How to Clean an Area Rug on Hardwood Floor? An Effective Guide

An area rug is a piece of a decorative item that you can place in your room. Aside from that, it can also give you comfort while spending your time with your pets and family members in the living room. With the area rug, you can use various patterns, textures, and shapes that you can fit into the room where you want to put it. Also, there are different sizes to the area rugs that you can buy in the market today, which you can choose based on your needs.

The area rug is also a brilliant match to the hardwood floor, as it can give your room an even better view. But, as with any other carpet types, the area rug will also get very difficult to clean, even more so when you place it on top of the hardwood floor. Read this simple and effective guide to clean an area rug on the hardwood floor.

The Challenges of Cleaning an Area Rug on Hardwood Floor

Vacuuming the area rug might be difficult when you put it on the hardwood floor. You need to vacuum the area rug in careful movements. It’s the same when you plan on washing your carpet or using any cleaning solutions to clean the stains on the rug.

Remember, the hardwood floor is prone to damage and deterioration if you don’t take care of it with proper cleaning procedures. Some cleaning solutions can also damage the floor surface and make it look ugly and difficult to repair.

Here are some challenges of cleaning an area rug on a hardwood floor:

  • The vacuum cleaner might scratch the surface of the hardwood floor, so you need to perform careful movements while vacuuming the area rug on top of it.
  • Some abrasive cleaners and chemical cleaners might also damage the hardwood floor, so washing your area rug on top of it is not a good thing to do.
  • Vinegar is a common homemade cleaning solution you can use to clean the stains on the area rug, but it might also damage the hardwood floor if you let it spill into the floor in large quantity.
  • Hardwood floor is also prone to swelling when exposed to a large amount of water, so washing your area rug on top of it might create this effect on the floor, which is bad.
  • Dry cleaning the area rug is always a suitable method when you put it on the hardwood floor, otherwise, you need to move the rug to another area in your house when you plan on washing it.
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These challenges should not stop you from cleaning the area rug that you put on top of the hardwood floor. However, you need to exercise caution when doing any cleaning procedure for the rug.

Do Area Rugs Ruin Hardwood Floors?

Area rugs often have thick textures that carry more weight than regular carpets. Also, the bottom part of the rug might prove to be damaging to the hardwood floor. The thickness and weight, as well as the woven patterns on the bottom of the area rug, might scratch your wood flooring if you are not careful with it. Thus, it is important for you to pick the area rugs that are not too heavy or too thick to avoid any scratch on the flooring.

Here are some tips to avoid ruining your hardwood floors with the area rugs:

  • Don’t put heavy area rugs with rough bottom around the hardwood floor areas in your house, as it might cause scratching and damage on the floor.
  • Avoid putting any heavy furniture on top of the area rug if you know the rug is already heavy enough.
  • Don’t move the area rug too often, such as when you sit on it.
  • Choose the area rugs that have a soft bottom to allow you to keep the hardwood flooring in the best possible condition.
  • Ensure slow and careful movements while vacuuming the area rugs around the hardwood floors as to avoid putting too much pressure beneath the rugs.

By choosing the right area rugs for the hardwood floors and taking care of it while cleaning the rugs around the house, you can prevent them from becoming the source of scratches and damages for the hardwood floor.

What is the Best Way to Clean a Large Area Rug?

You might have a large area rug put in your living room, and this area might be the most active area in your home for you and your family members. However, cleaning up the large area rug is not a simple thing to do. It’s the same with maintaining the large area rug and keeping it clean all the time. With many activities you do on it, you will find it to become dirtier and dirtier every day, so you have to clean it up in the best way possible.

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Here are some tips to clean a large area rug:

  • You need to vacuum the large area rug at least every few days to keep the dirt out of it, using the dry vacuum cleaner with powerful suction technology to remove as much dirt as possible.
  • For stains and other messes, you need to remove the source of the stains using available tools like paper towels, mini shovel, and pet brush before you clean it.
  • Concentrate the cleaning for stains on the rug in the areas that are small enough for you to work on and remember to avoid using the cleaning solution that might soak into the hardwood floors.
  • It’s difficult for you to move the large area rug outside, so be sure to keep the cleaning movements firm, soft, and careful when you clean it.
  • Use a carpet cleaner machine to make it easier for you to clean all areas on the rug, such as when you get heavy stains on it.

Please note that some carpet cleaners will also make it easier for you to use them on various rug materials. The machine has a design that allows you to clean every corner of the rug without damaging it while you perform the cleaning process.

Can You Use a Carpet Cleaner on an Area Rug?

The answer is yes, you can use a carpet cleaner on an area rug with no problem, provided that you read the instruction manual for the machine. Some carpet cleaners might not support the use of an area rug, as it has fabrics that differ from regular carpets. But there are also many best carpet cleaner machines that support the cleaning of area rugs. So, you need to pick the right machine to do the job.

Here are some tips to use a carpet cleaner on an area rug:

  • Make sure that the carpet cleaner machine is suitable or compatible with the area rug material that you want to clean.
  • Use only the cleaning solution from the manufacturer suitable for use with the area rug (always check the label).
  • Don’t use a cheap carpet cleaner machine, as it might not offer the additional features to clean the area rugs in your house.
  • Dry cleaning is the best way to go for the area rugs, as you want to avoid damaging the rugs and the hardwood floors beneath them.
  • Schedule the cleaning routine for the area rug in your house, as it will be better to maintain the freshness of the rug and keep it clean all the time.
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Pick the right carpet cleaner for your area rug as some carpet cleaners won’t provide you with the features to clean the rugs in your house. Also, the dry cleaning will ensure that you don’t need to deal with soaking water that might damage your hardwood floors later.

Can I Use a Carpet Cleaner on Hardwood Floors?

It will depend on the carpet cleaner model. Some carpet cleaners support the cleaning of hardwood floors aside from the regular carpets, rugs, and upholstery. But some others can’t perform such a cleaning procedure. Often, expensive carpet cleaners will support more cleaning procedures than just cleaning regular carpets and rugs. So, check the carpet cleaner you have right now to ensure that you can use it to clean the hardwood floors.

Here are some tips to clean the hardwood floors:

  • Don’t use too much water when you clean the hardwood floors, since it might cause swelling on the wood surfaces.
  • You should also avoid using homemade cleaners that contain acidic elements, such as vinegar since it can damage the flooring.
  • Using a carpet shampooer on a hardwood floor is not a good idea, since it will damage the flooring fast.
  • Use only the carpet cleaner that supports the cleaning procedures such as mopping for hardwood floors.
  • You need to use the cleaning solution provided by the manufacturer when using the carpet cleaner, ensuring that it is suitable for use on hardwood floors.

These are the tips you can follow to clean your hardwood floors and avoid damaging them.


Cleaning the area rug on the hardwood floor might require you to do some additional things to ensure that you are not damaging the floor. Hardwood floors are prone to damage if you don’t take care of them. Unlike ceramic tiles, the hardwood flooring will react to different cleaning solutions, which might damage or discolor it.

You just learned how to clean an area rug on the hardwood floor with this guide. Now, it is time for you to put it into practice. Start the cleaning process today!