Carpet washing: How Should You Wash Your Carpets & Rugs?

Washing carpets yourself is not difficult at all. We explain what you should pay attention to and which carpets you can wash yourself at home.

carpet washing

Clean and wash carpets - maintenance is worthwhile

If you want to enjoy your carpet for a long time, you should take care of it regularly. You can usually remove superficial dirt and dust with a vacuum cleaner. It often helps to air the carpet against unpleasant smells. But every now and then you need a deep cleaning to clean the carpet.

The effort is worth it not only for visual reasons: with the thorough care you will increase the life of your carpet. This not only protects the wallet but also saves the raw materials of a new carpet.

Professional cleaning is often not environmentally friendly and is not even necessary. You can usually wash your carpet yourself at home. We'll tell you how to clean it efficiently and gently.

rug washing

Material science and tips for cleaning

If you want to wash your carpet, you should first check exactly what material it is made of. You will often find a washing slip on the back of the carpet with information about the material and cleaning instructions. Before you buy a carpet, find out how you can best clean it and, if possible, choose a sustainable material such as certified organic cotton.


  • Cotton, wool and synthetic materials (e.g. polyester) are the easiest to clean. You can wash small carpets made of these materials by hand or at 30 ° C in the delicate program of your washing machine.
  • Sisal, coconut fibre, bast and other plant fibres must never be washed damp or wet. You can only treat stains and soiling with a spot of damp. To do this, carefully rub over the stain with a damp cloth and a little detergent (see below). For stubborn stains, an old toothbrush that you can use to brush over the stain also helps. Otherwise, these carpets may only be vacuumed dry. The fibres would swell through water and would not return to their old shape even after drying.
  • Carpets made of leather or fur are very delicate. Handle these materials with particular care, because you cannot easily remove dirt yourself. Leather carpets can be wrinkled or washed out with water. 
carpet washing

The last option here is to have the carpet professionally cleaned. However, this usually uses environmentally harmful detergents.
Important: Since most washing machines for private households have a maximum capacity of 8 kilograms, machine washing is only suitable for small and light carpets. Otherwise, you run the risk of your washing machine breaking due to overloading. In laundromats, you can also wash your carpet gently in a large washing machine. It is best to bring your own ecological detergent. Conventional detergents pollute wastewater and can damage health.
Hand washing your carpet is best done in the bathtub. Alternatively, you can use a large vat.

7 Things To Look Out When Buying Carpets And Rugs
  • Remove coarse dirt and dust with a vacuum cleaner or carpet beater before washing. Long pile carpets should be searched for knots with a coarse comb and raised before washing. This will prevent the pile fibres from getting tangled and matted by the wet.
  • You should pretreat stubborn stains. It is usually sufficient to moisten the area and rub it with soap. Alternatively, you can apply your mild detergent selectively. Leave the product in for a few minutes before washing the carpet.
  • The water should only be lukewarm for carpet washing. This prevents strong swelling of the fibres and protects the colour and material.
  • First, add the water and a mild, ecological detergent to the tub and stir in a lye.
  • Put the carpet in and let it soak first - depending on the dirt and type of carpet, between 15 and 60 minutes.
  • For the actual washing, you can use a soft brush with insensitive carpets, with which you can specifically process stains or the entire carpet. Knead the carpet as well as possible.
  • Rinse several times with clear water until there are no soap or foam residues left.
  • Wring out the carpet carefully and thoroughly. With larger carpets, this is easier with the help of a second person.

Dry carpets properly

You should gently dry your carpet after washing. A dryer is unsuitable for this, as it can strain the sensitive material. A dryer also consumes a lot of energy.

You can simply hang small runner carpets on the clothesline and let them dry. It is best to dry large carpets outdoors and hanging. Note that direct sunlight can fade your carpet. Therefore, choose a shady place for your clothesline.

Regardless of whether you dry your carpet indoors or outdoors - make sure that it is well ventilated from all sides, otherwise, it may develop unpleasant smells or in the worst case it can even become mouldy. Let the carpet dry completely before you lay it out again.

All pictures are from (This post includes affiliate links)

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