How to Clean an Area Rug with a Pressure Washer

how to clean an area rug with a pressure washer // how to clean area rug at home // how to clean area rug DIY //

You may wonder how to clean an area rug with a pressure washer or if this is even a thing. Can you actually use a power washer to clean an entire rug? The answer is yes if you follow these steps.

If you’re like me, you’ll find any excuse to use your pressure washer, so the idea of pressure washing large area rugs is like a dream come true! Tackling this on your own is also ideal since DIY deep cleaning is way more affordable than having a professional carpet cleaning do the job.

To ensure you don’t ruin your area rug while power washing, let’s go over the type of area rug that can handle pressure cleaning, the tools you’ll need, and the right steps to clean.

Disclaimer: Please remember that I am a DIY enthusiast, not a professional. This article is for general information use and is not a substitute for professional advice. Before taking any actions, consult a professional! Additionally, this may contain affiliate links where I receive a small commission if you make a purchase using my link. All opinions and recommendations are my own. I truly appreciate you taking my suggestions and using my links. Thank you for being so supportive!

How to Clean an Area Rug with a Pressure Washer

Can You Clean an Area Rug with a Pressure Washer?

Area rugs have been around for ages, and it’s no wonder they are the perfect way to warm up a hardwood floor. You’re likely wondering how to clean an area rug with a pressure washer because you have an area rug with stained areas that need some TLC.

Whether it be the kids making messes, your kitchen rug runners soaking up cooking spills, or the pets having an accident, area rugs get dirty; I get it! And the last thing you want to do is spend a fortune on a professional cleaning every time this happens.

Before we get to how to power wash an area rug, let’s first go over the can. The answer is yes; you can safely use a power washer on a polyester rug or one made of synthetic materials because these are basically plastic and handles water just fine. An example of a polyester rug is an outdoor rug. 

Water is damaging if used on the wrong material. Here are a few types of rugs I would not recommend washing with a pressure washer or at the least read the labels or consult a professional first: 

  • Persian Rug
  • Wool Rug
  • Oriental Rugs
  • Faux Fur Rug (you’ll need to check out this post on how to clean faux fur rug)
  • Natural Fiber Rugs

How to Clean an Area Rug with a Pressure Washer

Cleaning Steps

how to clean an area rug with a pressure washer // how to clean area rug at home // how to clean area rug DIY //
  1. Find a good location
  2. Preparing for cleaning
  3. Soaking and spot cleaning
  4. Pressure washer set up
  5. Cleaning an area rug
  6. Drying an area rug

How to Clean an Area Rug with a Pressure Washer

Step 1: Best Place to Clean an Area Rug

The first step of the cleaning process is to find a spot to work. A clean surface and outdoor cleaning on a sunny day is preferred. The ideal cleaning area is on a flat surface, a clean place that is free from any surrounding debris that could splash onto your rug, and close to a water supply. Somewhere where excess water easily drains, like your garage floor, driveway, or wooden deck, is perfect.

Step 2: Preparing an Area Rug for Cleaning

The next step in cleaning rugs is to remove as much loose dirt and dust from your dirty rug by using your vacuum cleaner. For best results and to get as much out as possible, flip the area rug over and shake it, followed by vacuuming it one last time.

Step 3: Spot Cleaning an Area Rug

Stubborn stains require extra soaking, so do this now. A good and mild cleaning solution is Dawn. Using your washing machine detergent tank, or a clean bucket, create a warm soapy water solution. Gently scrub the stained areas using a stiff brush and going in different directions.

Another approach, using the same rug cleaner, is to use a spray bottle to soak the stain and then, taking a clean cloth, gently rub the area. Spot cleaning requires you to leave this on for a few minutes before moving on to using the power washer.

Step 4: How to Set Up a Pressure Washer to Clean an Area Rug

While those stubborn stains soak, get your pressure washer ready by gathering a garden hose, connecting it to your water source, and ensuring your electric pressure washer is in good working order. The nozzle of the pressure washer determines the amount of pressure the water flows. You’ll want to read your manual to determine the soap nozzle and a lower-pressure nozzle, and I would not opt for the high-pressure water one.

Step 5: Cleaning an Area Rug with a Pressure Washer

You are now ready to give your area rug a thorough cleaning. Start with applying high water pressure onto a small and inconspicuous area of your rug to see how the rug fibers react and ensure there is no water damage. Once you’ve determined the pressure washer is not too much for your rug’s surface, spray the entire surface of the rug with clean water, followed by your cleaning solution, and spray off the dirty water. 

Step 6: Drying an Area Rug 

Clean rugs need drying, which is why having set up outdoors on a sunny day is ideal. Leave your rug so all of the fibers of the rug can slowly dry. Do not place your rug in a dryer, as this will damage the carpet fibers and may cause your area rug to shrink.

How to Clean an Area Rug with a Power Washer

The Best Carpet Cleaner

The best cleaning method requires a good carpet cleaner and a soft bristle brush. Harsh chemicals are unnecessary, and the best stain remover and general-purpose rug cleaner is a mild soap and likely already under your kitchen sink.

I highly recommend Dawn dish soap, or if you feel better purchasing a product specifically designed for stain removal, a good option is this product. I’ve had great success removing stains from favorite rug (which happens to be white) with this product.

Things to Avoid When Cleaning an Area Rug with a Pressure Washer

The right tools and cleaning techniques can make or break cleaning an area rug with a pressure washer. Avoid using extremely hot water to prevent damaging the rug’s fibers. Also, the same goes for cold water; instead, use warm. There is also a balance between using high pressure to remove all the dirt and grime from your rug but not so much pressure that disrupts your area rug’s fibers.

How to Clean an Area Rug with a Pressure Washer

What is the best way to maintain an area rug?

Regular cleaning, which involves regular vacuuming, is one way to maintain an area rug. Another way is to handle any spills immediately after happening to prevent this from soaking in. Older, tough stains will always be more challenging to remove without damaging the rug’s fibers.

Does my rug need a professional rug cleaning?

Maybe. After reading this post, the best option if you’re still hesitant or need more information before feeling confident about tackling this project, it’s a good idea and worth the additional cost to at least consult a professional.

Consider a professional rug cleaning instead if you have a beloved rug, expensive rugs, or don’t know the type of rug material you are dealing with. Or at least consult with one before blasting it with your power washer.

The reasons are obvious; the last thing you want to do is damage something that costs a lot to replace or has sentimental value. Another time you may wish to consult a professional is if you need clarification on the rug’s material.

How to Clean an Area Rug with a Pressure Washer

Additional Area Rug Cleaning Tips and Tricks

  • How often should I clean an area rug? Plan for a deep cleaning every six months. You may need to clean an area rug more often for a more high-traffic area, such as kitchen rug runners, the living room, or an entryway.
  • Read Care Labels: A good practice and one of the first things to do is always review product care labels before anything else. 
  • How to prevent rug stains: The best approach to avoiding area rug stains is to take care of any mess, whether from a beverage spilling or pet urine and clean it up as best you can right away! The faster you remove the liquid or debris, the greater your cleaning power and the less likely it is to soak into the rug’s fibers.

I’d love to see how you used these ideas in your home; tag me in a photo on Instagram @tantrumsandtools, and I’ll share your results in my stories!



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