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How To Clean And Maintain Area Rugs

Area rugs are carpets of smaller dimensions with various textures, shapes, and designs. They are an excellent addition to any room because they help protect your floors, reduce noise, and add comfort.

Area rugs also anchor your furniture and enhance your decor, but even if they’re smaller than regular carpets, they still need regular cleaning and maintenance.

Why You Need To Clean And Maintain Area Rugs

Area rugs are small and generally easier to take care of, but why should you still keep an eye on them like regular carpets? Here are the top three reasons to learn how to maintain area rugs.


The vivid colors of area rugs make them an eye-catching feature in any room. However, their colors fade over time, making them look dull and lifeless. Regular maintenance helps keep their original beauty and vibrancy.

Hygiene and Health

Area rugs trap dirt and dust. If you have allergies and asthma, they can worsen your condition! Cleaning your area rug helps you keep your indoor air quality healthy. Moreover, you remove dangerous insects and minimize microbial contamination.


Lastly, area rugs may be small, but they’re still an investment. You buy area rugs not just for their look but also for their function and quality. Regular maintenance helps you keep them longer, saving you money in the long run.

Wondering how to clean area rugs? The method depends on what type it is. Here’s a guide on how to keep your area rug in tip-top condition for your home’s overall comfort and beauty.

How To Clean Handwoven or Hand-knotted Rugs

Hand-woven or hand-knotted rugs are usually made from natural fibers. The fringes of handwoven rugs are extensions of the foundation yarns, and because they’re handmade, you’ll often see imperfections like uneven shapes or misshapen side cords. Still, they’re highly valued and an excellent option for your home’s beauty and comfort. Here are two ways to keep a handwoven area rug clean:

Vacuum Regularly

Handwoven rugs can degenerate faster because of dust and dirt. The best way to clean them is by vacuuming. Use low suction because too much can damage the fibers and loosen the knots, and, if possible, use a vacuum with a rotating brush because these remove dirt more easily.

Spot Clean Spills Right Away

Accidents and spills happen, and if they do, remove any spots or stains immediately! You can use a cloth dampened with lukewarm water, dabbing the spot gently. Never rub or scrub the stain because this may damage your area rug’s fibers. Also, only use gentle cleaning solutions.

How To Clean Machine-woven Rugs

Machine-woven rugs look similar to handwoven rugs, but are made of synthetic fibers rather than natural fibers. Manufacturers sew the fringes into the rug, making the edges neat and symmetrical. Like handwoven rugs, machine-woven rugs also need regular cleaning to retain quality and beauty. Here are four ways to keep them clean:

Follow The Instructions

In most cases, machine-woven rugs come with how-to-clean instructions. Follow the cleaning and maintenance indicators to ensure you don’t ruin your rug’s fibers.

Brush Out

Use a stiff-bristled brush to remove dirt from the rug’s surface. This tip is especially helpful if you have pets. It’s also an excellent method to revive flat areas and restore beauty!

Vacuum Regularly

After brushing, use your vacuum to remove dirt deeper into the rug’s fibers. Again, use low suction to avoid fraying. Vacuum your machine-woven rugs at least two to three times weekly to keep them looking their best.

Spot Clean Right Away

Just like with handwoven rugs, removing stains from machine-woven rugs before they settle deep into the fibers is always the key. Whenever you accidentally spill something on your rug, dampen a cloth with lukewarm water and dab the stain gently. Use only mild cleaning solutions to avoid damage.

How To Clean Machine-tufted Rugs

Unlike hand-woven and machine-woven rugs, machine-tufted rugs don’t have fringes or have fringes attached to the backing. Their patterns are also not visible from the back as they have cotton or linen canvas backing. Since they are made quickly and easily for mass production, machine-tufted rugs are usually the cheapest type of area rugs.

Still, how you maintain them affects how long they last, especially when they contain glues and adhesives. Here are three ways to keep them clean:

Follow The Instructions 

Like machine-woven rugs, how-to-clean instructions accompany most machine-tufted ones. Follow the indicated cleaning and maintenance steps to avoid damaging the rug.

Test Cleaning Products

Machine-tufted rugs have glues and adhesives, so you must test how certain cleaning products react to the rug’s materials. Test a small section of the rug and see how it fares with your chosen cleaner before applying it to the whole rug.

Air Dry

Most machine-tufted rugs are made of cotton or wool, which can shrink when exposed to too much moisture. To avoid this, air-dry your rug in a well-ventilated area.

More important tips to remember when cleaning and maintaining area rugs include not pulling yarn tufts. If you see a tuft sticking out of the rug, cut it off with scissors instead. Pulling it out may only loosen the entire rug.

How To Maintain Area Rugs

Maintenance is critical in keeping your area rugs looking their best over time. Whether you have a hand-woven, machine-woven, or machine-tufted rug, these tips will help you maintain its beauty and quality:

Rotate Regularly

Rotating your area rugs helps prevent them from being worn down in high-traffic areas and heavy furniture. Rotate your rugs every one to two months to even out usage and prevent further damage.

Protect From Sun Exposure

UV rays from the sun can fade your area rugs’ vibrant colors. Place your rug away from direct sunlight to prevent discoloration, and use sheer curtains as an added layer of protection.

Use Rug Padding

Most carpet pads act as an invisible buffer between the floor and the rug, helping reduce wear and tear. They also help keep the rug in place, so you don’t have to adjust them constantly.

Store Safely

When storing your area rugs for a long time, protect them from pests and humidity. Wrap them in polyethylene sheets and keep them in a cool, dry place.

Invest In Professional Cleaning

The best way to clean and maintain your rug safely and deeply is by getting professional cleaning services. Experts know how to properly clean and maintain area rugs, so you never have to worry about damages.

Keep Your Area Rugs Clean With Carpet DryClean

Buying an area rug that you think will complete the look of your home is a great idea, but simply placing them where you want isn’t enough to keep them looking their best. 

At Carpet DryClean, we give you solutions on how to maintain area rugs with our professional rug cleaning services!

Our waterless dry carpet cleaning technology deep cleans and sanitizes your rugs without harmful chemicals. We use an alcohol-based and very low moisture (VLM) rug cleaning solution and process, guaranteeing your carpets stay dry and clean for longer.

Carpet DryClean is a family-owned and operated business. Like you, we value how area rugs can make your home more beautiful and comfortable. Contact us or call (919) 878-0748 for a free estimate!

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