Do-It-Yourself Rug Cleaning

DIY rug cleaning tips by Woodard Cleaning & Restoration in St. Louis, Mo.

Every square yard of rug is populated with up to 100,000 dust mites; keep that in mind the next time you curl up on your area rug with a pillow and bag of popcorn! While professional rug cleaning is recommended on a seasonal basis, it’s a great idea to learn these do-it-yourself rug cleaning tips to keep your rug looking its best in-between professional cleanings.

  1. There’s no use in crying over spilled milk! If you’ve spilled milk, or any dairy product, on your rug, rinse the area thoroughly with a mild detergent and water. Simply blotting the milk with a rag will leave the milk in the fibers, where it will sour and deteriorate your rug.
  2. If your rug has fringe, do not clean it with a vacuum or sweeper; doing so is a surefire way to ruin your rug! Instead, fluff the fringe with your fingers. It doesn’t get much easier than that, folks!
  3. There’s no worse feeling than spilling red wine all over your beautiful plush area rug; we’ve been there too! Use equal parts of hydrogen peroxide and liquid Dawn dish soap to remove the stain. Keep in mind, this is a powerful concentration, so you should never apply it directly to the rug. Instead, apply the mixture to a cotton towel or rag, then blot the area until the stain fades; never, ever rub a wine stain. Use cold water to rinse the soap and water, then let the rug air dry.
  4. Rugs in high-traffic areas need to be vacuumed on a weekly basis to keep dirt from settling into fibers.
  5. While we’re on the subject of vacuuming, it’s just as important to pay attention to the underside of your rug. Once a month, flip your rug and thoroughly vacuum the backing.
  6. Applying every carpet shampooing product under the sun on your rugs may seem harmless, but it can be very damaging. Before using any type of cleaner on your rug, read the label and ingredients to make sure it is appropriate for your rug type. For example, carpet shampoo should never be used on wool rugs; doing so will immediately ruin the fibers of the rug.
  7. Whether you’ve spilled milk, red wine, lemonade, or your afternoon snack, never rub the stain; stains should always be blotted. The best blotting technique includes applying a great deal of pressure to the middle of the stain, and repeating until you’ve absorbed as much moisture as possible.

When to Call a Professional

  • When Damage Occurs & Rug Alterations or Custom Work is Needed
  • When Major or Multiple Pet Accidents Occur
  • When Stains are too Stubborn for a Non-Expert
  • Every Season for Routine Cleaning & Inspections

Keep these do-it-yourself rug cleaning tips in mind the next time you want your rug cleaned. Professional help will always do a great job, and is recommended on at least a seasonal basis, but there is no need to spend additional money when you can do a pretty good job maintaining your rug yourself!