DIY Tips for Cleaning an Area Rug

Area rugs are really a great way to tie together all the various décor elements of a particular space. Whether your space would be best-suited with a 2×8 rug, a 5×8 rug, or a rug of some other dimensions, the right area rug can add style, charm, and comfort to any floor space, regardless of whether you have hard floors or carpeting. Area rugs are also an effective way to help reduce ambient noise levels in a particular space. But once you have your area rug in place, eventually it will need some attention beyond just normal vacuuming.

DIY Tips for Cleaning Your Area Rug Yourself

At some point, you’ll get to the place where simple sweeping or vacuuming of your area rug just doesn’t seem to get it clean enough. Perhaps you have a noticeable pet stain, or just concerned about the fact that you haven’t really deep-cleaned your rug since you put it down. Is it necessary to hire a professional to provide deep cleaning for your area rug? Not necessarily! As long as you have the right tools, the right cleaning agents, and take the right approach, you can probably do a more-than-adequate job of cleaning your area rugs yourself! Here are a few tried-and-true tips:

  • Sprinkle baking powder

Baking powder is a great all-purpose natural cleansing solution for stains and dirt. Sprinkle a little powder onto any areas that need attention, and then pour a little warm water over the area. Let it sit for a while, then dab out any stains. You can repeat the procedure if necessary. Adding a few drops of vinegar can help the process along, as well (as long as you have a light-colored rug). Alternatively, if you don’t want to fool with a baking powder and warm water combination, you can also just use some Whoops! Stain Remover Spray to achieve a similar effect – it’s effective at lifting and neutralizing stains & odors with the natural power of CO2 technology. 

  • Use salt

Salt is reputed to be a sure cure for pesky red wine spots. When salt is applied to a fresh red wine spill, it starts to work its magic almost immediately. The salt should absorb the liquid, and then you can just vacuum it up. A little blotting may be required, as well. Start from the edges of the spill and work inwards as you blot. It’s also a good idea to start by testing on an inconspicuous area of your carpet to see how it does first. 

  • Steam cleaning

If you own more than one rug, a steam cleaner really could be a smart investment to make. For that matter, several vacuum cleaners also come with some effective water-based cleaning attachments. Having access to a tool like this allows you to clean your rugs as frequently as you like, and these types of cleaners or attachments are also helpful for helping to kill any residual germs. It’s a good idea to steam clean (or use a water-based cleaning attachment) once every six months. But if you have pets – or just have a messy family – you might want to consider doing a deep clean more frequently.

  • Aerate your carpet

Even if your area rug isn’t stained, it still needs some deeper cleaning once in a while. Aeration is an effective method for getting rid of bacteria and making your carpet feel (and smell) fresher. Use a brush to remove any obvious scraps, and then just hang your area rug outside in a sunny area. The sunlight will help to kill bacteria and also help to prevent additional bacteria growth. Plus, this will also serve to make your carport feel and smell fresher.

  • Shaving cream works, too

Surprisingly enough, shaving cream can be a more budget-friendly option than a traditional foaming carpet cleaner. If you want to try shaving lotion for carpet cleaning, just make sure the shaving lotion is undyed and contains no potentially harmful additives (like menthol). Apply directly to any stains and let soak for around 20 minutes. Blot and rinse with a damp cloth.

  • Try lemon juice

Sometimes, a little lemon juice is all you need to clean the dirtiest of carpets. For spot cleaning, mix with equal parts water and detergent. Be aware that lemon juice contains whitening attributes like vinegar, so it should just be used with light-colored area rugs.

  • Kill odors with vinegar

If your area rug looks fine but still smells bad, you may be able to neutralize those smells with vinegar. Blend a 50/50 solution of vinegar and water in a sprayer. Mist it uniformly over your area rug, and let it air dry. After an hour, come back and vacuum the rug. Hopefully, you’ll find that those pesky odors have been vacuumed away, as well!

  • Vacuum thoroughly and regularly

Speaking of vacuuming, you really should. On a regular basis!  Vacuuming from both directions can help to unlodge any pesky dust, and frequent vacuuming can also serve to prolong the life of your area rugs. Remember: sweeping only moves dirt and dust around; a proper vacuum system actually removes dust and dirt. And here’s a pro tip: for a more thorough cleaning, don’t just settle for vacuuming the top fibers of your area rug. Flip it over and vacuum the bottom side, too! This is a great way to remove any lingering dust, plus it will also serve to help prolong the life of your area rug by helping to remove any ground-in dirt.

Looking for a Perfect Area Rug? Jennifer Adams Has Them!

We hope these area rug cleaning tips will be helpful to you! But perhaps you’re really in the market for a new, plush, stylish-yet-cozy area rug? If so, you’ll find some GREAT offerings from Jennifer Adams! Our SoCal Living and Cotton Tail Collections both feature rugs that are lovingly constructed in American facilities with top-quality fibers, and they’re designed for optimal softness, durability, and ease of care. Our SoCal Living Collection of rugs takes inspiration from a signature West Coast, easy-breezy style. These area rugs help to create a relaxed, laid-back vibe which gives your room a more earthy and calm atmosphere. And our Cotton Tail Collection features rugs with a boho-chic flair in natural shades that are soft, plush, and inviting. You really can’t go wrong with either option!

No matter which area rug you choose, we wish you all the best in choosing a perfect floor accent for your own personal living space!

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