How to Clean an Area Rug on Hardwood Floor

Cleaning the floors is not a chore that anyone enjoys.

Sure, you can run a vacuum the carpets. Hardwood floors take more work.

You have to sweep the floors and mop them too. Sometimes, you have to polish the floor. Even buffering the scuff marks.

However, things get more challenging when you have that annoying area on the floor. It mocks you, doesn’t it? It too has to be clean just like the rest of the floor. You can’t sweep or mop a rug.

Sometimes you can vacuum the rug but sometimes you can’t. But that area rug has to be cleaned. How do you do that successfully without messing up your rug in the process?

Here are a few little tips on how to clean an area rug on the hardwood floor.

You don’t have to make cleaning area rugs on hardwood floors harder than it needs to be.

First, you need to see what type of rug you have. Some rugs you can easily vacuum it without a problem. Others, you just can’t. Let’s focus on the ones you can vacuum first. If it isn’t shag carpeting or there is no fringe on the end, you can vacuum it without any problems. A flat rug with some material in it should be fine.

You can quickly run a vacuum cleaner over the rug and be done with it. The trick is to avoid any lose threads and the edges. You’ll risk fraying your run if it is in the shape of a square or a rectangle. You do not want to risk that, do you?

For loose threads, you have to look around at your rugs. You could end up pulling on the thread and ruining it even further. Take a pair of scissors and snip the threads at the source. Don’t pull on them! Round and oval shapes should be fine with the vacuum.

Now for the rugs that can’t vacuum.

We are talking about your shag rugs and the different material. You could end up sucking it into the vacuum cleaner and cause damage to both the rug and machine. So how are you going to clean those rugs?

First, pick up the rugs and carry them outside. Sometimes, you can just do this one the hardwood floor. (You might as well. You are going to clean the floor anyway.)

Next, do your best to shake out any crumbs or loose dirt onto the grass outside or the floor. If you do this outside, take a few steps away from the house and shake. You’ll want to hold the rug in a taco shape to keep dirt from hitting the floor.

If you really want to make sure you get the rug cleaned, hit the rug against a wall.

You need something hard to get out the crumbs and dirt. Now, what about the stains?

Believe it or not, you can just throw a small rug in the washing machine. Just follow the directions on the tag.

But what if you can’t fit the carpet into the washing machine? For this, you have to bring out the carpet cleaner, gloves, and a sponge. Follow the directions on the bottle and get to work. But then there’s the type of rug that is made of straw or harsher material. How do you expect to get those clean?

Woven rugs are in a category of their own. Or at least they seem that way. There is a bit of a trick to cleaning a woven area rug.

First, check and see if you can throw them in the washing machine without it getting damaged. But what if it’s made of the type of material that will get ruined if you do that?

Like, say if the rug was made of a material like straw. It’s not as hard as you think. If the spill is still fresh, you can still get it up with a paper towel. If the stain has been there for days, you might need to get some cleaner.

Maybe something that is gentle on straw. Before you get to cleaning, it would help to get it off of the floor first. You might want to get a better job done with the rug. Just follow the directions of the cleaner afterward.

Then you will want to hang it up to dry. I prefer using a clip-on pants hanger to get the job down. After the rug is clean, set it back down on the floor. 

Finally, let’s clean where you keep the carpet over hardwood floors. Yes, the exact floors themselves.

The rug can trap dirt underneath it. The obvious thing to do is to move the carpet off the floor. If you are going to wash it, you just need to put it in the washing machine and get to work. If you can’t wash it that way then you will have to move it out of the way.

If you have a long rug, just simply roll it up and move it aside. If you have a shag rug, just pick up and move it aside. Same with your woven rugs. Once they are out of the way, you can get right to cleaning your floors.

Once your floors are clean, you can put the rugs back into place.

Why is it important to clean under the rug?

To help prevent too much damage from under the rug. This may sound a little bit ridiculous in a way. Just listen to this. You want to keep your area rug in good condition, don’t you?

It is easy to see when it’s the same material on both sides. But what if it’s a non-slip material under the rug?

Do you have to clean under there too? Yes. That type of material can wear down over time. You will probably need to swipe up the bits of material that are wearing down as well. That’s right, both sides of the rug have to be clean. That goes for even if no one is going to see the bottom of the rug.

Here are a few more tips for cleaning area rugs on hardwood floors.

First, know what type of material that your rug is before you start cleaning. You don’t want to end up causing more damage to your rug just for cleaning it the wrong way.

You will be throwing away a good sum of money if you did that. You can simply just read the tag of the rug before you get to work.

If you still aren’t sure if the material is safe to vacuum or not, do a quick search on the internet. You will pretty much find the answers that you need there.

Knowing what your rug is made of will help you decide on how you want to clean it. Plus, you will know what type of cleaning products will be safe to use on your rug when you can’t vacuum it. There is one more tip to keep in mind when it comes to cleaning your rug.

If it looks too worn and a cleaning doesn’t help it, it’s time to just replace the rug altogether.

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