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Cleaning A Filthy Area Rug: Tips To Make Your Rug Look Like New

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An area rug makes any room look beautiful and well-put together. Area rugs come in a number of different sizes, shapes, and colors so you can use them in just about any room of the house. If you have these areas rugs in your home, you know how much dirt they collect. Area rugs cannot simply be put into the washing machine to get them clean like some other types of rugs and using the vacuum or a broom on it only cleans them so much. To give your rugs a deeper clean, you'll need to put in some hard work. Read on for instructions and tips to get your run looking like new again.

Here's What You'll Need: 

  • Area rug
  • Garden hose (with strong spray attachment)
  • 1-gallon bucket
  • 3 tbsp. laundry detergent
  • 1 tsp. dish soap
  • 3 tbsp. baking soda
  • Scrub brush
  • Shop vacuum or carpet cleaner (for soaking up water)


  1. To start, roll up your area rug and take it outside your house to an area such as a clean driveway or patio. Place the rug upside down (so the backing is facing up) onto the patio or driveway.
  2. Use your garden hose with a sprayer to spray the backside of the rug. This may sound silly, but it will help to remove anything stuck down inside the fibers of the rug. Spray all over the rug backing soaking it thoroughly.
  3. Next, mix the baking soda, dish soap, and laundry soap in a bucket, then fill the bucket the rest of the way using water from the hose. Blend the mixture thoroughly to combine the ingredients together.
  4. Pour the mixture over the backing of the rug to distribute it evenly (don't use all of it, unless you have a really filthy rug).
  5. Allow the mixture to sit on the rug for at least 10 - 15 minutes.
  6. Next, spray the rug with the garden hose again, working your way all the way across the rug and spraying it thoroughly (don't miss any areas).
  7. Turn the rug over when you are finished. You'll notice your rug is probably even more filthy looking than it was before. This is because the dirt that was caught in the fibers is being pulled out.
  8. Spray the top side of the rub with your garden hose to rinse it. If you notice any spots or stains, use your scrub brush and soap mixture to remove the stain. Be gentle with the scrub brush, so you don't damage the fibers on the rug. Then spray it again to rinse it.
  9. When you are satisfied with how clean your rug looks and the soap has been rinsed out, you can begin drying it.
  10. It is going to be soaking wet, so you'll need to pull the water out of it. Do this by using a shop vacuum with a hose attachment, or by using a carpet cleaner that can suck the water out.
  11. Repeat the process of pulling the water out of the rug until you have most of the water removed. Then when it's dry enough that water isn't pulling out, you can bring the rug inside to dry the rest of the way using a fan(s). Prop the rug up off of the floor to dry it thoroughly.

Deep cleaning an area rug should be done at least a few times per year to keep it looking like new and to prevent buildup in the fibers.