How to Clean an Area Rug on Hardwood Floors

How to Clean an Area Rug on Hardwood Floors without Damaging

Area rugs can add warmth, comfort, and style to your space, especially when placed on hardwood floors. But, they can get dirty over time with dust, dirt, and stains. Cleaning an area rug on hardwood floors may seem daunting, but don’t worry. We have a simple and easy guide to help you keep your rug and floors looking their best.

With our step-by-step guide on how to clean an Area Rug on Hardwood Floors, your rug will stay clean, and your wood floors will stay in good shape.

Important Tools and Materials

Before you start cleaning your rug on wood floors, make sure you have these materials ready:

  • A vacuum cleaner.
  • A broom or dustpan.
  • Mild liquid dish soap.
  • A bucket.
  • A soft brush or scrub brush.
  • A clean, white cloth or sponge.
  • Cold water.
  • A dry towel or clean paper towels.

How to Clean an Area Rug on Hardwood Floors with Step-by-Step Solutions

Cleaning area rugs on hardwood floors requires gentle methods to avoid damaging the wood surface while effectively removing dirt and maintaining the rug’s cleanliness.

Follow our step-by-step guide on how to clean an Area Rug on Hardwood Floors:

Prepare Your Space

Start by preparing the space where the rug is placed. Remove any furniture that’s on the rug so you have easy access to the entire surface. This will simplify the cleaning process.

Vacuum the Rug

Use your vacuum cleaner to thoroughly vacuum the area rug. Start by vacuuming the surface of the rug, and then move to the underside to remove any loose dirt and debris.  To avoid scratches, use a brush attachment designed for hardwood floors.

Shake the Rug

If your rug is small, take it outside and give it a good shake to remove excess dust and dirt. For big rugs, hang them up on something strong like a railing or a clothesline, and then give them a good beating with a rug beater. This will help get rid of remove stuck-on dust and dirt.

Pressure Washing an Area Rug

Don’t use a pressure washer on rugs made from natural materials like wool or on delicate, expensive, or antique rugs because it can damage them.

But, if your rug is made from tough synthetic materials like polypropylene, you can use a pressure washer for a good cleaning. Start with the lowest power setting and increase it slowly until the rug looks clean. Use the lowest pressure that works to avoid damaging the fibers. Once you’re done, let the rug dry completely. It will dry faster if you hang it up. After that, use a vacuum on the rug to make it soft and fluffy.

Spot Clean Stains

If you see any stains or spills on your rug, it’s time to clean them up.

Here’s how:

  • Mix a few drops of mild liquid dish soap with cold water in a bucket.
  • Dip a clean, white cloth or sponge into the soapy water and gently blot the stained area. Don’t scrub too hard because it might damage the rug’s threads.
  • Rinse the spot by dipping a clean cloth or sponge in cold water and gently pat the stained area again. This will remove any leftover soap.
  • Finally, use a dry towel or paper towels to dab away any leftover moisture.

Put the Rug and Furniture Back in Place

After your area rug is fully dry, bring it back inside and put any furniture you moved before back in place. Now, your rug and hardwood floors should appear clean and fresh.

Tips for Maintaining Clean Hardwood Floors

In addition to cleaning your area rug, it’s important to keep your hardwood floors clean as well.

Here are some simple tips to help you keep your floors in good condition:

  • Regularly sweep or vacuum your hardwood floors to prevent dust and dirt buildup.
  • Place doormats by the doors to catch dirt and stop it from getting onto your hardwood floors.
  • To prevent scratches or dents on your hardwood floors, place felt pads or furniture gliders under heavy furniture.
  • Clean up spills quickly to avoid staining or harming the wood.
  • Don’t use tough cleaning products like strong chemicals or rough scrubbers because they can damage the finish of your hardwood floors.

Best Ways to Clean Area Rugs on Hardwood Floors

Keeping your area rug clean on hardwood floors is important to maintain the beauty of both the rug and the flooring.

Hare the best ways to clean area rugs on hardwood floors while protecting your hardwood floors:

Regular Vacuuming: Vacuum your area rug at least once a week. Use a vacuum with a brush attachment suitable for hardwood floors to remove loose dirt and dust.

Spot Cleaning: Deal with spills and stains as soon as they happen. Use a mixture of mild dish soap and cold water to blot away the stain. Wash with fresh water and make sure it’s completely dry.

Protect the Floor: Sweep underneath the rug regularly to keep the floor clean and free of dirt that might scratch it. You can also place a rug pad under the area rug to prevent friction between the rug and the hardwood floor.

Can You Shampoo an Area Rug on Hardwood Floors?

Shampooing rugs on hardwood floors can be a bit tricky and risky. Here are some things to consider:

Type of Rug: Before shampooing, make sure your area rug is suitable for this method. Fragile, old, or hand-made rugs might not be suitable.

Try a Hidden Area: Always test a small, hidden area of the rug to check if the shampoo or cleaning solution causes any discoloration or damage.

Low-Moisture Methods: If you decide to shampoo, use low-moisture methods and make sure your rug dries quickly. Moisture can seep through the rug and damage the hardwood floor.

Protect the Floor: Place plastic sheeting or towels under the rug when shampooing to shield the hardwood floor from any potential spills.

Professional Cleaning: For valuable or delicate rugs, it’s a good idea to think about hiring professionals for cleaning. They have the expertise to clean your rug without damaging your hardwood floors.

If you have already learned how to make your noisy carpet soft again from our previous guide, now you might be wondering how to keep it that way. To keep your carpet comfy and cozy, as we discussed in How to Fix Crunchy Carpet, here are some important tips and advice. We’ll guide you on how to care for your carpet on a regular basis, prevent future issues, and maintain its comfort.


Can you clean an area rug on top of hardwood floors?

Yes, you can. Ensure the rug is dry and use protective measures like a rug pad or vacuuming.

How do you clean an area rug without water?

Use dry cleaning methods, such as vacuuming, shaking, or dry carpet cleaning powders to clean an area rug without water.

Can I use a steam cleaner on an area rug on hardwood floors?

While steam cleaners can be used on some area rugs, it’s important to check the rug’s care instructions. On hardwood floors, it’s best to avoid excess moisture and use dry cleaning methods to avoid damage.

What’s the best way to prevent an area rug from scratching hardwood floors?

To avoid scratching, place a rug pad beneath the area rug. Make sure both the rug and the floor are clean and dry before placing the rug. Regularly vacuum and maintain the rug to avoid debris buildup.