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How To Clean an Area Rug on Hardwood Floor

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  • Post last modified:December 12, 2022

One of the best and fanciest ways to give your hardwood floor a subtle elegant look is to place an area rug on it. However, it has a downside too. An area rug, per say, is prone to succumb dust, mites and stains.

But good news is, there are 5 no-brainer methods applying which you can clean your area rug without damaging the hardwood floor.

Are you already restless to know it? Have some patience and let me answer the question that how to clean an area rug on hardwood floors and get rid of those ugly stains and smells.

Before jumping into the methods of how to clean an area rug on hardwood floor, you need to know what kind of stains or debris you are trying to get rid of.

Because the effectivity of the method will be closely dependent on the type of the stains. Now you may ask me how is it possible?

So before you ask me the question let me answer how the type of the stains determines the cleaning process of an area rug on hardwood floor.

Method 1: Spot cleaning for stains

Is it a stubborn curry or drink stain or if it’s a pet-accident you’re dealing with? then without further a due just check for the following ingredients in your kitchen

  • Liquid dishwasher
  • Warm water
  • Old soft bristled brush
  • Clean cloth
  • Oxygen-based bleach

First determine the place you want to clean. Pour a small amount of liquid dishwasher onto the affected area. Let it sit for a while (preferably 10-15 minutes). 

Then pick up the brush and start scrubbing onto the stained surface slowly. Once you’re done then dip the cloth in warm water and blot away the excess soapy solution.

If the stain still prevails, put a tea-spoon of oxygen based bleach. Leave it to work for about an hour. Then rinse it with lukewarm water.

Caution For This Method

Please put something (plastic bowls, casserole etc.) under the carpet to prevent the seeping water damaging your hardwood floor. And do not over do the process since it may cause discoloration.

liquid dishwasher gel - how to clean an area rug on hardwood floor

Method 2: Baking soda for odors

Perhaps baking soda is one of the most common cleaning agents across the world. But do you know it also neutralizes bad smell from anything. So for treating smell of the area rug just make sure you have

  • Baking soda (sodium bicarbonate)
  • Old brush
  • Damp cloth
  • Vacuum cleaner

Just remember that with this method odor treatment is easier than ever. So, first of all sprinkle a good amount of baking soda onto the carpet.

Keep it overnight and vacuum it out the next day. And ta da! We don’t know any smelly living room. With that being said, since it’s waterless, you can clean the area rug inside without taking extra care for your hardwood floor.

You can also use it for stain removal. And for that you will be making a thick paste of soda and water. Then put it on the problematic area. And leave it for a day. And the next day you will be vacuuming it once it’s dry.

baking soda for odors

Method 3: Carpet shampoo for dirt

Generally, we place an area rug in the high traffic area of our home. So it tends to get dirty more often. And for those ugly dirt you may want to keep a carpet shampoo handy. 

Now before you ask me how to use carpet shampoo on hardwood floor, first assure me you have the following materials:

  • Carpet shampoo (choose according to the fiber of your rug)
  • Bucket
  • 2 Brush
  • Sponge
  • White vinegar
  • Clean old cloth

At first damp the area of cleaning by brushing in one direction with the help of a wet brush. Pour some carpet shampoo onto it. 

Keep on brushing. After that, mix white vinegar with water. And pour it onto the stain again. Now start brushing in another direction with the other brush. 

When you feel all the suds and soils have come out completely, dip the sponge into clean water. And try to squeeze out the soapy residue from the rug. Keeping an old cloth over to absorb the moisture will boost the drying process.

Caution For This Method

Don’t forget to read the manufacturer’s tag on the shampoo before starting. You may also find if it’s diluted so that you can determine how much water you need or don’t need at all.

Make sure you don’t saturate the rug by over-pouring the liquid.

I guess you got your question answered well, Right?

carpet dishwasher using as rug cleaner

Method 4: Steam cleaning for the whole carpet

How to steam clean an area rug on hardwood floor, is probably one of the most frequently asked questions. 

Let me tell you that steam cleaning is particularly effective for the whole carpet, not for a portion of it. Also it works wonder not only on the tough stains but also the hot moisture of steam kills 97% of micro-organism that made your carpet as your sweet home.

 So for steaming your area rug on the wooden floor follow these few steps:

  • Since damaging your hard wood floor isn’t a good idea, you will be rolling out your rug and place it on the outside patio at first.
  • Then take a plastic drop cloth or tarp (the one used for painting particularly). Wrap the floor with it. Secure it with masking tape.
  • Follow the guideline of the steamer (you bought or may have rented) for the cleaning instructions. Do as it say.
  • Leave the carpet for drying for about 24 to 48 hours. Remember you don’t want to rush the process. Just give it enough time to fully dry or else the lingering moisture may affect your floor later on.


This is the ultimate method of cleaning an area rug, so expect it to be a little bit pricey

Steam Cleaning for Carpet

Method 5: Vacuum for daily cleaning

Are you using a broom or mops for cleaning an area rug? If yes, stop it right now. Since rugs are made of fiber it always needs to be cleaned by a vacuum.

Broom only makes it more dirty, since all the dirt seeps into the fiber follicles. Also don’t forget to clean the floor if not everyday, then every week at least. You can use broom for the floor.

vaccum cleaner - how to clean an area rug on hardwood floor

Final Note

Your takeaway suggestion from me on how to clean an area rug on hardwood floor should be, clean it the rug regularly and do not let the floor absorb any moisture at any cost.

Moreover, clean the floor more often as it is pointless to place a clean rug on a grimy surface.

Brian Pierce

Brian Pierce is a professional gardener who has vast experience in gardening and home decorating. Being cultivating his skills, he has been to many home and garden related seminars of typical fashion. So, now he has decided to share his years of knowledge, experience, opinions, tips, and above all his hobby on the internet. Find him on Twitter here. Happy Reading!

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