Indoor + Outdoor Rugs :

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How to Clean an Area Rug: Indoor + Outdoor Rugs

Clean any indoor or outdoor area rug easily with this simple method

Hi, my name is Lia and I have an addiction to area rugs.

It’s true, both indoor and outdoor area rugs and even rug runners are my weakness.

The right rug can dramatically improve how a room looks and feels.

cleaning large area rugs

They are a great way to add color and dimension to any space.

Rugs and paint really are magic for transforming a space!

Here are 10 Ways To Make A Small Bedroom Feel Bigger

The only problem is area rugs are magnets for whatever my dogs feet are dragging in and a catchall for our toddlers crumbly snacks…

cleaning large area rugs

Find all the best budget vintage rug runners here!

A few times a year the rugs need more than a good vacuuming and spot treatment, they need a deep down dirty cleaning!

How to Clean an Area Rug: Indoor + Outdoor Rugs

cleaning large area rugs

I have found that buying outdoor rugs and using them indoors has really helped me to maintain the rugs easier.

Outdoor area rugs generally have a lower pile so they don’t trap as much dirt and grime as longer pile rugs do.

Regardless of what type of pile your rug has, this method will work!

Step 1: Vacuum the rug 

cleaning large area rugs

Using a vacuum cleaner, remove any loose dirt and debris from the rug.

This will make the washing process more effective.

Step 2: Treat Stains

removing rug stains

For tough rug stains I like to use a combination of Clorox Powder, hot water, and Dawn Dish Soap.

Place the rug on a clean, flat surface and treat the stains with the solution first.

removing rug stains

Use a soft-bristled brush or sponge to work the solution into the fibers of the rug.

The rest of the rug can be treated with a more mild detergent.

Step 3: Pressure Wash the Rug

removing rug stains

I highly recommend using a pressure washer when cleaning an area rug, but a hose will work too it might just take a bit longer.

There is nothing more satisfying than watching all the dirt and yucky stuff come off the rug.

removing rug stains

If your rug is really dirty (mine always are) you may need to do 2-3 round with the pressure washer, squeegeeing the water off in between rounds.

Step 4: Drying the Rug

After the final round of washing, squeegee off the excess water to help the rug dry faster.

I like to use the same large squeegee we used during the garage floor coating project, but a window squeegee would probably work too!

After the excess water is removed the rug should be hung or laid flat to dry in a well-ventilated area.

Avoid direct sunlight or high heat sources, as this can cause the rug to shrink or warp.

Fluff the fibers of the rug with a soft brush or vacuum cleaner once it is completely dry.

Bonus Tip: Removing Mildew Smell

How to Clean an Area Rug: Indoor + Outdoor Rugs

Drying the rug can take time, especially if you don’t have a great spot to hang it from.

I have had an instance where I took a rug inside too soon because some rain was in the forecast.

This led to the rug being clean but also smelling like yucky mildew!

Here is what I did to fix the smell issue:

I started by setting the ceiling fan to highest setting and using a box fan to help the area rug dry completely.

How to Clean an Area Rug: Indoor + Outdoor Rugs

After it was completely dry I lightly sprayed the rug with a white vinegar solution (1 cup white vinegar + 2 cups warm water).

Do not soak the rug, just spray the entire thing lightly and keep all the fans on.

Once the rug dries the vinegar and mildew smell disappear!

How to Clean an Area Rug Reveal

How to Clean an Area Rug: Indoor + Outdoor Rugs

That’s it, no more dirty, smelly, stained area rug!

All the rugs look and smell amazing, the best part is I didn’t have to spend any money to get them back to looking new!

How to Clean an Area Rug: Indoor + Outdoor Rugs

Hopefully this little rug cleaning tutorial can help you salvage your indoor area rugs too.

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