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Can You Use Carpet Cleaner On A Rug?

Can You Use Carpet Cleaner On A Rug?

Did you accidentally made a mess on your rug and now dread taking it to the professional cleaners?

Here’s how you can easily dodge the situation: carpet cleaners!

You probably thought that carpet cleaners are only meant to be used on carpets, but the reality is quite different. 

Carpet cleaners can be effectively used on rugs as well, making them a worthwhile investment. This has its exceptions though, as some area rugs made of cotton, silk, jute, or wool are not compatible with carpet cleaners. 

For other rugs, the results are so effective that many people prefer buying carpet cleaners for their rugs instead of the other options available.

If your rug is not an area rug, getting a carpet cleaner will be the best decision you’ll ever make because of its convenience.

It’s cheap, it doesn’t require any expertise, and gives results that are similar to professional cleaners!

If you also face a lot of accidents near your rug, keep reading to find out how carpet cleaners can save the day.

Carpet Cleaner

When Can I Use a Carpet Cleaner On My Rug?

While carpet cleaners are great to run towards in case of emergency spillovers, it’s best to do your homework beforehand.

This is because not every rug can handle a carpet cleaner and if you own a rug that is of similar sorts, you’ll end up causing more damage than the spillover itself. 

Cotton, silk, jute, and wool are just some of the materials that don’t go well with a carpet cleaner.

If you can’t identify the material of your rug manually, then flip it over and locate the label.

You can find all of the details and safe cleaning options here.

If the rug says that it can be cleaned by a carpet cleaner, you don’t have to do anything else apart from cleaning your rug as you would do your carpet. If not, then you’ll have to resort to other methods of cleaning.

If your rug’s label doesn’t say anything, you can always get in touch with the seller to have the right information.

You wouldn’t want to ruin your rug just because a carpet cleaner is sitting on your shelf.

Why Are There Different Cleaning Procedures For Rugs?

Rugs require special care because their manufacturing process is different than carpets.

Since carpets are produced on a large scale and in size, their production involves synthetic fibers and plastic-based adhesives.

This makes them immune to harsh cleaning procedures because at the end of the day, a carpet’s major composition is plastic.

They can withstand chemicals and also heat cleaning procedures.

Area rugs, on the other hand, are mostly crafted by hand. Hundreds of craftsmen work manually for several hours to produce a single rug.

Its production involves strenuous procedures such as weaving and knitting.

Since there’s little to no involvement of artificial materials, rugs become prone to damage easily.

Persian and ornamental rugs are even more sensitive because of their intricate details and precise weaving.

Since area rugs are not closely knitted together, they tend to gather a lot of dust particles within themselves.

To have them cleaned thoroughly, you must seek a professional service, as a one-time clean-up can cause the rug to lose its structure and shine.

Even steam cleaners and vacuums are strongly advised against cleaning rugs.


Then How Can One Clean Their Area Rug?

You might not be able to use conventional methods to clean your area rug but that doesn’t mean that there’s no way around it.

There are several alternatives that you can use to make your rug appear as clean as you first bought it.

Here are some ways that might come in handy.


If you’re lucky and don’t have a lot of areas affected, you can just clean the messy spot as opposed to dealing with the whole rug.

All you have to do is plop any mild cleaner onto the spot and scrub it gently with a toothbrush. Don’t use too much product or you’ll put your rug at risk of discoloration.

To completely avoid such scenarios, make sure you do a patch test on any part of the rug which is not easily visible.

The sides of the floor-side of the rug can serve as great options here.

Dish Soap Or Laundry Detergent

For bigger stains, you can mix equal parts of laundry detergent and dish soap.

Make sure you remove any food particles or visible dirt specs from the rug and soak a clean towel in the solution.

Use that towel to gently scrub the area and you’ll see that it starts absorbing the stain as well.

Make sure you don’t over-soak the towel, as that will make it hard for your rug to dry.

Keep changing the towel until you stop seeing the stain.  

Deep Cleaning

If your rug is too dirty or if you spilled a large amount of food or liquid, get ready for a deep cleaning session.

Take your rug in the backyard and wet it completely with either a hose or let it soak in a bucket. When the rug is thoroughly wet, scrub it gently with a mild soap.

Once you’re sure that the stains are gone for good, squeeze out all the excess water with the help of either towels or a vacuum.

Leave the rug to air dry and after a couple of hours, you’ll have a shiny, clean rug.

Bissell Little Green

If you have to clean your rug often, the carpet cleaner by Bissell can serve as a great choice.

Investing in it means a thorough clean-up and also the option of using it for multiple things, such as carpets or car seats.

Is Cleaning A Rug A Quick Process?

How quickly you clean the rug depends on many factors, including the extent of the damage and the thickness of your rug.

Minor stains can go away within a few minutes but if the mess is huge, it can take up to days for you to first clean the rug and then wait for it to dry.

Cleaning Rug

Final Words on Using Carpet Cleaner on Your Rug

Cleaning rugs can be a tedious process, especially if you have an area rug.

The process is worth it though because this small addition can alleviate the look of your rooms to a large extent.

Be sure to keep your rugs nice and clean, with the help of this guide.

Sit back and absorb all the information because you never know when a guest, pet, or child will end up spilling over their drinks!

Lindsay Reed

Hi, I'm the founder of! I created this website to be a resource for everyone who wants to make the best home possible.