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  • How to Clean an Area Rug Without Moving It

    January 23, 2024

    If you want to thoroughly clean your area rug without lifting the heavy fabric, then we have methods you can use that are just as effective. Use a dish soap and water solution to spot clean your area rug if you’re worried about damaging your hardwood floor underneath. Try a homemade concoction using everyday ingredients to gently clean your rug without saturation. Simultaneously brighten and eliminate odors with a trusted baking soda and vinegar method. Deep clean with dry shampoo granules or even rent a small carpet cleaning machine. And last but not least, call in the professionals.

    Area rugs are perfect purchases for adding a flair of color or style to any home’s décor. However, most purchasers don’t realize that over time, high-traffic and wear and tear will make your area rug look dingy and worn down. While vacuuming regularly is recommended to remove surface dirt, grime, and debris, it’s not enough to keep your rug clean. If you want to increase your area rug’s life expectancy, then you should deep clean them at least twice a year. A deep cleaning will keep your rug looking vibrant and smelling fresh. Just like new.

    Interested in having your rug cleaned, but you don’t want to move it around because it’s too large, too heavy, or you just don’t feel like it?

    Rest assured that you absolutely can get your area rug just as immaculate, even if you don’t take it outside or hang it on a fence. The methods detailed below are safe for most natural and synthetic fibers. We’ve even found a way to clean while protecting your hardwood floor.

    Before You Get Started

    The first thing you should know is what material your rug is. Different materials require different ways of cleaning than what might be the norm. Especially if you’re dealing with any specialty fabrics. If you’re unsure, pay attention to the care tag on the underside of your rug. It’ll give you instructions on how to clean and what to use or not use.

    Before trying any of these methods, be sure to thoroughly go over your rug with a vacuum to remove dirt, dust, and debris from the surface. Make sure to get corners and edges where dust can collect. If your area rug is a shag or other fabric with long fibers, turn off the beater bar while vacuuming to avoid tangling.

    Let’s get started!

    Spot Cleaning on Hardwood Floors

    If your area rug sits on top of hardwood floors, and you don’t want to move it, then it is especially important to take extra care as hardwood is susceptible to scratches and stains from products. Make sure that the pad beneath your area rug is thick enough to prevent moisture from seeping through it. Experts recommend only spot cleaning, and we have a perfect solution. Simply mix one teaspoon of dish soap into two cups of warm water. Use a soft-bristled brush to apply the solution to the stained area. Allow it to sit for 10 minutes before using a clean cloth to blot away the stain and dirty water. With a separate clean cloth, dip it into fresh water and blot the area again to rinse away excess soap. If the stain is still visible, mix warm water with an oxygen-based bleach following the instructions on the label. Lightly apply to the stained area and leave it for one to two hours to lighten the stain.

    Homemade Concoction

    Sometimes, homemade cleaners using ingredients you have at home can be more effective than most of the store-bought products out there. We have the perfect solution that won’t saturate your floors. Pour half a cup of hydrogen peroxide, four tablespoons of Castile soap, and three cups of vinegar into a bowl. After mixing them all together, use a soft brush to apply it to the rug. Leave it on for approximately thirty minutes. Use a damp rag to remove the solution. Be sure to dry the rug well with clean dry cloths or a fan.

    Baking Soda & Vinegar

    This method is best done overnight to fully brighten your rug and eliminate any odors. After vacuuming, sprinkle a layer of baking soda onto the rug. Mix a solution of white vinegar and water and pour it into a spray bottle. Then lightly mist the rug with that solution. The baking soda needs to sit for at least three hours—preferably overnight—to dry and absorb the dirt and smells. The following morning, take the vacuum over the rug again to remove the baking soda and vinegar solution.

    Dry Carpet Shampoo

    This is the only method in this post that doesn’t require any moisture at all! Dry carpet shampoo granules are perfect for deep cleaning certain types of rugs only, such as shag, so be sure to check the manufacturer’s instructions to make sure the product is safe to use on the type of rug you have. Refer to the label to apply the appropriate amount of granules to your rug. You can use more or less depending on how heavily soiled the area rug is. With a soft-bristled brush, work the granules into the fibers. Let the granules sit, undisturbed, for one hour or however long it states on the instructions. Once it’s sat, vacuum the rug to remove any dry shampoo residue.

    Rent a Carpet Shampooer

    A small carpet extractor is inexpensive to rent and easy to use on your rug. It works by pushing cleaning solution and water deep into the fibers, then using suction to pull them out. Simultaneously, the shampooer’s brush head agitates and scrubs to loosen stains, dirt, pollen, dander, and other soil that has built up over time. Start by removing any furniture and objects from on top and around the rug. Before using the cleaner, vacuum the rug to remove any loose dirt and debris. If there are any large or deep stains, you can pre-treat it with a carpet stain removal product that’s safe for your rug’s fabric. After vacuuming, follow the manufacturer’s instructions on setting up the cleaner, including what ratio of water to cleaning solution should be used. Choose the correct setting on the cleaner, turn it on, then hold the trigger to release the cleaning solution onto the rug. If you’re worried about saturating your floors, lightly mist the rug. Make one slow pass over the rug, forward and backward, to suction up the dirt and solution. Keep extracting until the liquid that comes out is clean. Once you’re satisfied the rug is thoroughly clean, go over it dry, using the suction setting to extract as much water from the fibers as possible. This will speed up the dry time and prevent the formation of mold and mildew. Allow the rug to completely dry before walking on it or moving any furniture back into place. This can take up to 48 hours.

    Professional Carpet Cleaning Company

    If you’re not confident in your ability to clean your area rug without moving it or potentially damage your floors underneath, then you can call your local carpet cleaning company. Professionals have the equipment, products, and tools to safely clean your rug. Safe-Dry specializes in a low-moisture dry cleaning process that requires no hoses and will not saturate your area rug with water. It’s also chemical-free and safe for all floors! Book an appointment with Safe-Dry for same day service and a rug that is immaculate and dry in just one hour!

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