How to Steam Clean a Floor Rug | Expert’s Tips & Guide

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Area rugs add ambiance, warmth, color and have the delicacy of the full wall-to-wall carpet. It’s an attractive solution to protect your floors from unsightly scratches. But cleaning an area rug is always considered a daunting task, especially if it’s placed in a high-traffic area with many feet stomping over it.

Area-rugs become the hub of dust, allergens, and germs, bacteria, along with mysterious and unknown stains. Fortunately, there is an easy way to clean area-rugs yourself without using harsh chemicals and inhaling toxic fumes.

How to Clean Area Rugs Yourself At Home

Steam cleaning is the best way to clean and disinfect home and stuff. Let’s have a look at the steps of cleaning an area rug using a steam cleaner.

You can check our blog post regarding effectiveness of steam cleaning against stubborn spots and bacteria’s.

Clear All the Objects from the Area Rug

Move the Furniture from Area RugClear the area rug from all the clutters that might get caught in the initial phase of vacuuming and impairing suction. Remove all the tables, chairs, and furniture and move it to another room. With all the clutter on the rug, it would be difficult to maneuver your steam cleaner around the rug resulting in slowing the process.

If you can take the area rug to a larger space with good airflow, that would be the best option. It will also help in drying the carpet quickly. When you shift your area rug to another space altogether, you will discover layers of dust and grime underneath it that you never knew existed. The hardwood floor will also get the chance of thorough cleaning this way.

Check Manufacturer’s Instructions

Before starting the cleaning, check the manufacturer’s instructions for cleaning. If it says dry cleaning, then it’s not a good idea to steam clean the carpet or area rug because it produces which can cause damage. Also, check if your rug is colorfast or not before proceeding to clean.

Vacuum Clean

  • Vacuum Cleaning of CarpetDon’t skip this step before starting steam cleaning, as it will help in sucking up pet’s hair and fine dust.
  • Vacuum slowly, as in your wish to speed up the process, you try to vacuum with quick and rapid movements. It doesn’t give the vacuum ample time to pick up all the dust particles.
  • Moreover, move the vacuum in both vertical and horizontal directions to loosen dust particles stuck in the rug fibers and pick up in the next pass.
  • Use proper vacuum accessories to deep clean the rug. For example, an upholstery attachment is suitable for fine area rugs, and beater bars shouldn’t be used on woolen rugs.
  • Turn over the area rug and vacuum the back side of the rug as well.

Check Color Fastnesss of the Area RugCheck Your Rug for Color Fastness

Before dealing with stains and spills, check the colorfastness of your rug as it can be a frustrating experience if the color of the rug bleeds, especially if you own a vintage or antique area rug.

  • Choose a not-so-prominent corner of the rug.
  • Use your steam cleaner or spray on the small corner to check that the colors don’t bleed.
  • Rugs with natural dyes remain vibrant in colors for years and don’t bleed or fade out quickly.

Spot Cleaning Stains

Remove Spots and Stains from RugThe stains, spots, and your furry friend’s accidental spills should be cleaned as soon as possible. The delayed clean-up sets the stains deep in the rug’s fibers and hence becomes difficult to clean.

  • Use a rug stain remover or spray on the stain. Make sure to select the stain remover that doesn’t have harsh chemicals in it.
  • The key to removing the stain is to dab at the spot with a piece of cloth rather than scrubbing.
  • You can remove pet urine stains from the carpet, too, by using a citrus-oxygen cleaner or stain remover. Even if the faded stain remains, it will be cleaned with the steam cleaner.
  • Similarly, spot cleans the stains according to their type and nature.

Prepare the Steam CleanerPrepare Your Steam Cleaner

  • The first step is to fill the reservoir with water. You can use warm water as well. Hard water has minerals that can damage the tank of your cleaner. Use distilled water.
  • Check your steam cleaner’s instructions for filling the tank or adding any cleaning solution.
  • You can also add some detergent to the tank. Some steam cleaners for carpets have a separate compartment for adding detergent.
  • You can also add an equal solution of white vinegar and water to the reservoir.
  • Attach the required accessories and allow your steam cleaner to heat the water till it becomes steam and ready to be used.

Start Steaming Your Rug in Sections

  • Clean Area Rug in SectionsStart from the farthest corner, so you don’t walk over the wet area.
  • Make small sections and move your steam cleaner slowly from one point to another.
  • Move your steam cleaner in straight lines rather than moving it diagonally.
  • If you are using detergent, then move it to the same section twice to thoroughly suck up the detergent without leaving residue.
  • Some steam cleaners do not require both push and pull movement, as they instantly suck the moisture. But if your steam cleaner requires back and forth motion, do it.
    Else your area rug will be soiled and wet, giving a chance to mold and mildew to grow.

Dry Your Area Rug

Allow your area rug adequate time to dry properly. Open up the windows, fans, or keep the rug in an airy space. Don’t walk over the rug until it’s dry, and don’t keep anything on it. You can also use a humidifier on a high setting to speed up the drying process.

Why Steam Cleaning Is a Better Option For Deep Cleaning Area Rug?

While professional cleaners efficiently do the job of cleaning the carpets and area rugs, they use harsh chemicals and shampoo to rub and lift the grime off the rug’s surface. To avoid harsh chemicals the water-based steam cleaners are your best bet to clean your area rug.

You can effortlessly clean your area rugs yourself if you have one of the best steam cleaner for area rugs at your disposal.

Steam cleaning destroys 99.99% viruses, germs, remove bed bugs, dust mites and harmful bacteria. Often lack of ventilation and high humidity can cause mysterious odors in carpet.

Steam cleaning helps in removing odors from rugs and carpet, including your pet’s urine scent from rugs. The steam is extremely hot that it can easily melt and lift off the grime, dirt, remove stains, and disinfect the entire rug.

Bottom Line!

As a rule of thumb, rugs and carpets should be deep-cleaned twice for disinfecting them. Steam cleaning has proved to be an efficient and cost-effective method to clean an area rug. Don’t put your treasured rug in danger by using toxic chemicals and give it a gentle yet powerful steam cleaning treatment to eliminate the germs and bacteria along with removing ugly blotches and dirt.


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