How to clean a Rug / Rug Care Guide

Want to rejuvenate your rug and give it a new lease of life? Sometimes a light clean doesn’t do the job so a deep clean is in order. Where do you start? Don’t worry, take a look below for a guide on how to help you get your rug flourishing again no matter what room it’s in.

  • Shake or vacuum your rug to remove as much dust and debris as possible.

  • Find a suitable carpet shampoo for your style of rug and follow the manufacturer's instructions. We always recommend testing a small patch of the rug first. Mix up the solution and apply to an inconspicuous area. Allow it to work and check for any discolouration. If you’re happy, apply to the whole rug.

  • It’s often easier to clean a rug outside but if the weather isn’t on your side, you can always do this in the bathtub to avoid mess and any possible dye transfer to your carpets/flooring.

  • Allow it to fully dry outside or in a well-ventilated room.

  •  If the material allows, add a fabric spray to keep the rug fragrant.

How to clean a wool rug

Wool rugs are popular because they are hardwearing and hold their colour well, but cleaning a wool rug requires a slightly different approach:

  • Vacuum or shake out the rug.

  • Mix up a bucket of cold water with a capful of gentle, non-bio laundry detergent. You can also use a wool-specific carpet shampoo always test a small area first.

  • Dampen a white microfibre cloth and working with the direction of the material, gently dab the rug. Pay closer attention to heavily soiled areas and re-dampen the cloth as necessary being careful not to get the rug wet. When cleaning a wool rug, try not to oversaturate to keep it feeling plush and full.

  • Refill your bucket with plain water and repeat the previous step with a fresh white cloth.

  • Once complete, use a dry white microfibre cloth, or a plain coloured towel and blot the rug to remove as much moisture as possible.

  • Allow it to dry completely before walking on it again. If necessary, hang the rug up or use fans to speed up the process.

The above process is also the best way to clean cotton rugs.

How to clean a shag, fluffy or deep pile rug

 The process for cleaning a shaggy rug is very similar to wool but you can use a dry shampoo instead of cold water and detergent if you wish.

  •  Simply sprinkle the dry shampoo onto the rug and use a cloth to work it into the fibres.

  • Allow the dry shampoo to sit for a couple of hours and then thoroughly vacuum out of the pile for shaggy rugs up to 5cm pile height. If your shaggy rug pile is longer than 5cm shake it out instead.

How to clean a jute rug

Jute rugs are popular because they look natural and work well with other earthy-toned carpet and wooden floors. The problem however is that they don’t respond well to water, which means cleaning a jute rug requires using the same dry shampoo, or dry cleaning method we outlined in the shaggy rugs section.

How to clean a sheepskin rug

Knowing how to clean a sheepskin rug effectively could save you a fortune in dry cleaning fees. A sheepskin or cowhide rug requires some very specific cleaning methods to ensure that the rug doesn’t shrink and the fibres stay in good condition.

  • Fill a bath with cool water (warm water could cause damage) and mix in sheepskin specific detergent. Regular wool detergent is not suitable for sheepskin rugs.

  • Place the sheepskin rug into the bath and swill around for 5-10 mins to loosen up any dirt.

  • Squeeze it out and rinse as many times as necessary to remove all the detergent.

  • Pat it clean with dry towels to remove as much water as possible, and then roll the rug up to squeeze out the last of the moisture.

  • Lay the rug on a large, dry towel and pull the hide into shape to allow it to air dry. It needs to dry in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight and heat. This could cause the hide to shrink.

  • When it’s half dry, use a sheepskin brush to gently fluff the wool. Repeat when it’s completely dry and you’ll have a clean, fluffy sheepskin rug!

Note: The final step outlined above is also applicable if you want to know how to make your shaggy rug fluffy again.

How to clean viscose rugs

Viscose rugs give a great sheen and are becoming increasingly popular. Check the back of your rug label to find out if you have a viscose rug. Viscose however is not suitable to get wet at all if it does it could discolour. Instead be gentle and use a brush with soft bristles. Blot any spillages with a white cloth to minimise stains

How to clean outdoor rugs

Due to their nature, outdoor rugs tend to accumulate more dirt and debris than any other. However, because they’re so hard wearing you can be a bit more robust with your cleaning methods.

 Outdoor rugs can easily be hung up and beaten with a broom handle to remove most of the debris. After this you can use a hose pipe and simply wash them in cold water. Allow them to air dry outside and they’ll look as good as new.

How to remove stains from your rug

Unfortunately, our hectic households are full of children, pets, guests and more alongside our everyday lives. Inevitably there are going to be spillages and accidents. Carpets and rugs usually take the brunt of it but there’s no reason why everyday spills and stains should cause lasting damage. In this section, we look at some of the most common accidents and how you can remove stains from your rugs.

How to remove red wine from your rug

The trick with red wine on carpet, or any liquid for that matter, is to deal with it quickly. Using a clean white cloth, blot the wine up straight away. Once done, mix 3 parts baking soda to 1 part water and blot the stain with the solution, do not rub, alternate with a dry cloth to avoid getting the rug too wet. Once it’s dry, vacuum it up.

 An alternative is to mix equal parts white vinegar, washing up liquid and warm water to blot the stain with.

How to remove tea and coffee stains from a rug

Fortunately for your rug, coffee and tea stains are fairly easy to remove, and you don’t even have to buy any special cleaners. To remove a coffee stain from your carpet or rug, first blot the area with a clean, dry towel. Don’t Scrub it!. Then, simply mix 1 part vinegar with 1 part water and blot until the stain has gone.

How to remove nail polish from a rug

Nail polish or paint can be harder to remove from a carpet or rug but there are still a couple of methods. The first, and most obvious, is to use non-acetone nail varnish remover. Blot the stain with a clean, wet cloth to keep it damp. Then, using a new cloth, blot nail varnish remover on it and lift as much as you can from the rug.

Window cleaner can also be used in place of nail polish remover, as can hair spray and a clean sponge. Always test on a small area first to minimise discolouration.

If the nail polish has dried then you need a different approach. Mix 1 part non-acetone nail varnish remover with 1 part rubbing alcohol and use an old toothbrush to gently rub the mixture into the fibres, being careful not to damage the pile. Vacuum up the loosened nail polish.

How to remove pet stains from a rug

Our four-legged friends are part of the family but they can sometimes have accidents, especially when they’re young. Blotting any stains with a mixture of white vinegar, baking soda and water should lift them right off your rug.

How to remove mud and dirt from a rug

With mud, it’s best to let it dry and then brush or if suitable vacuum as much off as you can. If needed, you can remove mud stains from your carpet or rug by creating a mixture of 2 tablespoons of salt in half a cup of white vinegar, blotting the area, and then vacuuming once dry. If the stain is really stubborn, use a stain remover best suited to the pile type.

How to remove paint from a rug

If you’ve spilt paint on your carpet or your rug, the best way to remove it is with the Hot Water Extraction Method a specialist rug or carpet cleaner will inject hot water at high pressure into the stain to restore your rug back to its original appearance.

Removing smells from a rug

Our rugs can easily trap smells over the years. Whether it’s from pets, spillages, smoking, or just general usage, keeping your rugs smelling fresh is just as important as looking fresh. Fortunately, there are several different methods for removing smells from your rug:

Baking Powder

One of the most common and effective ways to keep your carpets smelling fresh is by using baking powder. Making sure it’s dry, sprinkle the baking soda all over the rug. It pays to be generous with the amount you use, and if it’s a shaggy rug, use your hands to work it into the pile. Now, just wait a couple of hours (or ideally overnight) and simply vacuum it back up. If it’s a really persistent smell, repeat the entire process.

Steam Cleaning

If your rug can be steamed, this can be a very effective way of removing smells. Simply follow the instructions on your machine, and if the smell is really pungent then add some white vinegar or a cleaning product into the mix as well. Allow the rug to dry fully before putting it back.

Pet Smells

Pets can leave unfortunate and pungent smells in your rug. To begin, follow the same steps we outlined earlier. While the rug is still wet, add baking soda to it and allow it to sit overnight. Before removing the soda, spray white vinegar onto the rug. It will bubble and foam as it reacts but this is normal. Allow the mix to work for 5-10 minutes and then using a clean cloth, blot it dry. Make sure to keep your furry companion out of the way while you do this!

Need to get in touch?

Not finding what you're looking for? Contact us now