Area rugs and runners are a great way to add comfort and style to a room. But with the dirt, dust, and stains that come from everyday life, it can be hard to keep them looking their best. So how to clean area rugs and runners without damaging it?

The answer is simple: regular maintenance and deep cleaning. With the right tools and techniques, you can get your area rugs and runners looking as good as new. In this article, we’ll go over the best ways to clean both types of floor coverings so you can enjoy them for years to come.

From vacuuming to spot cleaning, we’ll give you all the tips and tricks you need to keep your area rugs and runners looking fresh. So if you’ve been wondering how to keep your floor coverings in top condition, read on!

1. Types Of Area Rugs And Runners

When it comes to area rugs and runners, there are a few different types to consider. This includes Oriental, Persian, and antique rugs, as well as jute, sisal, and synthetic runners. Each of these require slightly different cleaning methods, so it’s important to know which type you have before starting the cleaning process.

Oriental rugs are usually made from wool or silk fibers and require dry cleaning or hand-washing with a mild detergent. 

Persian rugs are usually made from cotton fibers and should be cleaned with a vacuum cleaner or spot-cleaned with a damp cloth. Antique rugs should be treated delicately and can be gently vacuumed with the suction turned off.

Jute rugs should be vacuumed regularly but can also be spot-cleaned with an upholstery cleaner if needed. Sisal carpets need regular vacuuming as well but should not be wet-cleaned because this could cause discoloration. 

Synthetic runners can usually just be wiped down with a damp cloth or vacuumed for deeper cleaning.

No matter what type of rug or runner you have in your home, it’s important to check the manufacturer’s instructions before cleaning it to ensure that you do it correctly and don’t damage the material. Taking proper care of your area rug or runner will help keep it looking great for years to come!

2. Pre-Cleaning Preparation

Before getting started with the actual cleaning of area rugs and runners, it’s important to take some time for pre-cleaning preparation. This is essential in order to ensure that the cleaning process goes as smoothly as possible.

The first step is to check the label on the rug or runner. This will tell you if it needs to be professionally cleaned and also provide information about any special cleaning instructions. If professional cleaning is recommended, then this should be done before attempting any other cleaning methods.

The next step is to vacuum the rug or runner thoroughly, paying particular attention to any high-traffic areas such as doorways and stairs. Vacuuming helps to remove dirt, dust, pet hair, and other debris that could cause damage during the cleaning process. 

It’s also a good idea to spot-clean any stains prior to vacuuming, as this can help prevent those stains from becoming more embedded into the fibers of the rug or runner.

Finally, it’s important that you use a cleaner that is specifically formulated for use on area rugs and runners. Using a cleaner that is not designed for these types of materials could lead to irreversible damage and discoloration. 

Make sure you read all of the instructions carefully before using any type of cleaner on your area rugs and runners. Taking these steps will help make sure your area rugs and runners are properly cared for and looking their best for years to come!

3. Vacuuming Rugs And Runners

Vacuuming rugs and runners is an important step in the cleaning process. It helps remove dirt, dust and debris that can accumulate over time. Vacuum on a regular basis to keep your area rugs and runners looking their best.

When vacuuming, use an attachment designed for carpets. This will prevent snagging of the fibers and help ensure that dirt and dust are removed efficiently. 

Work slowly in overlapping rows across the rug or runner to ensure that all areas are covered evenly. Pay extra attention to high-traffic areas or places where children or pets often sit or play.

If your vacuum has adjustable suction settings, start with the highest setting first before gradually decreasing it until you find the right one for your rug or runner material. 

Once you’ve finished vacuuming, check the underside of your rug or runner for any trapped dirt or dust particles that may have been missed during the vacuuming process.

It’s also a good idea to take your rugs outside for a thorough shake every once in a while to remove any lingering debris. Doing this regularly can help extend the life of your area rugs and runners by preventing permanent stains from settling in.

4. Cleaning Solutions And Products

Once you’ve finished vacuuming your area rugs and runners, it’s time to move on to the next step: cleaning solutions and products. 

When it comes to cleaning solutions, there are a few options. You can use an enzyme-based cleaner for organic stains, or a vinegar-based cleaner for pet accidents. For general dirt and grime, an all-purpose cleaner should do the trick.

For tougher stains, like oil or grease, you’ll need something more powerful. In this case, a solvent-based cleaner is recommended. However, always check the label first to make sure it’s safe for your rug or runner material. If in doubt, opt for a milder solution or consult a professional carpet cleaning.

When using any solution on your rug or runner, be sure to test it on an inconspicuous spot first and follow the instructions carefully. 

Also, keep in mind that some cleaners may leave behind residue that can attract dirt over time. To prevent this from happening, rinse off any cleaner thoroughly with water after application and let dry completely before use.

It’s also important to remember that some products can damage rug fibers if not used correctly – so read labels carefully before applying them! With these tips in mind, you’ll be able to tackle even the toughest stains and keep your rugs looking their best!

5. Spot Cleaning Stains

Spot cleaning stains can be a tricky business. While it’s tempting to use powerful cleaning products, these can damage your rug or runner in the long run. It’s important to take extra care when tackling stains, so you don’t cause any permanent damage.

First and foremost, identify the type of stain you’re dealing with. If it’s a protein-based stain such as milk or blood, blot with cold water first before using a mild detergent solution. If it’s an oil-based stain like grease or lipstick, use a dry-cleaning solvent and then blot with water afterward.

It’s also important to know what kind of fiber your area rug or runner is made of before using any kind of cleaning solution or product. Different fibers require different treatments; for instance, wool rugs need to be cleaned with a gentle shampoo and should never be steam cleaned. 

Synthetic materials like polyester and nylon respond well to detergent solutions but should never be exposed to hot water as this can cause them to shrink.

Finally, keep in mind that spot cleaning is only part of the job when it comes to maintaining your area rug or runner—you should also vacuum regularly and have it professionally cleaned every once in awhile too! That way you’ll ensure that your rug stays looking beautiful for years to come.

6. Handwashing Rugs And Runners

Spot cleaning stains is an effective way to remove most dirt and grime on area rugs and runners, but sometimes a more thorough cleaning is needed. Handwashing rugs and runners can be done to restore them to their original brilliance. 

It’s important to remember that not all types of rugs and runners can be washed with this method, so it’s best to check the label before beginning.

To handwash a rug or runner, you’ll need a bucket of warm water mixed with mild detergent and a soft-bristled brush. You’ll also want to make sure the surface underneath the rug or runner is able to absorb water without damage. 

Start by dipping the brush in soapy water and gently scrubbing each side of the fabric. Don’t forget to rinse off any soap residue after scrubbing each side.

Once you’ve finished scrubbing both sides, let the rug or runner air dry in a well-ventilated area away from direct sunlight. 

It’s important for this step that the rug or runner does not come into contact with any furniture or other items as it can cause discoloration from excess moisture. If you’re using a machine washer, follow its instructions for washing delicate items carefully.

Handwashing rugs and runners take some time, but with patience and care it can be done effectively in order to bring back their original beauty. This method should only be used on materials that are safe for handwashing; always check labels before proceeding with this method of cleaning.

7. Rotating Rugs And Runners

Rotating rugs and runners is an important part of the cleaning process. Doing this regularly can help extend the life of your area rugs and runners and maintain their appearance. Here’s how to rotate these items effectively.

First, make sure you know which way the rug or runner was originally placed. This will help you determine a good rotation schedule that will even out wear and tear on the item. Generally, rotating every three to six months is recommended.

When rotating, make sure you lift up the rug or runner off the floor gently without pulling too hard on any one side. Place it in its new position in a different direction than before. If you have more than one rug or runner in the same room, try to stagger them so they’re not all facing in the same direction.

Finally, take a few moments after rotating each item to check for any signs of damage or wear that may need to be addressed promptly. 

Be sure to remove furniture away from rugs and runners when doing this inspection for best results. Caring for your area rugs and runners with regular rotation will help keep them looking great for years to come!

8. Drying Rugs And Runners

After a thorough cleaning, drying rugs and runners is the final step in the process. This stage is essential for ensuring that your rug or runner looks as good as possible and continues to remain clean. It’s important to take time on this step to ensure your area rug or runner is completely dry.

To start off, it’s best to hang the rug or runner outside on a clothesline so that it can air dry. If you don’t have access to an outdoor space, you can also hang it up inside using a rack or other support system. Make sure that the rug or runner is evenly stretched out while air drying, so that it dries evenly and without any lumps or bumps.

It’s also important to take extra care when drying delicate fabrics like wool, silk, and cotton. These types of materials may require additional special treatment when dryings, such as using a fan or dehumidifier. 

Additionally, if there are any stains on the rug or runner, you’ll want to make sure they’re completely gone before you move onto this step of the process.

Finally, once your rug or runner has been dried appropriately, give it one last vacuum for good measure before putting it back in place in your home. With these steps complete, you can now enjoy your freshly cleaned area rugs and runners!

9. Deodorizing Rugs And Runners

We’ve come to the final step of cleaning area rugs and runners: deodorizing them. If your rug or runner needs a bit of freshening up, there are several methods you can use.

One option is to sprinkle a small amount of baking soda over the surface and let it sit for about an hour before vacuuming it up. This will help pull odors out of the fibers. You could also try using a commercial deodorizer specifically made for carpets and rugs, which is available at most hardware stores.

If you want something more natural, you can make your own carpet deodorizer by combining baking soda with essential oils like lavender or lemon. Mix together equal parts baking soda and essential oil in a bowl, then sprinkle it over the rug or runner as evenly as possible. 

Let it sit for at least an hour before vacuuming it up to remove any lingering odors.

No matter what method you choose, regular maintenance of your area rugs and runners will help keep them looking their best and smelling fresh for years to come. Cleaning and deodorizing them on a regular basis will help protect against dirt build-up and odors that can accumulate over time.

10. Maintenance And Care

Maintaining and caring for area rugs and runners is an important part of keeping them looking their best. It’s also a great way to prevent them from needing deeper cleaning down the line. There are two key elements to maintenance: regular vacuuming and spot cleaning.

Vacuuming regularly will help lift dirt, dust, and other debris that can get trapped in the fibers of the rug or runner. This should be done at least once per week, but more frequent vacuuming may be necessary depending on foot traffic in the area.

When vacuuming, it’s important to take special care around fringes and edges, as these can easily become tangled in vacuum cleaner brushes.

For spot cleaning, having an effective solution such as a mild detergent is essential. A homemade solution of one cup of white vinegar mixed with two cups of warm water is a great option that won’t damage your rug or runner while still being powerful enough to lift stains. 

Apply the solution to the stain using a clean cloth and gently dab at it in circular motions until you’ve removed as much of the stain as possible.

Once you’ve finished spot cleaning and drying your rug or runner, it’s important to finish off with deodorizing spray or powder for a fresh scent. This is especially important if you have pets in your home since their odors can become embedded in fabrics over time if not properly addressed. 

Deodorizing products don’t just mask bad smells; they neutralize them for a fresher feel throughout your home.


Maintaining area rugs and runners is not only important in keeping them looking great, but it also helps to extend their lifespan. To clean your rugs and runners properly, begin by pre-cleaning the area. Vacuum the rug or runner to remove dirt, dust, and debris before using any cleaning products.

Using the right cleaning solution and the product is essential for getting out tough stains without damaging the fibers of the rug. Spot cleaning stained areas can also help to keep your rugs looking great. Finally, rotating your rug or runner every few months will help reduce wear and tear on the fibers from foot traffic.

Taking good care of your area rugs and runners will ensure that they look beautiful for years to come. Regular maintenance such as vacuuming, spot cleaning, deodorizing, and rotating can help you keep up with their care so that you don’t have to replace them prematurely. 

When it comes time to deep clean your rugs or runners, always make sure that you are using the appropriate products and solutions to avoid any damage or discoloration. With a little bit of TLC, you can keep your rugs or runners looking like new for many years!

In conclusion, taking proper care of your area rugs and runners is an important part of keeping them looking beautiful for years to come. It is essential that you pre-clean the area before using any cleaning solutions or products. 

Deep cleaning should be done periodically with careful consideration given when selecting appropriate cleaners for specific fabrics. Following these steps will ensure that you get the maximum life out of these amazing floor coverings!