A rug can be a wonderful addition to your bedroom. It can make the space look cozier and make waking up in the morning a much more pleasant ritual by providing a soft welcoming surface for your bare feet.
But just like other items in your bedroom (such as your mattress and bedding), a rug can easily become a breeding ground for dirt and germs! That’s why it needs to be taken care of properly to help keep your bedroom germ-free.
Read on to find out how to clean a rug and how often you should do it.
How often to clean a rug
First of all, rugs should be vacuumed on a regular basis—ideally once a week—but you might need to do it more often if you have pets.
In addition to the regular vacuuming, you’ll need to wash your rug occasionally, every 12-18 months, on average. The frequency will depend on where they are in your house and how much foot traffic they get. So, your bedroom rug would need to be washed less often than, say, a rug located in your hallway.
As a rule, if it looks dull and dirty even after vacuuming, then it needs to be washed. If you’re not sure, then run a damp white cloth across the rug. If it comes up dirty, then your rug needs to be washed.
How to clean a rug at home
Let’s say you’ve decided it’s time to wash your bedroom rug. How do you do it yourself?
First of all, vacuum the rug thoroughly.
After that, the way you wash it will depend on the type of rug you have. If yours is made of cotton or synthetic fibers and is small enough, then you can likely just toss it in the washing machine (but of course, always check the label first!).
Other types of rugs take a bit more work to wash.
If you’re washing your rug by hand, then avoid using a carpet cleaner or a carpet shampoo as these might be too harsh for your rug depending on what it’s made of.
Likewise, avoid using water that’s too hot as it can cause the rug to shrink or the colors to fade. Instead, mix a cleaning solution by adding a few drops of mild dish soap to warm water (or cold water if it’s a wool rug).
Test the solution in the corner of your rug first to make sure it doesn’t cause colors to bleed. If all is well, then work it into the entire rug with a sponge or a brush, working one small area at a time. Use an old toothbrush if necessary to scrub off any stubborn stains.
The next step is to rinse it. For some rugs, and with the manufacturer’s approval, you can rinse the rug with a garden hose equipped with a spray nozzle (you might want to do this whole thing outside on a sunny day) and then quickly remove excess water with a squeegee. Make sure to avoid prolonged exposure to moisture to avoid causing any mold or mildew issues.
With any rugs, you should dry them as soon as possible after washing.
How to dry and care for a rug after cleaning
After you’re done washing the rug, lay it flat outside to allow it to dry. Depending on the rug, it might take anywhere from a few hours to a full day or more. You can speed up the process by using a fan or a cool blow dryer.
Even if your rug can be washed in the washing machine, you still need to air dry it. When the top of the rug is dry, flip it over to let the bottom air dry as well.
Return the rug to the room only after it’s completely dry. After you return it, with some rugs, you might want to run the vacuum through it again if you see that threads and fibers got squished during the washing process. Or, simply run a soft-bristled brush through it.
When to seek professional help in cleaning a rug
Some rugs can’t be washed at home. That’s the case with many Persian or Oriental rugs, antique rugs, or rugs made with delicate materials such as silk or viscose. Any time you have a really valuable rug or simply an extra-large rug, it’s best to seek professional help in cleaning it.
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How do you clean a rug yourself?
Rugs need to be vacuumed about once a week and washed every few months. After vacuuming thoroughly, mix a solution of mild dish soap (not a carpet cleaner) and water (warm or cold depending on the material) and work the solution into the rug using a sponge or a brush. Then rinse and blot dry with a clean absorbent towel.
What is the best way to wash a rug?
If your area rug can’t be tossed into the washing machine, and doesn’t require professional cleaning, you can wash it by hand using a solution of dish soap and water, then lay it flat outside to air dry.
How do you clean a large rug?
Vacuum your large rug regularly and wash it every few months or as necessary. It’s best to hand wash your large rug outside on a sunny day using a solution of mild dish soap and warm or cold water. Avoid prolonged exposure to moisture. Lay it flat outside to air dry. Some extra large or super valuable rugs need professional cleaning. Always check the manufacturer’s instructions.
Find the best bedroom rug at Saatva
When you’re ready to take your sleeping environment up a level by adding a cozy rug to your bedroom decor, or if your existing rug is past its prime time, head over to peruse Saatva’s collection of high-quality bedroom rugs. They’re handcrafted from sustainable materials and meticulously designed to complement a variety of decor styles.