Ever since we installed hardwood floors in our home I have become somewhat obsessed with area rugs. It started with a few strategically placed rugs in our living areas to warm up all the wood and tile, but now I’m layering rugs of different sizes and even adding rugs to carpeted rooms.
Suffice it to say that I now have a fair number of area rugs to care for. Lucky for me, I recently discovered a brilliant cleaning tip for area rugs that I’ve found incredibly effective for keeping them clean and dirt-free.
This method does require you move any furniture off the rug, but I promise it’s worth it! Your rugs (and floors, for that matter) will stay so much cleaner, and they’ll last longer too!
The Best Way To Clean Your Area Rugs? Flip ‘Em!
Step 1 – Vacuum The Top
Grab your vacuum and give your rug a good once-over using long, slow passes. If your rug happens to have fringe or tassels, vacuum the rug without the rotating brush by switching to the hard floor setting (if your vacuum has one.)
Step 2 – Vacuum The Bottom
Next, flip the rug upside-down and vacuum it again. When you are done, lift up the rug by one corner and brace yourself to see how much dirt didn’t come out on the first pass.
It might surprise you how much dirt and dust actually gathers underneath your rug! That dust can end up scratching your beautiful wood floors, not to mention wreaking havoc on family members who suffer from allergies. (Good thing we’re taking care of it!) :-)
Step 3 – Vacuum The Top (Again)
The final step is to flip the rug back over again (so that it’s facing right-side up) and vacuum it a third time. But before you do that, you may want to fold the rug over halfway and vacuum the floor itself, then repeat on the other side to prevent any dirt from transferring from the floor back onto your rug.
Once you’ve vacuumed the rug for the third time, it should be a lot cleaner! If you lift the rug and find more dirt on the floor, feel free to keep flipping and vacuuming until it stops coming out. (This will all depend on how dirty your rugs were to begin with!)
Frequent Vacuuming = Fewer Flips = Cleaner Rugs
I personally haven’t had to do more than two flips per area rug, but I suspect it’s because I vacuum them fairly regularly. I vacuum all my area rugs in the normal way once a week, and I use this deeper cleaning method about once a month.
I realize this is a bit of extra work compared to a quick pass with your vacuum, but it’s one of the only ways I’ve found to remove the dirt that hides in the deepest layers of an area rug. And just think, this is still a whole lot easier than dragging them outside to beat them with a broom like grandma used to do! ;-)
How do you keep your area rugs clean?