can you power wash a rug

How to Correctly Pressure Wash a Rug

Rugs can add a great look to your room, but they can quickly get dingy and dirty and drag your look down.

If your rugs are dirty and you want to clean them, using a pressure washer is a novel idea to get them really clean.

A pressure washer uses a very high-pressure spray of water to remove loose grime and dirt.

But, can you power wash a rug?

In most cases, you can use a pressure washer on a rug as long as it features a synthetic material like polyester.

However, you can easily destroy certain types of rugs using a pressure washer because they’re far too delicate to survive the high-pressure spray. So, you want to do your research to ensure your rug will survive it.

With a few materials, the rug, the pressure washer, and a little patience, you can blast dirt and grime off your rug and bring them back to like-new states.

We’re going to break down how you can pressure wash your rugs, materials needed, which rugs to avoid, and more below.


How to Pressure Wash a Rug

Before you start pressure washing your rug, you’ll need a few materials, including:

  • Cleaning solution
  • Cotton cloth
  • Dryer and pressure washer
  • Garden hose
  • Thick-bristled broom or scrubber
  • Water

You’ll have to find a good area to pressure wash your rug, and it should be an area with lots of space that can get wet and soapy without the rug laying in mud, dirt, or dust.

Any clean space outside will work for this project because you don’t want to try and pressure wash inside. A wooden deck or a concrete space are the two ideal spaces to get started with this project.

Starting Out

To start the process, flip your rug upside down and clean out any loose hair, debris, or dirt by sweeping it thoroughly.

You can then take a minute and inspect the back of the rug for stains before applying a gentle cleansing gel. Be sure that you don’t use a lot of gel because it could potentially discolor the rug if you put too much on.

Once you treat the stained areas, let it sit on the rug for five minutes or so, and then you want to gently brush the spots using a cotton cloth or a soft-bristle brush to see if the stains have lifted out.

If not, you may want to give it another few minutes to work. Brushing the areas will help strip away some of the gel cleaners and protect your rug from discoloration.

Prepare Your Cleaning Solution or Detergent

You can get your cleaning solution ready in the basin by filling it with water and adding the correct amount of detergent.

You only want to use detergents that are suited for your rugs because others can cause adverse effects.

Soak your rug with your solution for 10 minutes, and cut this back to five minutes if you’re trying to clean a more delicate rug. A synthetic one can sit for the full 10 minutes.

Prepare Your Pressure Washer

While the rug is soaking, get your pressure washer ready by checking that it’s ready to go. It should be well-oiled and have all of your attachments and accessories in place.

If you don’t have a soap tank on your pressure washer, you can apply the detergent straight to your room.

Hold the wand close to your rug but not against it, and pull the trigger to start the cleaning process.

Start Cleaning

Pass the nozzle over your rug in a moderately slow manner to take out any dust or dirt and clean out stained pots.

You should pass the nozzle over the entire rug, and you can step onto your rug if it’s rather large and difficult to reach.

Continue with the water until you get all of the soap out, and this should leave your run nice and clean without any soap traces.

In order for your rug to dry, you’ll want to find a good spot out of the wind so the wind won’t blow dirt or debris right back on the rug.

A lot of people like to hang it up on the clothesline because it can dry while being suspended in the sunshine.

Allowing the rug to sundry is the most recommended method of drying it because it will give you the best final results.

If there are any odors left, drying your rug like this can help eliminate them. You do want to keep small children and pets away from your rugs until it’s dry and back in your home.

This way, you can control whether or not the feet that end up on it are clean or dirty.

Do’s and Don’ts of Pressure Washing Rugs

There are a few quick do’s and don’ts you want to keep in mind if you decide to pressure wash your rug.

Adhering to them will ensure that you don’t accidentally ruin your rug and it turns out clean.

Pressure Cleaning Your Rug Do’s

  • Use the proper cleaning solution and detergent. If not, using a random detergent could discolor or ruin your rug.
  • Use the correct equipment for this project. If you use the wrong equipment, it can end up causing more trouble.
  • Apply the proper pressure when you clean your rug. If you don’t use enough pressure, it can ensure that the washer won’t perform as you want it to.
  • Make sure you keep a proper distance from the rug with your pressure washer. Putting the nozzle too close can destroy the rug fibers.
  • Ensure that your rug is solid enough to withstand using a pressure washer on it.

Pressure Cleaning Your Rug Don’ts

  • Never use hot water when you pressure wash your rug. Your pressure washer puts out an enormous amount of pressure, and adding hot water can add too much.
  • Keep the nozzle a decent distance away from the rug. If you bring the nozzle too close, you’ll cause damage. Ideally, you’ll keep it around 12-inches away at all times.

Rug Types That Won’t Withstand Pressure Washing

Some types of rugs aren’t durable enough to withstand pressure washing and come away undamaged.

The rugs you absolutely want to avoid pressure washing include:

  • Natural Fiber Rugs – The fibers are very sensitive to excessive amounts of water. So, this isn’t something you’d want to expose to a pressure washer’s stream of water.
  • Oriental Rugs – Most oriental rugs come with very delicate fibers that can get destroyed under a high-pressure stream of water. You can vacuum them to remove debris and dirt, but you may want to call in a professional to clean them.
  • Wool Rugs – Wool rugs are very delicate, and you should look at your owner’s manual or tag for cleaning instructions. Steam cleaning is typically safe, and you can do it or call in a professional.

Bottom Line

Now you know that it is possible to pressure wash your rug, as long as you have a rug that can withstand the pressure and stream of water.

You should follow the instructions we laid out, allow it to dry thoroughly, and enjoy your new, clean rug.

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