How To Clean An Area Rug On Hardwood Floor: Full Guide

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Hardwood floors are an exquisite source of adornment for your house, which uplifts the interior and makes the overall appearance much more appealing.

Many people place rugs and carpets on the floors to add contrasting colors, patterns, and textures and protect high-traffic areas. As a result, many rugs get too dirty and need cleaning occasionally.

You can clean an area rug on a hardwood floor using moisture barriers, steam mops, detergents, and a vacuum cleaner. These methods are safe for your wooden floors. Washing rugs outside is preferred, but fixed rugs can also be cleaned following the cleaning methods below.

Clean An Area Rug On Hardwood Floor

Make sure to read the process thoroughly for the best results.

How To Clean An Area Rug On Hardwood Floor

Cleaning an area rug on hardwood floors using detergents and a vacuum cleaner is very simple. The process is simple and does not involve any complexities you may have thought of.

In general, cleaning an area rug is very similar to cleaning a carpeted floor. However, read on to get an in-depth idea of how the procedure works.

Items Required

  • Vacuum Cleaner
  • Rug cleaner/ liquid detergent
  • Bucket of water
  • Scrubbing brush
  • Tarp

Remove Furniture

Before you can start cleaning the rug, it is necessary to remove all the furniture, such as sofas, tables, chairs, etc., forever; it is also preferred that no one steps on the floor until the cleaning process has been completed.

Remove Furniture

This is necessary to carry out the smooth execution of the process and limit any unwanted disturbances.

Besides, clearing away all the items from the rugs is emphasized so you can access all parts of the rug and perform thorough cleaning.

Vacuum The Rug

Cleaning any dry dust beforehand is the best way to simplify the cleaning process. You can use any vacuum you have; however, an upright vacuum would be preferred for this process.

Vacuum The Rug

Place the vacuum on the rug and start cleaning it until you have covered the entire surface. Repeat the process 2-3 times for optimal dry cleaning of the rug.

Clean the Under-Rug Mat

If you have any mat placed under your area rug, it will greatly help if you take it out and clean it. Oftentimes, dirt and debris get passed on from the surface of the rug to the mat and get collected there.

Clean the Under Rug Mat

Prolonged collection and accumulation of dirt can result in stinking smells and bacteria, which are unsuitable for your rugs.

Hence, shake out the rug outside the house and use a scrubbing brush to clear off any dirt which might be stuck on the surface.

Besides, you can also use a damp cloth to clean the surface, make it spotless if you want to, and then place it under your rug again.

Place A Moisture Barrier

Cleaning the area rug on hardwood floors would mean an extensive amount of water will be used in the process.

Excess water and moisture are very dangerous for hardwood floors as they can damage the floors almost immediately.

Place A Moisture Barrier

Hence, placing a moisture barrier such as a tarp or a waterproof sheet under the rug is crucial before you can start cleaning it with water or any detergent.

This will help collect the water on the surface and prevent it from getting to the hardwood floors.

Therefore, once you are done cleaning, you can easily drag the tarp layer outside the house and flip it to eliminate all the soapy and dirty water.

You can also clean it inside the house using towels to dry it up if you need more time to do something other than dragging it outside.

Make The Cleaning Solution

Mix the cleaning solution into the water in the recommended proportions to clean your rug. If you don’t know the proportions, remember that the water needs to be soapy or have soap bubbles.

Make The Cleaning Solution

Anything too diluted would have little effect, and if you put the solution in too much concentration, you might even find it difficult to clean it out of the rug afterward.

Hence, choose your cleaning solution’s concentration accordingly and ensure you have the right proportions.

Clean The Rug

Once the cleaning solution is ready, you must start cleaning at once. If you use a mechanical cleaner, pour the solution into the container for the cleaning solution.

However, if you are going after a manual approach, you can spray the liquid on the desired area with a spray bottle.

Clean The Rug

Moreover, you can also use a steam mop for this purpose as it would perform the same job much more efficiently.

Now that the solution is poured on the rug’s surface, use a brush to scrub the surface and let out all the dirt and debris stuck inside.

Remember to scrub it and make the lather on the entire surface. Once that is done, leave the solution on the surface and let it sit for around 5 minutes.

Follow the instructions on the solution’s packaging if it tells a different amount of time.

Once the time has been completed, you can move towards the next step, cleaning your area rug on a hardwood floor.

Rinse The Rug

You can use a pressure washer, a garden hose, or simply buckets of water to rinse all the solution and the dirt from the rug.

Rub the surface or scrub it again while pouring the water to ensure no dirt or cleaning solution remains inside the surface.

Rinse The Rug

Pour the water 2-3 times for the best results. However, ensure that the water’s pressure is not too high, as it might damage the rug’s fibers.

Besides, using a conditioner after the cleaning process is preferred to prevent the rug from getting dry and lifeless. A conditioner would moisturize the surface and make it soft again.

Having a tarp or any other waterproof layer under the rug is extremely important in this situation so that the water does not damage the hardwood floors.

Dry The Rug

There are numerous ways to dry the rug once it has been cleaned and rinsed. The best one is to use a powerful vacuum cleaner to soak up all the moisture from the surface.

You can also have the rug and let the water drip, but this method promotes deshaping in the rugs due to the weight of water and the rug combined.

Dry The Rug

You can use the same vacuuming method mentioned above and dry your rugs so they are soft and fluffy again.

How To Clean An Area Rug On Hardwood Floor Without Damaging The Wood?

To clean an area rug on hardwood floors without causing damage, use a moisture barrier between the rug and the floor. If the rug can’t be moved, place a waterproof material like a tarp to protect the wood from water exposure during cleaning.

How To Clean An Area Rug On Hardwood Floor Without Damaging The Wood

A useful example is waterproof parachute material, which can be used under the rugs while you clean and wash them with water.

Ignoring this step can result in drastic effects where your hardwood floors can experience swelling, buckling, chipping, and other types of problems.

Furthermore, if the problem intensifies and the water moves to the subflooring, you might be looking at a necessary hardwood floor resurfacing procedure requiring some hefty amounts for repair.

Hence, it is best to take precautionary measures beforehand.


An area rug requiring a cleaning session on hardwood floors is a relatively easy task if you follow the above-mentioned steps.

If you follow the procedure precisely, your rugs will be thoroughly cleaned, and the hardwood floors will be protected from damage.

Hence, if your rugs are also dirty and need to be cleaned, and you want to protect your hardwood floors, follow this method, and you will achieve your desired results easily.

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