Deep Cleaning Area Rugs w/o a Carpet Cleaner


I'm all about having the gadgets + tools to help improve your day to day life if they truly add value and not just clutter. One tool that I have not been able to justify purchasing is a carpet cleaner. Our entire house is hardwood floors and honestly with dogs and cowboys constantly walking in and throughout the house without any regard to mud or dirt, it is a dream come true.

On the flip side, having hardwood floors can sometimes make a place feel cold. So to add a bit of depth + coziness, I added a few area rugs to our living areas. Unfortunately, these rugs aren't exempt from the aforementioned dogs, cowboys, mud and dirt.

So a couple weeks ago I noticed the rugs were getting pretty dingy looking so I pulled them out, rolled them up and stuck them in the guest bedroom until I could figure out how to clean them or get them cleaned by a professional. Dad has one of those fancy carpet cleaners and he has mentioned in the past that I could borrow it anytime so that crossed my mind. But then a couple weeks ago, the weather wasn’t too terribly bad so I decided to load them up (okay, maybe JF did the heavy lifting) and run by the car wash to see if I could just “power wash” them. I AM SHOOKETH TO THE CORE. You never really realize how dirty something is until you clean it.

This is my officially official disclaimer:

Check the cleaning instructions on your rugs prior to taking them to a car wash. Do not take a high dollar Persian rug to the local car wash and drench it in VEHICULAR grade soap followed up with a high-pressure rinse. PLEASE SEE A PROFESSIONAL FOR YOUR BOUGIE-ASS-HIGH-AFFLUENT RUGS.


  • Before dousing your rugs, first turn the knob to the rinse setting and spray away from the rugs for a minute or 2. This should clear out any wax or spot-free chemicals that you don't want soaking into the rug fibers.

  • Use the 'rinse' setting and spray each rug before you really go to town with the high-pressure wash. If you don’t want to use the vehicle-grade soap then I’d suggest just trying the high-pressure rinse!

  • Work from side to side making a pass from one side to the other. After cleaning 3 rugs, I quickly learned that you will get much better results if you work in a horizontal fashion and clean from side to side rather than just going every which way. This will work the dirt + grime in an orderly fashion rather than just spreading all over the place.

  • Use the high-pressure rinse and rinse until you no longer see soap suds.

  • After washing + rinsing, roll the rug back up and carefully walk back and forth on top of it, performing a small 'pounce', to ring out as much water as possible.

  • If you have weak upper body strength you are definitely going to need help loading these back into your vehicle. They will be unbelievably heavy! Also, it would be ideal to tote these back and forth in the back of a truck because no matter how much water you ring out, they will still be drenched.

  • Once back to the homestead, unload and let air dry.

How to deep clean area rugs
How to deep clean area rugs
This rug was on our front porch, hence why it was so dirty :)

This rug was on our front porch, hence why it was so dirty :)

Like I mentioned above, this was a few weeks ago but I haven’t noticed any fading, tears or other damage from cleaning them at the car wash. I’m actually probably due to take them back soon after all of these Spring showers we keep getting.

Do you have any tricks up your sleeve for cleaning obnoxiously large household items? 


Xx, Riss  

LifeMerrissaHome, Cleaning