Tips for Area Rug Cleaning and Care

Is your area rug looking a little worse for wear? No matter what kind of area rug you have, proper rug cleaning and care should be followed to keep it looking fresh and clean.


There are several different types of material from which area rugs are made, which can affect what kind of cleaning products and processes can be used on them.

These include:

  • Wool
  • Silk
  • Cotton
  • Synthetic

There are also different techniques of rug construction, which can also affect cleaning methods. Type of rugs include:

  • Hand-made
  • Machine made
  • Woven
  • Tufted
  • Braided

Rugs come in all shapes and sizes. Runners are skinny rugs designed to run down hallways, and entry rugs are often smaller and may have fringed edges or tassels. Area rugs are perfect for protecting carpet or hardwood in high traffic areas, and can keep feet warm in the winter when laid over linoleum or tile.  Keep in mind that rubber backing or pads can discolor with age and could potentially stain or discolor your carpet where the area rug is placed.

Many rugs simply become dingy or worn over time due to dirt and debris carried on the bottoms of shoes, human feet, or animal paws. Some rugs may become stained if a pet has an accident or food or drink is spilled or a child throws up. Pet accidents on natural fiber rugs can cause dry rot if the urine is not removed.


Spot cleaning can be used for small area. Don’t be tempted to use a household cleaner or bleach or to scrub at the rug, as this can damage the rug and cause the spot to become a permanent stain. Instead, remove any solid waste, and blot carefully with a white cotton towel.

If the rugs is bleeding color onto the towel, stop and pack the area with baking soda to stop the color bleed. If not, lift the rug, place a towel beneath the spot, and sponge the affected surface gently with club soda, alternately blotting with a clean towel until the spot is gone. Prop the rug up for air circulation above and below to dry the rug and prevent mildew.

The Dry Guys provide spot cleaning kits which are safe for most rugs, although you should test the cleaning solution in an unobtrusive corner of the rug first to ensure it is colorfast. Also included with each kit are instructions for removing spots from your area rug.

If spot cleaning is unsuccessful, contact the Dry Guys to safely clean your area rug. With proper care, your area rug could last for years!