How to Clean an Area Rug on Hardwood Floor (2 Easy Steps)

How To Clean An Area Rug On Hardwood Floor

In this article, we will teach you how to clean an area rug on hardwood floor. Area rugs can make a room cozier, colorful, and unique. They are either made from synthetic fibers, wool or natural grasses. They create comfort and warmth in the room as a result of their softness, beautiful patterns, and colors. 

They are used in high traffic areas of a home to protect the hardwood floor from stains and scratches on hardwood floor.

The area rug being placed in a high traffic area has the tendency to get dirty, have a foul smell, have a change in appearance, and even go as long as staining the hardwood floor beneath.

Area rugs should be vacuumed at least weekly, better still, many times in a week to keep it clean always. If dirt and grit are left to dig deep into the fibers, the backing of the rug can get damaged and even the hardwood floor will eventually be scratched.

Spot cleaning is yet another effect way to clean area rug on hardwood floor

If spills are left on an area rug, the moisture can percolate through the rug and hardwood floor. This moisture will remain trapped and leave water marks on hardwood floors.

Area rugs should be thoroughly cleaned at least twice in a year and more frequently if foot traffic is high.

Tools and materials needed to clean an area rug on hardwood floor:

  • Vacuum
  • Microfiber cloths
  • Small bowl
  • Soft-bristled brush
  • Plastic tarp or sheeting
  • Old bath towel
  • Sponge mop
  • Steam cleaner
  • Baking soda
  • Oxygen-based bleach
  • Dishwashing liquid
  • Carpet shampoo
  • Baking soda
  • Oxygen-based bleach
  • Carpet shampoo
  • Carpet stain remover

How to Clean an Area Rug on Hardwood Floor

Vacuum It

Either you want to do a thorough cleaning or just routine care of the rug, you should vacuum the rug with a vacuum that has a carpet beater bar, so as to loosen and suck up dirt. Depending on the size of the rug, vacuum the top and then turn it over to vacuum the other part.

Also, if possible, take the pad outside and shake it well and then dust mop or vacuum the hardwood floor beneath the area rug.

Spot Clean Stains

In the case of small stains, put a placemat beneath the affected area on top of the carpet pad. This will protect your hardwood floor from moisture and minimize any possible occurrence of mold growth.

Numerous kinds of stain especially food and dirt stains can be removed by spot cleaning with a solution of 2 cups of warm water mixed with a teaspoon of dishwashing liquid.

Use a soft-bristled brush to apply the solution on the stained area. Let the solution work for ten minutes and then use a clean cloth to blot away the stain and dirty water. Dip a cloth in pure water and wipe the area to ‘rinse’ away any excess soapy solution.

If the stain on the rug is still visible, mix a solution of warm water and oxygen-based bleach, adhering to the instructions on the product label. Apply the solution directly to the stained area and leave it for about 1.5 hours to gently bleach the stain.

After spot cleaning, you can speed dry by elevating the cleaned area with plastic bowls or books to increase the circulation of air.

Get Rid Of Odor From The Rug

If you shampooed your carpet and now your carpet smells like urine, then this method should work too. To get rid of odor from an area rug, sprinkle the whole surface of the rug evenly with baking soda. Use a sponge mop to move the baking soda down into the fibers and backing of the rug.

Allow the baking soda stay on the rug for hours, better still, overnight, and then vacuum it away. Asides the baking soda absorbing odors, its gently abrasive nature will loosen the soil to be vacuumed away.

Using Carpet Shampoo and Mop to Clean Area Rug

See instructions on the shampoo’s label, so as to know if the shampoo should be used directly from the bottle or first be diluted.

Use a soft-bristled brush or a sponge mop to apply the shampoo on the rug. Apply enough to fully wet the rug, but not to the extent of over-saturating it. Use the brush to loosen soil that is in heavily stained areas.

Finally, dip the mop in clean water and ‘rinse’ the fibers to remove any residue of soap. Change the water used for rinsing again and again until no more suds or dirt is visible.


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How to Clean Area Rug With a Carpet Steamer

Adhere to instructions and use an appropriate cleaning solution recommended by the manufacturer of the steamer. Steam cleaners are very effective and we’ve got a complete guide on how to steam clean a carpet, do follow the steps for a sparkling area rug.

There are a lot of advantages to this, steam cleaning kills fleas and their eggs. So if you’re steam cleaning your area rug, you aren’t just making it dirt free but also germ-free.

Dry the Cleaned Area Rug

Turn on fans and open windows to increase air circulation and facilitate speed drying of the rug. When the surface of the rug is dry, turn over the rug and let the back dry. Drying time varies and depends on the size of the area rug.

Make sure the rug is fully dry before it is placed back on the hardwood floor. Place the area rug back on the hardwood floor after it is dried, but don’t forget to remove the plastic sheeting. Check out how to dry a carpet after cleaning as this is very much applicable to an area rug.

We’ve written a complete guide on the best steam mop for a perfect shiny floor. Check it out and make your choice based on the feature that suits your need.


Now that you have known how to clean an area rug on hardwood floor, you should always clean your area rug to make it remain beautiful, smell good, and last long.

If your area rug usually experiences high traffic, you should clean it more often. Maintaining a clean area rug will enhance the overall beauty and coziness of your home.

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