How To Clean Area Rugs At Home And On The Cheap

When is the last time you cleaned your area rugs?  Don’t spend hundreds on a pro.  Clean area rugs at home for pennies and they’ll look like new in no time!

We’re not talking about a little spot clean and light vacuumming here.  If yours are anything like mine, they probably have years worth of dirt, spills, pet accidents and who knows what else inside all those tiny fibers.  It seems that no matter how much I spot clean, I don’t ever trust that they are really as clean as I would like them to be.



Frugal Ginger shows us how she brought her indoor/outdoor rug back to life.  This process would work with most types of short pile or weave rugs.  Just be careful with shags or fine rugs with heavy dyes.

The experts say that quality rugs should only be washed every 5 years or so and that they should probably be taken to a professional cleaner.  Mine are not what I would call high quality, but I like how they look and am not ready to replace them.  So, it’s time to roll up the sleeves and get to it!  I think the hard part is getting them outside, but I plan to recruit my boys to help with that (shhh – don’t tell them).  After that, it’s a super cheap and pretty easy process!



Here are the supplies you will need to clean area rugs at home:

  • broom and/or vacuum
  • bucket and scrub brush
  • water
  • mild dishwashing detergent (use a clear or white one if you are concerned about the soap tinting the rug)
  • flat, sunny area like a driveway or patio
Frugal Ginger walks you through the steps.


Here’s her after.  Wow…what a difference!


If your rug is heavy, some Homemaking Simplified suggests rolling and standing your rug while it partially dries, then rolling it out flat to continue drying all the way.


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