Can You Use a Carpet Cleaner on an Area Rug?

Natural Area Rugs Blog Staff

Natural Area Rugs Blog Staff

Your trusted source for Natural Area Rugs inspiration & information. ~ Nurturing your home with nature ~

You’ve finally taken the plunge and purchased that beautiful area rug you’ve been eyeing for months. But now that it’s in your home, you’re wondering how to care for it. Can you use a carpet cleaner on an area rug? The short answer is maybe. I know that may not be the most helpful answer, but there are a few things you need to keep in mind before you start scrubbing.

Share Post:

carpet cleaner on rug

Natural Area Rugs Blog is supported by our users. We sometimes earn a small commission when you click through the affiliate links on our website.

Is Carpet Cleaner Safe on Area Rugs?

Carpet cleaners are safe for rugs made with synthetic fibers or rugs that are labeled “machine washable”. However, carpet cleaners may not be safe for natural fiber rugs. 

This really comes down to the type of area rug we’re dealing with and the rug fibers the rug is constructed with.  

Below are some helpful tips when considering using a carpet cleaner on your area rug

  • First, make sure you read the labels on your carpet cleaner and rug. Some cleaners are not meant for use on delicate fabrics. And some rugs are meant to be cleaned differently. 

  • Second, test a small area of the rug first to make sure the cleaner does not damage it.

  • Third, be sure to vacuum the rug before you use the cleaner. This will help remove any dirt or debris that could be caught in the cleaner.

  • Finally, be sure to follow the directions on the cleaner and don’t over-wet the rug. If you keep these things in mind, you can use a carpet cleaner on an area rug with no problem. 

Rugs Not Safe to Use Carpet Cleaner On: 

Wool Rugs

When it comes to cleaning your wool rug, you want to be careful not to damage it. Using a carpet cleaner on your wool rug is not safe and may actually damage the rug.

Wool rugs are made of delicate fibers that can be easily damaged by the chemicals in carpet cleaners. The chemicals can also strip the wool of its natural oils, leaving it dry and brittle.

If you must clean your wool rug, it’s best to hire a professional carpet cleaner who knows how to safely clean wool rugs.

Shag Rugs

Shag rugs are not safe to use carpet cleaners on.

The carpet cleaner can damage the delicate fibers of the rug and leave it looking matted and worn.

Carpet cleaners, such as the common Bissell Carpet Cleaner or Rug Doctor, are designed for smooth surfaces, and shag rugs have a deep pile that can get tangled in the cleaner’s brushes.

If you have a shag rug, it’s best to vacuum it regularly and spot clean it with a mild soap and water solution.

Oriental Rugs

Oriental rugs can be easily damaged by carpet cleaners.

The first reason why you shouldn’t use a carpet cleaner on your oriental rug is that the dyes in the rug can be easily faded or removed. Carpet cleaners use a lot of water and the chemicals in the cleaners can strip away the dyes in the rug, causing it to lose its color and pattern.

Another reason why you shouldn’t use a carpet cleaner on your oriental rug is that the rug can absorb too much water. Oriental rugs are often made of natural fibers like wool or cotton, which can absorb a lot of water. If the rug absorbs too much water, it can start to mold or mildew, which will ruin the rug.

If you have an oriental rug, it’s best to take it to a professional rug cleaning company to have it cleaned.

Jute and Sisal Rugs

Jute and sisal rugs are a type of carpet that is not safe to use a carpet cleaner on.

Jute and sisal are natural fibers that are often used in rugs and carpets. They are strong and durable fiber, but also very absorbent. This means that they can easily absorb liquids, including carpet cleaner.

If you use a carpet cleaner on these types of rugs, they will likely absorb too much of the cleaner and become wet. This can lead to mold and mildew growth, which can be difficult to remove. Steam cleaning is also an ideal cleaning method for these types of area rugs.

Additionally, natural fibers like jute and sisal are more delicate than synthetic rugs. The strong chemicals in carpet cleaners can damage the fibers, leading to rugs that are frayed and falling apart.

It is best to avoid using a carpet cleaner on jute rugs altogether. Instead, vacuum it regularly and spot clean it with a mild soap and water solution.

Rugs You Can Use Carpet Cleaner On: 

Synthetic Rugs:

You can use a carpet cleaner on synthetic rugs, but you have to be careful and be sure to read the labels of the rug carefully. 

Carpet cleaners are designed to clean carpets, not rugs. Rugs are usually made of different materials and have different cleaning requirements.

That being said, you can use a carpet cleaner on a synthetic rug if you’re careful. Here are a few things to keep in mind:

  • Use the gentlest setting on your carpet cleaner. You don’t want to damage the rug.

  • Test the carpet cleaner on a small, inconspicuous area of the rug first to make sure it doesn’t damage the material.

  • Be extra careful when moving the carpet cleaner around on the rug. You don’t want to catch or pull up any fibers that may be loose. 

Machine Washable Rugs

Machine washable rugs are ok to use carpet cleaner on, as they’re designed to withstand the powerful cleaning solution and water. Just be sure to follow the instructions on your carpet cleaner carefully, as using too much or leaving the solution on for too long can damage your rug.

I guess this goes without saying, but why not just throw a machine-washable rug in the washing machine in order to get a clean area rug? Seems a lot easier and will save likely save you money from renting a carpet cleaner and/or buying carpet cleaning solutions. 

More Articles

dog on seagrass rug
Natural Area Rugs Blog Staff

Seagrass Rugs and Pets: Everything You Need to Know

If you are debating whether or not to buy a seagrass rug, and you have pets, this post is for you. Here we will explore everything you need to know about seagrass rugs and pets, including the pros and cons, so that you can make

Natural Area Rugs Blog Staff

The Best Sustainable Rugs From Eco Friendly Brands We Love

If you’re looking for sustainable rugs that are eco-friendly and stylish, you’ve come to the right place. We’ve rounded up the best sustainable rugs from eco-friendly brands we love, so you can shop with confidence knowing that your purchase is supporting a sustainable and ethical

shag rug in bedroom
Natural Area Rugs Blog Staff

Are Shag Rugs in Style? Or a Thing of the Past?

Are shag rugs in style? It’s a question that has been asked for years, and one that doesn’t seem to have a clear answer. They were popular in the 70s and 80s, but fell out of favor in the 90s. In recent years, there has

outdoor patio rug
Natural Area Rugs Blog Staff

Can Outdoor Rugs Get Wet? It Depends on the Rug

If you’re wondering whether outdoor rugs can get wet, the short answer is: it depends on the rug. There are a few factors to consider when determining whether an outdoor rug is suitable for wet weather or not. In this blog post, we’ll help answer

nursery room with rug
Natural Area Rugs Blog Staff

15 Amazing Organic Nursery Rugs

It’s estimated that 80 percent of a child’s time is spent sleeping, so naturally, you want their room to be a relaxing, calming place where they can relax and unwind. One part that is often overlooked, however, is the rugs that border the bed or

jute rug in bedroom
Natural Area Rugs Blog Staff

Jute Rug For The Bedroom: A Practical Way to Decorate

There are a number of benefits that come from decorating your room with rugs. A bedroom rug can instantly change the appearance and feel of the room. Plus, rugs can also have other practical benefits. For example, if you choose a rug with a thick

brown couch with rug
Natural Area Rugs Blog Staff

What Color Rugs Go With Brown Couches?

The living room is arguably the most important room in your home, since it’s where you and your family spend most of your time. Having a room that’s comfortable and functional is paramount, and your home’s color scheme has a big impact on your atmosphere.

rug under king size bed
Natural Area Rugs Blog Staff

What Size Rug to Put Under a King Bed and Why?

What size rug for king bed? This is a question you’ve seen asked many times, and the answer is not always simple. Rugs should be proportionate to the room and also be large enough to cover the width of the bed.

scalloped jute rug
Natural Area Rugs Blog Staff

Introducing: Scalloped Jute Rugs – 4 of Our Favorite Under $300

Jute rugs are all the rage at the moment and we’re seeing them everywhere from beautiful coastal cottages to edgy city apartments. Jute rugs are not only beautiful but functional, too. They are extremely low maintenance, stain-resistant, and anti-allergen. Here is a look at our

distressed rug
Natural Area Rugs Blog Staff

Distressed Rug Trend: The Hottest Trend in Home Decor

In this blog post, we are going to talk about the distressed rug trend. Distressed rugs come in many colors and designs. They give a trendy look to your living space. This article is helpful if you want to add a new look to your

jute rug cleaning
Natural Area Rugs Blog Staff

Are Jute Rugs Easy to Clean?

Jute area rugs are a smart alternative to wall-to-wall carpeting, especially in high-traffic areas like bedrooms or living rooms. Not only do these rugs offer a natural, warm look that’s easy to clean, they’re more durable than carpet and less likely to get dirty. However,

soft flatweave rug
Natural Area Rugs Blog Staff

Are Flatweave Rugs Soft?

Flatweave rugs are versatile and casual, and they come in a wide variety of colors and patterns. The casual look and versatility of flatweave rugs make them a great decorating choice for many homes. But are flatweave rugs soft? Lets dig in!

rug pad
Natural Area Rugs Blog Staff

The Best Rug Pads For Jute Rugs – 3 of Our Absolute Favorite

Jute rugs are wonderful additions to any home, and they offer a natural look that complements any style. They’re also extremely functional since they tend to repel dirt, dust, and pet hair. Since jute tends to stretch easily, its tendency to naturally be slippery can

entryway rug
Natural Area Rugs Blog Staff

Tips on Choosing the Best Entryway Rugs for Hardwood Floors

Choosing the right area rug for your entryway or mudroom can be both a difficult task and a lot of fun. If you’re decorating a new home or redesigning an old one, you’re probably trying to come up with the perfect decor, with custom hardwood

Scroll to Top