Rug Cleaning GuideWelcome to the HomeStyle shop!

Rug Cleaning Guide

Rug Cleaning Guide

A rug can be a beautiful addition to any home, adding character, warmth, color and style. For many, a rug is a significant investment in interior decor, therefore it is essential that we care for our rugs to preserve and maintain their original features.

To ensure that your rug lasts for years regular cleaning and maintenance is crucial, vacuuming, brushing and stain removal are key parts of rug care.

Discover our expert tips on how to clean your rug to keep it looking its very best.

How often should I clean my rug?
How can I prevent my rug from getting dirty?
How can I remove stains from a rug?
How to clean different types of rug
Troubleshooting guide

How often should I clean my rug?

To keep your rug in pristine condition for as long as possible, be sure to clean it regularly. You’d be surprised how much dirt rugs can pick up!

The quickest and easiest way to give your rug a quick refresh is to vacuum it to remove any dirt or dust. You should do this at least twice a week and shake it out frequently.

If you have a fringe or tassels on your rug, avoid vacuuming them as it can cause damage.

If you have pets, use a stiff brush to remove and lift off any hair tangled in the rug that the vacuum has left behind.

Invest in a professional deep clean for your rug once a year for a full refresh.

How can I prevent my rug from getting dirty?

In a hectic household, it’s not always easy to keep your home looking immaculate. When it comes to keeping your rug clean, prevention is the best cure.

To prevent dirt or mud being carried through your house and onto your rug, ask your guests to remove their shoes when they come in and place doormats at every door.

If you have a plush light-coloured rug, steer away from consuming dark food or drinks in this room if possible to avoid any unsightly spillages.

How can I remove stains from a rug?

Everyone has their clumsy moments meaning your rug may be subject to spillages and stains. Don’t panic, most stains can be sorted as long as they’re dealt with quickly, even red wine and coffee!

How to get red wine out of a rug

  1. The first and most important step when dealing with a red wine stain is to blot the area with a paper towel or material rag, starting from the outside inwards.
  2. You must act quickly as the the longer you leave the wine to soak into the rug the more difficult it will be to remove the stain.
  3. Do NOT rub the stain as this will only make it worse and push the liquid further into the rug. Apply some cold water to dilute the wine and continue to blot the stain until the rug is dry again.
  4. Alternatively, if the stain is still visible, make up a solution of a tablespoon of liquid hand dishwashing detergent and one tablespoon of white vinegar with two cups of warm water.
  5. Apply gradually, repeating the blotting process as you go.

How to get make up or oily stains out of a rug

  1. Cover the area with baking powder and leave to stand for 10 to 15 minutes.
  2. Then, vacuum the powder up and apply a few drops of washing detergent onto a cloth. With this, begin to blot.
  3. If the stain persists, mix two cups of warm water with one tablespoon of washing up liquid and one tablespoon of white vinegar. Apply gradually and repeat the blotting process until the stain disappears.

How to get candle wax out of a rug

  1. If hot candle wax drops onto your rug, fill a plastic bag with ice cubes and hold it onto the wax to harden it.
  2. Begin to scrape as much off as possible with a dull knife or spoon. Then dampen a clean cloth with surgical spirit and blot the stain to remove any leftover wax.

How to get mud out of a rug

  1. Allow the mud to dry and garden before attempting to treat the stain. Break off any large pieces and vacuum them up.
  2. Then rinse the area with soapy water made up of a few drops of washing up liquid in water and blot with a clean dry towel.

How to get flower pollen out of a rug

  1. Use a vacuum hose to gently vacuum the area to pick up as much of the flower pollen as possible.
  2. Lay a small piece of tape over the stain to grab any excess pollen and lift it off the rug.
  3. Dampen a piece of paper towel with surgical spirit and blot the stain from the outside inwards and continue until the stain fades and eventually disappears.
  4. If the stain persists, use an old toothbrush and work a small amount of shaving foam into the stain. Rub off any excess foam with a new clean cloth and blot the area to dry. Rinse well with cold water and blot again to absorb any leftover dampness.
  5. Once the area has dried, vacuum over it to raise the carpet fibres and fluff it up.

How to get gum out of a rug

  1. Hold ice cubes on the gum to harden it and make it easier to manipulate. Once the gum has completely hardened, start to prise the gum away from the rug.
  2. It’s important to do this gently so you do not rip any of the rug fibres off.

Rug cleaning techniques

  • Blot – never rub a stain. Rubbing pushes the stain further into the rug and causes the fibres to mat. Cover the area with a clean towel or paper towels and press down firmly until the liquid has been absorbed.
  • Rinse- always rinse with clean water. Generally hot water is best for killing bacteria. Use cold water for food stains, drink spills, blood or water-based paint.

How to clean different types of rug:

Cleaning a wool rug

For basic everyday maintenance, the best way to keep your wool rug clean and looking smart is to vacuum it regularly (at least once a week). However, due to the more delicate nature of the wool, you will need to adjust your vacuum to an appropriate setting to avoid the yarn fuzzing.

Cleaning a Persian or Oriental rug

For general day-to-day cleaning, vacuum gently to remove dirt and dust from your rug. Take special care not to damage the rug by using a piece of nylon over the rug and vacuuming over the screen. Alternatively, attaching a piece of nylon mesh over the vacuum head is a great way to protect the rug from vacuum damage. Make sure you change the nylon mesh frequently to get rid of the dirt that has accumulated. You should get your Persian or Oriental rug professionally cleaned once a year to keep it in great condition.

Cleaning a shaggy rug

To keep your shaggy rug looking clean and pristine, it’s important to clean it regularly. Before you start, take your shaggy rug outside and give it a good shake to remove any loose dirt. Then, vacuum it gently using a low setting so that the rug fibres do not get caught and tangled. Alternatively, you can use an upholstery attachment to carefully vacuum between the rows of thread and remove the dirt caught between the fibres. For a thorough clean, after vacuuming use dry carpet shampoo (usually a powder). Sprinkle this over the rug, leave for around an hour, and then repeat the vacuuming process to remove the granules.

Cleaning a synthetic rug

Synthetic rugs are very low maintenance and easy to keep clean. Vacuum your rug regularly using the beater brush attachment to remove dirt and dust.

Cleaning a jute or sisal rug

Generally, jute and sisal rugs are relatively easy to maintain and keep clean because dirt does not get trapped in the hard fibres. For regular cleaning, vacuum using a high suction setting at least twice a week. Make sure to vacuum both sides of the rug to stop dirt accumulating in the fibres.

Cleaning a silk rug

To remove dirt from your silk rug, vacuum it regularly using a brushless suction head or sweep it very gently with a broom. To get rid of dust and any unpleasant odours, shake your rug off outside and ensure your home is adequately ventilated.

Cleaning a doormat

Doormats are extremely easy to look after. Simply shake them off outside and vacuum regularly.

Cleaning a bathmat

Most bathmats can be machine-washed at 30-40°C using regular laundry detergent. Either dry in the tumble dryer on the lowest setting. Do not dry a rubber-backed bathmat on the radiator as this can ruin the grip. Dry it flat to ensure it does not get damaged.


Troubleshooting Guide

Experiencing a problem with your rug that you’re not sure how to put right? Here’s our troubleshooting guide for common rug problems.

Fading and Colour Loss

If your rug is beginning to fade or lose it’s colour, it may be due to prolonged direct sunlight. To prevent your rug from fading, move it away from windows and out of direct sunlight. If your rug has already begun to lose its colour, rotate the rug regularly to ensure that it fades at an even rate.

Fluffing and Shedding

It’s nothing to worry about if your rug is shedding in the first few weeks. Vacuum it regularly to remove the loose pieces and the shedding should stop after a month or so. If your rug continues to shed after 6 weeks, contact the manufacturer/supplier as there may be a fault with the rug.


In the first few weeks it is likely that your rug will have a slight odour as a result of the manufacturing process. Like with all odours, this will gradually disappear with adequate ventilation and aeration from shaking it outside.


Occasionally, you may get an odd tuft of yarn sticking out above the rest of the pile. If this occurs, simply trim the tuft with a pair of scissors to the height of the rest of the yarn. Do NOT pull the tuft out as this can cause significant damage to the rug.

Pile crushing

Pile crushing is the loss of rug thickness due to continuous foot traffic. To reduce pile crushing, vacuum regularly. To reduce the appearance of already crushed rug piles, vacuuming vigorously may help to reintroduce thickness and volume.

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