Area rugs make an excellent addition to any room, with a splash of color, texture, or patterns to complement your home décor. It’s also a great way to add a bit of warmth and comfort in front of a sofa or reclining chair. Like full-room carpets, area rugs build up dirt, debris, and stains that need regular cleaning. One of the best carpet cleaning methods is steam cleaning, which lifts dirt and grime out of the rug without using harmful sprays or chemicals.
Area rug cleaning can be done effectively with a steam cleaner done effectively with a steam cleaner and various attachments to lift the dirt out of the carpet fibers, including a steam mop, without using sprays or commercial cleaners. You’ll find that steam cleaners are ideal for a wide range of rugs, including an Oriental rug, wool rug, and plush varieties of synthetic fibers.
Why It’s Important to Clean Your Area Rug Often
Area rugs in high-traffic parts of your home are frequently walked on by pets, children, and anyone who spends time in these spaces. They easily collect dirt, stains, allergens, and bacteria, which can lead to ill effects on your health, air quality, and the quality of your rug. For this reason, it’s best to clean and disinfect your rug often to avoid dirt build-up. A well-maintained rug also ensures unwanted odors due to stains and grime.
Step-By-Step Process How to Clean an Area Rug with a Steam Cleaner
Steam cleaning is one of the most effective ways to disinfect your rug. Before you begin, clear all furniture and items off the carpet and the surrounding flooring. If you can’t move heavier pieces of furniture, push them as far as possible from the rug towards the corners of the room.
- Vacuum the area rug before you begin cleaning. If the room has hardwood flooring beneath the rug, it’s best to vacuum this and remove any dirt or dust traces. If you have wood floors that are unsealed, you’ll need to move the rug outside of the room to steam, as the steam clean may impact the flooring. Once your wood floors are completely sealed, you can resume steaming your carpet in the same room.
- If you notice any spot stains or specific areas of concern, such as a pet stain, food particles, or oil spots, treat these areas with hot water, baking soda, and white vinegar, or a carpet stain cleaning solution. Spot cleaning will improve these areas before you treat the entire rug. This step is crucial if you have nail polish or other stubborn stains that are typically difficult to remove with regular carpet cleaning.
- Once spot cleaning is completed, use a cloth or rag with clean water to clean the treated areas and rinse in warm water. Allow these spots to dry completely before using the steam cleaner.
- Prepare the steam cleaner by pouring distilled water into the tank and following the manufacturer’s instructions. If you want to increase the impact of the steam clean, add a bit of white vinegar into the water before adding it to the cleaner. When the steam cleaner is ready, start at one corner of the rug, and move in straight lines, in an even row, until you reach the other side of the rug, and all areas are thoroughly covered.
- If there are other areas in the room to steam clean, you can treat these surfaces simultaneously, including upholstery cleaning, ceramic or wood floors, and other carpet or area rugs. The steaming or hot water extraction process requires up to twelve hours to dry.
- Set the rug aside to dry completely. This process can take between four and twelve hours. Ideally, you’ll want to hang the rug in a dry room with no moisture or humidity, which can prolong the drying.
Tips for Maintaining Your Area Rug
Steam cleaning is a great way to treat all your surfaces at home. There are some crucial steps you can take to minimize damage and extend the life of your rug, so you won’t have to clean it as often.
- Treat stains and spills on the rug immediately to avoid further damage or staining on the carpet fiber.
- Dust the room, surrounding further, and vacuum regularly to prevent excessive dust, dirt, dust mites, and bacteria from accumulating on the rug and other surfaces in your home.
- Limit the amount of time your pets spend on the rug, as this can increase the risk of stains
- Keep food and drink away from the rug to avoid spills on the rug
- Roll area rugs and move them out of the way if you’re planning on renovations or significant projects in the same room. If you wish to paint or use the room for an art project, you’ll want to move any furniture and rugs to avoid stains.
- Keep a carpet cleaner and cleaning equipment on hand to take care of any unexpected spills on your area rug.
When you keep your home free of dust, debris and your carpets regularly cleaned, you’ll significantly reduce the allergens and bacteria in your home, resulting in better air quality and improved health. Professional rug cleaning services and commercial cleaning are ideal for maintaining your carpet.
However, you’ll find that investing in a good quality steam cleaner and steam mop will handle all your surfaces at a fraction of a cleaning service. Carpet shampoo, a sturdy scrub brush, cloths, and a bucket for water are great to have ready if there’s a sudden spill or mess on the rug.
Maintaining clean rugs and carpets will improve their durability and appearance. You’ll find the steam cleaning process easy and quick to perform, and this will go a long way to maintaining beautiful fabrics and surfaces throughout your home.