Here's How Often Should You Be Cleaning Your Rugs

There are many benefits to adding a rug to your space. If you have solid floors, like hardwood, this soft surface helps reduce noise and echoes by absorbing the sound, states Love Your Rug. Area rugs also add visual softness and texture to a room, while the patterns and colors help bring the décor together, making the space feel finished. If you have little ones just learning to walk, a rug offers a soft place to land, and you want that place to be clean.

Rugs come in a wide variety of materials and price points. According to Circle Furniture, synthetic materials, like polypropylene, are the most affordable options, while natural fibers, like wool and silk, are considerably more expensive. When choosing a rug for your space, consider your specific needs. If you are looking for the right piece for your family room with frequent spills and muddy paw prints, synthetic options are much more durable and easy to clean than natural options. On the other hand, splurging on a beautiful wool rug can add elegance to the room if you have a formal space that is rarely used. Regardless of what kind of rug you choose, it needs to be cleaned, but how often?


For most homes, Gallagher's recommends cleaning your rugs about once a year; however, the frequency depends on a few factors. You will likely need to clean much more often if you have kids and pets. Of course, you can spot clean when accidents happen, but Carpet Culture suggests cleaning your rugs every six months in areas with high traffic and frequent messes. The deep-down dirt that accumulates in rugs can damage the fibers and reduce their lifespan; therefore, regular cleaning can make your rugs last longer. Routine cleaning is also beneficial for allergies because rugs collect common allergens like pollen and dust mites.

Synthetic rugs will look new for years, even with frequent cleaning, but natural fibers may show damage if they are cleaned too often. Zerorez Boise suggests waiting up to three years to clean your rugs if they are not in a busy area of your home. Selecting the right frequency for cleaning heirloom-quality rugs can help them last for generations. If you are unsure how often to clean your rug, contact a professional who grooms these kinds of fibers.

How to clean rugs

Home Depot suggests a "kick test" to determine if it is time to clean your rug. If picking up a corner and lightly kicking it releases dust and dirt, it's time for a thorough cleaning. Before you clean your rug, check the label for instructions. If the label states something like "Professional cleaning only," this is not a DIY project for you, but if the care guide gives basic instructions for cleaning, this is something you can easily do at home.

Rug cleaning is best done when it is warm outside, so there is no possibility of damaging the floor under the rug and because it will dry more quickly. Cleaning the rug on a water-resistant surface like tile or vinyl is also an option. Vacuum your rug, then mix three teaspoons of dish soap with 5 gallons of warm water. Use a soft bristle brush to gently scrub the rug, working from one end to the other. Use a bucket of fresh water and a large sponge to rinse all the soap residue off the rug and allow it to dry. For a filthy rug, consider renting a steam cleaner to restore it to its original beauty.