.

If you have pets, use a brush to remove leftover stray hairs.

When cleaning is over, roll it up. Now take it to the cleaning area.

It is easier to wash the rug outside. Of course, if the weather is favorable. However, if the outside is unavailable, you can wash the rug in your bathtub.

rugs vacuum
Tools NamePriceWhere to Buy
Simplicity handheld vacuum$104.99Amazon
Simplicity handheld vacuum$190.43Walmart
Simplicity handheld vacuum$167.99Ebay

Mix Your Cleanser

A rug shampoo is always best for washing projects. Depending on your rug material, choose your shampoo.

Make sure to follow the specifically mentioned direction to mix your cleanser. Avoid making your own rug cleaning mix.

What if you don’t have any rug shampoo? Use an alternate option.

In a bucket, mix mild liquid dish soap with warm water. Your cleaner is ready!

A word of caution: do not use hot water to make your mixture. It can shrink or fade your rug.

Rug ShampooAmountPriceWhere to Buy
Bissell Professional Spot and Stain32oz$9.98Amazon
Bissell Professional Spot and Stain32oz$9.98Walmart
Bissell Professional Spot and Stain32oz$9.99Ebay

Color Testing

Before washing your rug, attain an important step. Do the colorfast test of your shampoo or solution.

Take the soap mix and apply a little to a small inconspicuous corner of your rug. Mix it in some water and wait for a few hours. Then rinse the spot.

Check carefully for any discoloration or fiber damage. If you see any color or fiber damage, send the rug to the dry cleaners.

If there is no color damage, move on to the next step.

Treat The Stains

After color testing, inspect your rug for stains. Your washing project will be fruitful if you treat the stains beforehand.

Apply stain remover or a little heavy-duty detergent on the stain. Now, take a soft-bristle brush and scrub the spot gently.

Let the cleaner work on the stain for 10-15 minutes. When the time is up, start your washing.

Washing Your Rugs

It’s washing time.

But, how to wash rugs?

First, rinse your rug to make it completely wet. Remember, only on a fully wet rug, the shampoo works well.

Next, take a soft-bristle brush and pour some cleanser onto it. Now, work the shampoo into a lather on the carpet fiber. Let the scrubbed rug sit for five minutes.

Remember these five minutes are crucial for cleaning. So, sit tight and let the soap do his work.

Rinse Your Rug

When your five minutes are over, rinse your rug.

You can use a garden hose or buckets of clean water to rinse and wash your rug.

How long do you wash rugs? Till all dirt disappears.

Remember: you need to rinse all the shampoo out of your rug. Otherwise, you will be left with debris.

Dry Your Rugs

After rinsing your rugs, it’s time to dry.

Get rid of the extra water first. Squeeze your rug. You can use a towel to soak up the excess water or a wet-dry vacuum to do the task too.

Dry Your Rugs

Next, let it dry. You can air-dry your rug outside. If not outside, hang it in your garage, basement, or laundry room to complete the drying.

Drying may take a little longer – a day or more.

You can check if your rug is dry or not easily. Squeeze it. If you don’t feel any water even after squeezing, your rug is fully dry. However, you may find your rug a little rigid.

Vacuum Again

Now that your rug is washed and dry, place it back on the floor.

Now, it’s time for the last vacuuming.

After washing your rug, you probably find the fibers and threads smashed and sloppy. To regain its look, a vacuum is great. It’s like a gentle combing of fibers.

You can also use a soft-bristle brush to restore the look of your rug.

Wow! Congratulations – you have a rug as good as new!

How To Wash Rug In The Washing Machine

Washing rugs in the washing machine!!! Yes, you heard me right. You can wash almost all the rugs in the washing machine – cotton, synthetic fibers, even rubber-backed rugs.

However, always read the cleaning instructions before you put them in the washing machine. Certain rugs are not machine washable.

However, how to wash rugs in the front load washer or top load washer? It’s simple and the same.

  • Start with the size of your rug. Check if it fits your machine drum. Don’t overstuff your machine.
  • Vacuum your rugs to remove the debris.
  • Treat the stubborn stains before you put them into the machine.
  • Use a laundry bag if your rug has long threads or ruffles.
  • Use the specified detergent for a safe wash.
  • Set the machine at the recommended temperature with a suitable wash cycle as mentioned on the back of the rug.
  • Always air dry your rug in the loft or outside. Avoid dryers.
  • Better you fix a suitable place to dry beforehand as your rug will be quite heavy and dripping mad after the wash.

How To Wash Rug In The Bathtub

Don’t you have any outside spot or washing machine to wash your rug? Don’t worry. You can wash your rug in the bathtub too. Especially the larger rug with different fibers needs a hand wash.

Attend the following steps to wash your rug in the tub.

  • First, mix the rug-friendly detergent and do the colorfast test.
  • If there is no color damage, place the rug in the tub. Now fill the tub with lukewarm water to get it wet.
  • Next, gently scrub the detergent with a soft-bristle brush.
  • Now, let it rest for a few hours.
  • When the time comes, brush out the foam thoroughly. Do it in the direction of the rug pile.
  • Repeat until it’s fully cleaned.
  • Now, rinse it thoroughly so that there is no residue.
  • Finally, air-dry your rug.

How to Wash Wool Rugs

Wool rugs are a great choice and investment for anyone. The reason is they are warm, durable, and match beautifully with any home design.

However, washing a wool rug requires a different approach. Before learning the steps to wash a wool rug, let’s know what material you need for the task.

  • Vacuum
  • Sponge
  • Laundry detergent specifically for wool
  • 2 buckets
  • Broom
  • Towels

Now, let’s see the steps to wash your wool rug.

  • Take the rug outside and hang it over a railing or fence.
  • With a broom, beat the rug to get rid of the dirt.
  • Spread your rugs on the clean floor (garage, patio, or deck) and vacuum both sides.
  • Now mix up a bucket of cold water with a wool-friendly detergent.
  • Fill the second bucket with cold water and keep it close.
  • Now dampen your sponge in the soap solution and gently scrub the rug. Always test a small area first to check colorfast.
  • Next, dip a clean sponge in clean cold water and dab the soapy area to rinse it. Do not overwet the fibers.
  • With clean towels, blot the excess water in the rug.
  • Finally, let it air dry.

How To Wash Rugs With Rubber-Backing

The rubber-backed rugs are great for any high-traffic area. Especially your kitchen and bathroom. The rubber backing keeps the rug in place and protects you from slipping.

However, do you know how to wash a rubber-backed rug? It’s easy. Follow some simple steps and your rug is lively again.

  • At first, check the tag on the rug if there is any specific washing method.
  • Next, give it a good shake.
  • Take a bucket and mix detergent (lanolin-free) with some water.
  • Now take a soft-bristled brush and gently scrub the rug.
  • After a few minutes, get a bucket of fresh water to wash the dirt and soap off the rug. You can also use a garden hose to rinse off the rug. 
  • Finally, hang the rug to air dry.

So, we know how to hand wash a rubber-backed rug. However, how to wash these rugs in the washing machine?

If you have a top-loading machine, remember to place your rug evenly around the agitator. Place some towels too to balance out the wash-load. Now fill the machine with cold water and add a little rug-friendly detergent.

Always wash rugs in cold water. Set your machine in a cold wash with the delicate cycle for a large load.

When washing is over, let it air-dry.

Job well done!

A reminder: if you need to disinfect the rug, always use an oxygen-based bleach. Avoid any chlorine bleach to elude peel-off rubber.

How To Wash Jute And Bamboo Rugs

Jute, bamboo, or sisal are water allergic. They absorb water quickly and remain wet for too long. Result: mold, fungus or harmful bacteria form in your rug. So, do not deep clean them.

For jute and bamboo rugs, always do the spot cleaning. If there is any stain, mix detergent with warm water. Now, take a microfiber cloth, dip into the mixture and blot the stain. Then rinse with warm water and let it air dry. Your rug is new again.

Vacuum your bamboo or jute rugs regularly as they invite more stubborn dirt.

How To Wash Fluffy, Shag, or Deep Pile Rug

Stylish fluffy shag rugs are a preferred choice these days. The deep pile rugs provide perfect coziness, comfort, and a real pleasure to your feet.

However, cleaning a shag rug is not that simple. Regular vacuuming is important to keep your rugs fit and fine.

Be very careful while cleaning a shag, even with a vacuum. They are really delicate and flimsy.

The deep washing of a shag rug is similar to wool rug wash. You can use dry shampoo to keep it clean too.

Sprinkle the dry shampoo onto the rug and use a cloth or brush to work into the fibers. Leave the shampoo to dry for a few hours. When the time is up, vacuum thoroughly to get rid of the dirt.

How Often To Wash Rugs

The health and lifespan of your rugs depend on how well you tend them. Regular vacuum is vital.

Typically, vacuuming once a week is enough for a rug. However, it totally depends on your lifestyle, kids, pets, location, foot traffic, etc.

Ideally, twice or thrice a year, a rug needs a deep cleaning. However, it depends on the look and dirt of your rug.

If you have an extra-large rug that is painful to move and wash, vacuum them regularly. If you tend carefully, three to five years they outlast without a wash.

However, how to determine when your rug needs a deep wash? Look at your rug. If it’s dull and gray, give your rug a deep wash.

Besides, after vacuuming, run a damp cloth across it. If the cloth looks dark and dirty, it’s time for a deep wash.

Nevertheless, here are some tips to maintain your rug’s look and cleanliness.

  • Vacuum regularly – at least once a week. Do not forget the underside. Turn the rugs and vacuum its underside every time.
  • Rotate your rugs at least once a year. It will maintain the even distribution of foot traffic and sun fading.
  • Spot clean. If there is any spill, clean it immediately. Remember to follow specific cleaning methods while treating any stain or spill.


How to clean a rug with baking soda?

Baking soda is great to deodorize your rug.

Take dry baking soda and sprinkle liberally all over the rug. Use your hand to work into the pile for a shag rug. Wait for a few hours and then vacuum up the soda. Your rug is smelling fresh.

How to clean an area rug with a steam cleaner?

For an area rug, steam cleaning is always agreeable.

Move the furniture and vacuum your rug first. Fill the water tank with distilled water. Now, run the steam cleaner in straight lines from one corner to another on your rug. After washing, keep it aside for 5 to 12 hours to dry completely.

Bottom Line

Rugs are an important part of your home that adds comfort, warmth, and coziness to your life. Moreover, the vibrant color, fabric, and design liven up the room and mood.

However, regular maintenance is important to ensure the cleanliness of your rug. A messy rug can cause health and hygiene issues for your family.

Therefore learn how to wash rugs to ensure a healthy home for your family.