Dream Steam Blog

DIY vs. Professional Rug Cleaning

Aug 2, 2021 1:30:00 PM / by Monika Morales


Rugs bring a room together, and you want them in the best condition possible. When considering a DIY of any type, it’s best to weigh the pros and cons against those of professional services. While you can deep clean a rug on your own, the age and fragility of your rug may be a cause to call a professional for help.

DIY Rug Cleaning

Caring for your area rug involves regular cleaning and maintenance. Vacuuming and spot cleaning only go so far, though. Eventually, your rug will need a thorough deep clean to get the allergens and dirt that basic cleaning cannot. If you decide to DIY deep clean your rug, there are both benefits and challenges.



The main benefit of DIY cleaning is cost savings. A professional rug cleaner may not fit into your budget, so DIY may be the most practical option. If your rug isn’t delicate, this may be a fine choice. While the process to DIY clean a rug takes time, it isn’t technically challenging when you know the steps.



Much like DIY carpet cleaning, cleaning your own rugs could lead to damage. Using a shampoo that isn’t right for your rug’s fibers can damage your rug and shorten its lifespan. Improper cleaning can cause discoloration, bleaching, and bleeding of the colors, and it can sometimes cause stains to set rather than remove them. This is especially true if you use heat on your rug during the cleaning process.


After cleaning, you will need to dry your rug completely. Anytime moisture is present, mold can grow. Be sure your rugs are completely dry before putting them back into the room, especially one that doesn’t circulate air well.


How to DIY Clean Your Rugs 

If you decide to DIY, it’s important to know how to properly clean your rug. Begin by vacuuming on both sides to loosen any dust and dirt that are hiding in the fibers. Next, test the cleaner you’ll be using on a small part of the rug. You can either buy a rug cleaner or mix a solution of your own with detergent and warm water. Testing it ahead of time will ensure that you won’t damage the rug or cause dyes to bleed. Work the cleaner into the rug with a sponge or brush to thoroughly clean.


Once you’ve thoroughly scrubbed your rug, you can rinse it with a garden hose outside. This may require more than one set of hands! Finally, your rug will need to dry. You can speed this process by wringing out as much water as possible before hanging the rug outside. Before putting your rug back in place, vacuum it one last time to loosen up the fibers that may have become compacted during the washing process.


Professional Rug Cleaning

The DIY process isn’t for everyone—or every rug. If you have a delicate Persian, antique, or oriental rug, professional cleaning is the safer route.



With professional cleaners, you can rest assured that a trusted technician knows what they’re doing. They will be experienced with different fibers and materials, preventing damage or discoloration to your rug.


Professional cleaners are trained to handle difficult, set-in stains that you may not be able to handle. Once a stain is set in, it’s difficult to get out without proper tools and cleaning supplies. It’s better to send your rug to a professional to handle deep stains than to spend money and energy on solutions that may not work.



It may be difficult to find a professional cleaner that you can trust at a price you are comfortable with. To make this process easier, look at referrals and reviews to find the best professional rug cleaner in your area. Watch out for prices that are too low, as well. If you find a cleaner that has prices far below the competitors, it’s likely you will get what you pay for.


Regularly cleaning your rug extends its life and refreshes its appearance. Neglecting to clean your rug allows it to harbor harmful allergens, odors, and more.

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Written by Monika Morales