Spring Cleaning

2 Ways to Deep Clean Your Rug Without a Steam Cleaner

updated Mar 29, 2022
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Apartment Therapy’s Spring Cleaning Cure is a free 10-day cleaning plan that helps you tackle the most common spring cleaning tasks to give your home its deepest clean yet. Sign up now to get all 10 lessons in your inbox.

Not long ago, I got some good advice from a friend of mine: Take off your shoes and walk around barefoot, she told me. I had been feeling more unmoored than usual and I was trying to figure out a way to ground myself. It turns out the solution was as simple as literally grounding myself. In an ideal world, I’d walk on grass, sand or dirt, but in the dead of winter, my floors worked just fine. Every time I stood up from my desk, I noticed the floor beneath me and it shifted my perspective just a tiny bit. 

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It also made me appreciate the value of walking on a rug that is really, truly clean. And, in order to get your rug really, truly clean you’ll need to do a little more than regular maintenance. That’s what we’ll be doing on Day 6 of the Spring Cleaning Cure. Today, we’re going to deep clean a rug, ideally the dirtiest, most trafficked one in your home. 

I’m sorry to say that this task is probably going to require you to move your furniture. On the plus side, you won’t need any special equipment to do this job.

Ready to get grounded? Let’s go!

Day 6: Deep clean a rug.

Of course, if you have a steam cleaner, you can use it, but there are plenty of other ways to get the job done. Here are two different techniques to try:

Vacuum both sides and repeat. This technique comes from my dad by way of a rug salesman. First, vacuum your rug. Then, flip your rug upside-down and vacuum it again. This has the effect of sucking dirt out, but also pushing dirt from the front side of the rug. To avoid getting all that dirt back in and on your rug, fold up half of the rug so that it sits on the other half, vacuum the dirt from the floor and then repeat on the other side. Now, vacuum the front side again. And then flip it over again. If you flip the rug up and there’s dirt on the floor again, keep going until no dirt gets pushed out.

Take it outside. If you are able to, one of the simplest and most effective ways to clean your rug is to take it outside and give it a good beating. Do this until hitting it doesn’t result in clouds of dust. 

When you’re done, remember to take off your shoes and socks and walk barefoot on your newly-cleaned rug. 

More ways to participate in the Spring Cleaning Cure: