5 Essential Rug Cleaning Tips

One of the first things people worry about when getting a bespoke rug is how to clean it. For whatever reason, many think that a custom rug will be harder to clean than a mass-produced one.

But that’s not necessarily the case. Rug cleaning difficulty is generally a function of the rug’s materials and construction, not its originality.

If you want to know how to clean a rug – whether it’s a custom rug or not – we’ll help you out today. Below are our top tips on rug cleaning.



1. Check the Weather Forecast

Weather forecast on the phone

What does this have to do with cleaning a rug, you ask? Quite a lot, actually. You see, the best time to clean rugs—especially big ones, like area rugs—is when the weather is sunny and dry. That’s going to help you dry out the rug after cleaning. Drying out a rug during the rainy season can be more of a challenge than you think, as the air will typically be too saturated with moisture to help with that. And remember, keeping the rug damp for longer than necessary can actually undo all your good work. That’s because it can encourage the growth of bacteria or fungi in the fibres of the rug.

2. Vacuum with care

Folded underside of a bespoke rug

Most of us already know that one of the first steps to thoroughly cleaning a rug is to vacuum it. But what people forget is that there are good and bad ways to vacuum a rug.

What’s an example of a bad way to vacuum a rug? Well, using too high a suction setting, for one.

That can lead to sections of the rug being deformed or stretched. That’s why you should stick to the recommended setting when vacuuming rugs.

Stick to the recommended attachment too, of course. This will further reduce the chances of damage to the rug.

3. Screen and Test Shampoos Before Using

spray shampoo for rug cleaning

Another important tip on preserving your rug throughout the cleaning process is to ensure that you use the right shampoo. The first way to do that is to screen rugs or carpet shampoos according to your rug’s materials. Most shampoos will have indicators on their packaging that state what sorts of rugs you can use them with. After that, you should test shampoos before committing to the actual shampooing during rug cleaning. Basically, put a bit of the shampoo on a corner or tiny area of the rug and add water, then scrub or follow the directions in the shampoo’s packaging. Rinse it off, then take a look at the test area once it’s dried. Is there any visible difference when you compare it to the unshampooed areas of the rug? You’re looking for damage like fading, fibre warping or disintegration, and the like. If you see none of these, the shampoo is most likely safe for your rug.

4. Vacuum Your Rug Post-Cleaning

vacuuming a rug after cleaning

All right, this probably looks like another odd tip. But it can help you get the fluffy, clean rug you want after cleaning, in most cases. Let’s say you’ve shampooed, rinsed, and properly dried the rug. A lot of people are astonished by how flat or stiff their rug seems after all of that trouble. It’s pretty simple to fix that, though: just vacuum the rug one more time. An alternative is to brush it out after rug cleaning, but that takes a bit more effort.

5. Ask for Professional Advice

ask a rug cleaning expert

This is actually one of the best tips we can give rug owners when it comes to cleaning their rugs, whether they’re custom rugs or not. It’s certainly the best way to avoid damaging a rug when cleaning it! In particular, ask your rugmaker or manufacturer for notes on how best to clean the rug. They will know best what procedures suit the rug. Even if you’re taking your rug to a professional cleaner, notes like those from professional rugmakers can be indispensable. Cleaners will often only be too happy to take such tips on board, as they want to minimise the risk of item damage themselves. We ourselves provide tips for rug cleaning to all of our clients. We take into account rug material, make, colour dyes, etc. If you want to learn more about how to care for special rugs or even how we recommend our custom rugs should be cleaned, contact us! We’re only too happy to talk to other rug owners and enthusiasts!