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How to Clean an Area Rug on Hardwood Floors

How to Clean An Area Rug on Hardwood Floors? (Step-By-Step Tutorial)

Area rugs add beauty to a room and provide comfort to your feet. But you must clean and maintain them properly to keep their best look.

Here’s how:

  • Vacuum Regularly
  • Shake Area Rug
  • Do spot cleaning using a mild detergent

Continue reading for detailed instructions on how to clean your area rug effectively.

🤔How to Clean a Large Rug on a Wood Floor?

How to clean a large rug on a wood floor

👉Things You Need

  • Plastic tarp or sheeting: To protect your hardwood floor from moisture.
  • Sponge mop: Ideal for gentle cleaning.
  • Soft-bristled brush: For tackling stubborn stains.
  • Vacuum: To remove loose dirt and debris from the rug.
  • Small bowl: For mixing cleaning solutions.
  • Microfiber cloths: To blot and clean stains.
  • Old bath towels: To absorb excess moisture.
  • Steam cleaner: Optional for deep cleaning.
  • Baking soda: Useful for neutralizing odors.
  • Carpet shampoo: For thorough cleaning.
  • Dishwashing liquid: Effective for removing grease stains.
  • Oxygen-based bleach: Safe for brightening colors.
  • Carpet stain remover: Helpful for specific stain types.

🪜Steps To Follow

  • Vacuum the Area Rug: Start by thoroughly vacuuming the rug. This step removes loose dirt, dust, and debris, preventing them from scratching your hardwood floor beneath during area rug cleaning. Use a vacuum cleaner with adjustable settings to avoid excessive suction that might damage delicate rug fibers.
  • Spot Clean Stains:  Find visible stains and use an appropriate stain remover to the stained area. Gently blot the stain with a clean, damp microfiber cloth, working from the outside of the stain towards the center. It prevents the stain from spreading.
  • Clean Large Stains: Use a steam cleaner for larger stains or heavily soiled areas on the rug without causing damage. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions carefully, as these machines can vary.

Here are some useful guidelines:

  • Protect the Hardwood Floor with a Barrier: Lay a plastic tarp or sheeting beneath the rug before cleaning. This protective barrier ensures that any excess moisture or cleaning solution won’t seep through and damage your wood floors. 
  • Apply a Carpet Cleaning Shampoo: Dilute a suitable carpet cleaning shampoo in a small bowl according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Apply the cleaning solution to the rug using a sponge mop. Gently work it into the rug fibers using circular motions. This process effectively removes dirt and stains while being gentle on the rug.
  • Dry the Carpet: After cleaning, removing excess moisture from the rug is crucial. Use microfiber cloths or old bath towels to blot the rug gently. Ensure the rug is completely dry before it touches the wood floor underneath. Moisture left in the rug can damage the rug and the wood floor.
  • Vacuum Again to Lift the Carpet Pile: Once the rug is completely dry, vacuum it again. This step helps lift the carpet pile and restores the rug’s appearance. It’s an essential finishing touch to ensure your rug looks its best.
Also Read: Can You Vacuum Cowhide Rug?

⚠️Tips and Warnings

  • Excessive moisture can be harmful, so avoid oversaturating the rug during cleaning.
  • To address stubborn odors, sprinkle baking soda on the rug before vacuuming. It helps to neutralize any lingering smells.
  • Always perform a patch test of any cleaning solutions on a small, hidden rug area to ensure they won’t cause discoloration or damage.
  • Be cautious when using oxygen-based bleach, as it can impact the color of your rug. 
  • Prevent direct sunlight exposure on your rug to avoid fading.
  • Regularly rotate your rug to distribute wear and tear evenly.
Also Read: Best Vacuum For Oriental Rugs And Hardwood Floors

🎯How Often Should I Clean My Area Rug?

How often should I clean my area rug

How often you should clean your area rug depends on the level of foot traffic it receives and any specific factors like pets or children in your home.

Here’s a general guideline:

  • High-Traffic Areas: Vacuum at least twice a week.
  • Moderate-Traffic Areas: Vacuum every 2-3 weeks.
  • Low-Traffic Areas: Vacuum once a month.
  • Pets or Children: Clean more frequently, regularly vacuum, and promptly remove the stain or pet hair.


  • To ensure even wear and fading, rotate your area rugs every 6 months or as needed. It prevents one rug area from receiving excessive foot traffic or sunlight.
  • In addition to routine vacuuming, consider deep cleaning your area rugs every 6-12 months, depending on usage. You can hire a professional or rental carpet cleaner for this task.
  • Always refer to the care instructions provided by the rug’s manufacturer. Some rugs may have specific cleaning requirements or restrictions.
Also Read: How to Clean Pebble Shower Floor

💡How to Clean An Area Rug on Hardwood Floors: FAQ

How to clean an area rug without moving it?

To clean an area rug without moving it:

1. Start by thoroughly vacuuming the entire rug, making sure to cover all areas.
2. For stains or spots, use a suitable dry cleaning solvent or powder.
3. Apply the solvent to the affected area, let it sit per the product’s instructions, and then carefully blot or brush it to lift the dirt or stain.

How do you clean an area rug without water?

Here’s how to clean an area rug without water:

1. Begin by vacuuming the rug to remove loose dirt and dust. 
2. For stains or spots, use a dry cleaning solvent or powder specifically designed for rugs. 
3. Apply the solvent or powder to the stained area, following the product’s instructions. 
4. Gently work it in with a soft-bristled brush and then vacuum the area again to remove the cleaning product and the dirt or stain. 

Can you shampoo an area rug on a hardwood floor?

Yes, you can shampoo an area rug on a hardwood floor, but it’s essential to use a moisture-controlled method, sparingly applying the shampoo solution and ensuring the rug dries completely to prevent damage to the hardwood.

Can you steam clean an area rug on a hardwood floor?

Yes, you can steam clean an area rug on a hardwood floor, provided it’s done cautiously, using a moisture-controlled steam cleaner designed for rugs and hardwood floors. Avoid excessive moisture, as it can damage the rug and the hardwood. After steam cleaning, ensure the rug and the floor are completely dry to prevent potential harm. 

Professional cleaning services may be advisable for sensitive or valuable rugs.

How to clean an area rug outside?

To clean an area rug outside, you can use a pressure washer or shake and beat the rug to remove dirt. Ensure the rug is completely dry before returning indoors to prevent moisture damage.

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