How To Clean Area Rug on Hardwood Floor

Last updated on February 12th, 2024 at 04:57 am

Area rug decorates your space, adds warmth to your footbed. Unfortunately, whether the material is seagrass, synthetic fibers, or wool, they all get dirty. Irrespective of the material, you have to clean it once in a while. Here is an article on how to clean an area rug on the hardwood floor. 

Cleaning an area rug on a hardwood floor is much more complex than cleaning it on the place where it sits. Therefore, protecting the hardwood floor is as much important as cleaning the area rug. SawsHub recommends these steps to clean the area rug without damaging the hardwood floor.

Materials Required:

Tools or equipment that you require for washing an area rug on a hardwood floor.

  • Soft-bristled brush
  • Small bowl
  • Vacuum
  • Sponge mop/ microfiber cloths
  • Steam cleaner

The materials that you would require along with the tools listed above are:

  • Baking Soda
  • OxyClean or oxygen-based bleach
  • Dishwasher Soap
  • Carpet Shampoo
  • Carpet Stain remover

Step 1: Vacuum the Dust

  1. Begin with vacuuming the area rug.
  2. Use a vacuum cleaner with the lowest pressure and clean the gunk settled over the rug vacuum clean the food spills, paper balls, or any heavy dust.
  3. Be it regular cleaning or deep cleaning, always vacuum on both sides of the rug.
  4. Start vacuuming vertically and then move horizontally, rotate the carpet to another side and repeat the same procedure.

This takes hardly 10-15 minutes, and you will get the gunk-free carpet to start cleaning hardwood floors.

Step 2: Clean the Stains

Before you begin, place plastic underneath the carpet, it prevents moisture absorption on the hardwood floor. Hence prevents any damage to the floor.

  1. Apply dishwashing liquid and water in a cup and pour a little over the stain. 
  2. Apply the solution over the stained area, work with a soft-bristled brush for 10 minutes.
  3. After working it for minutes, blot the area with a damped cloth. After that, dip a fresh cloth in water and rinse the area till the soapy solution gets washed away.
  4. Use a microfiber cloth to clean any remaining residue of the detergent or soap.

This works well if the stain is recent and has not dried up. If the stain is older, then move ahead to the next step.

Step 3: Use Vinegar and Baking Soda for Stains

Is the stain too old to get easily cleaned by detergent? Then, use vinegar and baking soda, which has acidic nature that dissolves the stains.

  1. Take equal parts baking soda and equal parts white vinegar and mix it well.
  2. Before applying it to all stains, do a patch test.
  3. Spread the mixture over the stain and leave it for 15 minutes.
  4. Scrub the spot well with the soft-bristled toothbrush or microfiber cloth; keep scrubbing until the stain comes off.
  5. Next, wash away the vinegar and baking soda solution with a damped cloth.
  6. Check, whether the stain is still visible or not. If you can still see the shabby stain, then use Oxygen-based bleach following the instructions on the label.
  7. It is advisable to do a patch test before cleaning the stains with OxyClean or any oxygen-based bleach.

Step 4: Remove the Odors

Brighten and remove the foul odor from the carpet sprinkle handful of baking soda.

  1. If your area rug is long and heavy, use a sponge mop and gently work on the rug’s fibers.
  2. Work the baking soda properly all over the carpet, do not miss any nook or corner of the rug.
  3. Leave the carpet overnight after scrubbing with baking soda or let it rest for several hours.
  4. Vacuum the baking soda from the carpet; the baking soda will absorb any filthy smell from the carpet and loosen the dirt stuck between the fibers.

Clean the rug properly, check for any remaining residue on the carpet.

Step 5: Prep the Hardwood Floor

When you have to wash the rug over the hardwood floor, it is advisable to prep the floor prevent future damage.

  1. Vacuum the rug for any remaining gunk on the carpet.
  2. Roll the rug and put a plastic sheet underneath. Secure the plastic sheet with masking tape.
  3. Vacuum the dry plastic sheet to clean any debris or dust on the sheet.
  4. Once you prep the floor, move ahead to the next step for cleaning the area rug.

Step 6: Use Carpet Shampoo and A Mop

Carpet shampoos are the most effective method, specially made for carpet and, it helps in cleaning without hassle. 

  1. Read the label on the shampoo to know the method of using the carpet shampoo.
  2. Apply it on the carpet and use a sponge mop and soft bristle toothbrush to work on it.
  3. Use a sponge mop to apply the shampoo all over the carpet. Take the soft-bristled brush and start gently working on the corners and borders of the rug.
  4. Work it out for 5-10 minutes and then rinse it well.
  5. Use a spray nozzle to clean rinse off the soapy solution from the carpet. Spray sufficient water to all corners of the rug to clean the soil and dirt from the carpet.

Repeat the same procedure on the other side of the carpet, flip it over and brush the corners well, so the dirt comes out.

Step 7: Clean It with A Carpet Steamer

Carpet steamer is a one-of-a-kind stain remover. It uses heat and warm water to break down the dirt and clean the carpet thoroughly.

  1. After prepping the carpet, you can use a rented carpet steamer to clean the area rug.
  2. It is advisable to wash with sponge cleaning when the carpet is too long and takes too much time.
  3. Follow the instructions recommended by the steamer manufacturer and start scrubbing the shabby stains and gunk from the carpet.

Step 8: Dry the Clean Carpet

  1. Use a wiper to wipe off the excess water from the carpet. 
  2. Take a wooden block or anything with heavyweight and compress the rug to bring out excess water from the area rug.
  3. Open the windows and add a circulating fan near the area rug, accelerating the drying speed.
  4. The carpet can take up to 48 hours for drying. Keep patience, and do not take it back to its origins spot until it’s completely dry.

Step 9: Return to Original Spot

Once the area rug is completely dry, it is time to reverse the steps where you began.

First, · Roll up the cleaned carpet and put it aside.

Next, · Remove the plastic sheet and replace it with a carpet pad.

Finally, place the carpet pad and roll down the rug over it.


The area rug enhances the beauty of your home. It gives comfort and warmth to your feet. Unfortunately, the area rug can get filthy for numerous reasons, so we have listed all the possible methods to clean it. 

The hardwood floors are different from ceramic tile, vinyl, or stone flooring. Hardwood is prone to damage; taking care of the floor with preventive measures can save the extra expense of repairing the floors. If you doubt the DIY route of cleaning, call professional cleaners, and make your carpet shine like new. 

Sarah Smith
Sarah Smith

I'm Sarah Smith, a good housekeeper, blogger writer. Love to write about housekeeping, cleaning, cooking tips and tricks as well as life hacks related article and share online.

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