How to Clean a Dirty Rug by Hand

A rug can be a beautiful touch to any room in your home. However, it can also become stained, especially with large spills, blood stains, or pet urine. Sometimes, a simple vacuuming won’t do the trick, and you need a deep cleaning. Fortunately, with a few everyday ingredients and a bit of hard work, you can wash your rug by hand to keep it looking good.

First, vacuum your rug on both sides to remove any loose dirt or debris. Then, test your cleaner (store-bought or homemade) on an inconspicuous area of the rug to make sure the colors won’t run. If the rug is made from natural materials, such as wool or sheepskin, it is best to use a natural soap, like Castile, and not any chemical cleaning solutions.

Next, mix the detergent and water solution in a bucket. Dip a sponge into the mixture and scrub the rug, starting in one corner and working in a grid pattern until you’ve washed the whole thing. After scrubbing, rinse the rug with a garden hose until it is free of soap suds. Using a squeegee or clean towel, blot the rug to soak up excess water. Let the rug air dry outside, or in a laundry room or basement, until it is completely dry.

If the rug has any tough stains, such as blood or wine, treat them before washing. For red wine stains, mix cold water with white vinegar, and pour onto the stain. Allow it to soak for a few minutes, then use a clean cloth or paper towel to blot the stain until it is removed. For blood stains, try a combination of two parts hydrogen peroxide with one part dish soap. Soak a clean cloth in the mixture, then use it to blot the stain.

To prevent the smell of a wet rug from lingering, sprinkle it with baking powder before you re-vacuum it. This should get rid of any odors and help your rug dry faster. For a quick deodorizer, you can also use a spray bottle filled with club soda and apply it to the rug in a similar way. Just remember to do this only on the surface of the rug, as the smell can permeate the back of the rug. To keep your rug fresh and smelling great, do a light cleaning every few months to help prevent dirt build-up, and a deep clean once a year or so to give your rug that brand new look. And don’t forget to take the time to vacuum the back of your rug too, as it often collects dust and other grime. It can be a pain to move furniture around to vacuum it, but it’s worth the effort! If your rug is too big to fit in the washer, consider a professional cleaner who can wash it for you. They have the equipment and expertise to get your rug looking good as new.