How To Clean Area Rugs Yourself

Learn how to properly clean area rugs yourself with this step-by-step guide.

Next Project


No need to hire a professional, you can clean your area rugs yourself! Follow these steps for clean, brightened and refreshed area rugs.

Eventually, the time comes when your area rug or removable carpet needs more than just another vacuuming. If stains are piling up or there are deep-rooted problems with dust (or worse, dust mites), it’s time for a full cleaning. Fortunately, you don’t need to hire a professional to fully clean your rug! You just need the right tools, cleaner and approach. Here’s how to clean area rugs from start to finish.

Note: A true area rug will be far too large for one person to successfully handle. Spare your muscles by getting a couple of other people to help you with this task. It will only take a couple of hours if everything is properly prepared!

Project step-by-step (7)

Step 1

Set Up an Outdoor Station

  • Pick a day when the forecast is clear and sunny (preferably for the next few days), and set up a station to clean your rugs.
    • Pro tip: Summer is an excellent time to clean your rug because you’ll need to do it outdoors. Try not to set up over the lawn, as you don’t want any cleaners soaking into the grass.
  • The support system you choose needs to be a lot stronger than a clothesline, as rugs are usually quite heavy.
  • If you have two trees, you can stretch bungee cords or thick rope between them.
  • Benches and any sort of sturdy wall can also work.

area rug on fenceCebas/Shutterstock

Step 2

Vacuum Thoroughly On Both Sides

  • Vacuum the fibers, then flip the rug over and vacuum the other side to remove any lingering dust.
  • When it’s clean, it’s time to roll it up carefully and take the rug outside to your cleaning station.
  • Prop it up at the station with the right side facing you.
  • If your rug is still dusty at this stage, you can beat it with a broom handle or similar tool to knock even more dust out.
    • Pro tip: Don’t whack too hard, but give the rug a few firm knocks to see if clouds of dust come out. If they do, keep whacking.

vacuuming area rugStanislauV/Shutterstock