How to Clean an Area Rug with a Pressure Washer

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cleaning an area rug with pressure washer

Updated 4/2/2022

Area rugs are a terrific way to liven up your home’s interior. A single area rug could radically transform a room’s appearance and help you feel relaxed.

However, over time, rugs can become excessively dirty, even with frequent cleaning, and lose their appeal.

If your area rug isn’t looking its best, it might be time for a thorough cleaning using a pressure washer.

This guide will help you through the steps of how to clean an area rug with a pressure washer!

What Can a Pressure Washer Do?

A pressure washer is a tool that consists of 2 to 4 high-pressure jets mounted on a spinning rod that rotates as water flows.

This motion generates a consistent cleaning cycle that can quickly clean level surfaces.

Pressure washers use an electric or gas engine to operate a pump that sends high-pressure water through a focusing nozzle to spray away deposited filth on areas like decks, pavements, and sidewalks.

How To Clean an Area Rug With A Pressure Washer

Rugs can benefit from a pressure washer to remove filth and muck. Due to the overall high water pressure, pollutants are forced out of the carpet fibers, making it a perfect tool to use.

1. Find a Clean, Flat Surface to Lay the Rug On

Choose the location where you’ll wash your area rug. The space should be neat and tidy. It is better if the surface is level and wide enough to accommodate your rug entirely.

You should generally look for an outdoor location to clean your area rug since pressure washing inside can be difficult and messy.

If the rug is heavy enough, another alternative is to suspend it from a sturdy metal railing. If you cannot find a suitable flat surface, this is a cleaner and more convenient solution.

2. Get Your Rug Prepped

Wipe the rug properly on either side before laying it on the floor to remove any loose debris from the surface. Lay the mat upside down after your cleaning area is organized.

Removing loose dirt, debris, hair, or any other solid particles before pressure washing can deliver remarkable results. 

3. Soak Your Rug in Soapy Water 

The carpet should next be pre-soaked in soapy water. Although a pre-soak solution is an option, a liquid dishwashing solution should suffice.

One other option is to spritz the rug with a spray bottle; however, this would be impractical for vast area rugs. If your pressure washer has a tank for pouring in detergent, you can use it to load the soapy water mixture and immerse the rug in it beforehand.

If the pressure washer has no soap tank, you can spray the detergent manually to the stains on the area rug.

To remove the stains, use moderate cleaning products. Additionally, be careful to use tiny amounts of cleaning solutions because you do not want your rug to be discolored or become faded.

Prior to proceeding with the next step, let it sit for a couple of minutes.

4. Rub the Rug Using a Brush

Before cleaning the area rug with a pressure washer, scrub any ugly or stubborn patches, or any residual pet hair, using a brush with stiff bristles.

You should go with a brush that has adequate flexibility in rubber bristles over a steel brush, which can harm carpet fibers.

Brush the rug from side to side, both forwards and backward, to make sure you’ve covered the entire area.

If you don’t have access to a stiff brush with a long handle, a handheld will work just as well, but it will take considerably longer.

5. Get Your Pressure Washer Ready

Make sure the pressure washer is ready for the last rinse. Make sure it’s loaded, i.e., there should be water in the pressure washer’s internal components that will flow to the hose.

Try to ensure your pressure washer is in good working order before using it. It should be equipped with all essential accessories and well-oiled.

Inspect the nozzles to make sure they are in an efficient operating state. Attach the pressure washer’s nozzle to the water supply after properly inspecting the unit.

6. Rinse it One Last Time

Keep the pressure washer’s hose about 0.3 meters away from your rug’s surface. If the wand is placed too close to the rug, the rug may be ruined or swept away.

Squeeze the pressure washer button and begin properly cleaning your rug. Move the wand of the pressure washer well over the rug’s fabric, ensuring that all regions, particularly those with obvious spots, are covered.

Also, keep the spray pattern in mind; aim for an angle of 25 to 40 degrees and a distance of at least 12 inches above the rug.

To get rid of any soapy residues on the carpeting, spray in all directions. Dirt and filth will come off as you run the hose over it.

7. Leave the Rug to Dry

After you have double-checked that the rug has been thoroughly cleansed, choose an appropriate location to store it while it dries.

The location you select should be hygienic and dirt-free. Furthermore, it must be large enough to fit the full rug.

Try to ensure the location you choose is light and airy so the rug can dry fast.

If you want to dry it outside, you can hang it on strong chairs or a railing. Do not bring a damp rug indoors as it can result in mildew, mold, or bad odor.

For best results, you can dry it in the sun since UV rays help the process and help get rid of any lingering odor.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Can You Pressure Wash a Wool Area Rug?

Yes! If you want to know how to clean a wool area rug, just follow these three easy steps:

Prepare – Prepare the area rug by hiding it under a protective cover or moving it to the garage.

Pressure Wash – Locate your pressure washer, set the pressure appropriate for your type of rug (medium for wool), and turn on the water.

Clean – Spray the carpet with water until clean and dry with a light brush over any stains that might still be visible before replacing them in their permanent location or storage container.

How often should area rugs be cleaned?

If it’s an office rug or something with a higher traffic load, then cleaning could be as often as once per week with vacuuming and spot cleaning. If it is outdoors or in an area of lower traffic volume, then you can wait every two or three months for the big deep clean. As a general rule of thumb, area rugs should be cleaned at least once a year.

Wrapping it Up

Now that you know how to clean an area rug with a pressure washer, be mindful of checking your rug’s care labels for any specific instructions.

While following these steps can help you achieve the desired results, to increase the longevity of your rug, you should vacuum it regularly and have it professionally cleaned once a year.