How To Clean A White Rug – The Complete Guide

Modern Rugs San Francisco

There’s nothing more stressful than spilling something on your gorgeous white rug. It can be more difficult to get the stain out of a white rug than it is a colored rug, but it is possible for your rug to look new again. These tips and tricks cover everything that you need to know about how to clean a white rug.

Learn What Material Your Rug Is Made Of

Learning about your rug is essential to clean it properly. Some rugs can be tossed into the washer while others will need to be deep cleaned by hand. Natural fibers can only be exposed to certain chemicals or the colors will leech. Other fibers may become damaged if you use baking soda or harsh cleaning chemicals on them.

It’s important to note how absorbant a rug is when you learn what your rug is made of. Rugs that are more absorbent are going to take longer to dry, and they are more likely to grow mildew if you use more water than necessary.

Maintaining A White Rug

The first step in keeping a white rug clean is to make sure that you maintain it. How much maintenance you need to perform depends on the location of the rug. If your rug is placed in a high traffic area, you’ll need to remove excess dirt at least every few days. Follow these tips to keep your rug looking new.

Shake Your Rug Out

Simply picking up your rug and shaking it can help remove dirt without causing the same damage that vacuuming does. Rugs that are placed in high traffic areas should be shaken out every other day. Rugs placed in low traffic areas need to be shaken out once per week.


Vacuum your white rug once per week or as needed. Make sure that you turn off the roller brush to avoid damaging your rug. This will remove most trapped dirt and prevent dirt buildup.

Remove Pet Hair With A Brush

Pick up a brush designed to remove cat or dog hair. You can find these in the pet section at your local department store. Brush your rug bi-weekly to remove extra pet hair or after you wash the rug.

Eliminate Odors

Over time, rugs may develop an odor. You can help neutralize odors by sprinkling baking soda on your rug. Leave it to sit for a day, and then vacuum the baking soda up. Another great way to get rid of odors is by spraying your rug with a can of Febreze. Make sure that you give it plenty of time to dry.

Clean Spills Immediately

After spilling something on your white rug, make sure that you clean up the stain immediately. Use a paper towel to absorb any remaining liquid on the rug. Make sure that you use a blotting motion instead of rubbing the rug. Scrubbing the rug can push the stain further into the fibers and make it more difficult to remove.

Spot Clean Spills

If you do spill something on your rug, it’s important to clean it as soon as possible because the stain will be easier to remove.

Clean Stains With Detergent Water

To use this method, mix 1 cup plain water with 2 tablespoons of detergent. Then, dip a sponge into the cleaning solution. Wring out excess water. Carefully blot the stains with water and detergent. Make sure that you do not scrub your rug.

Next, dip your sponge in clean water to rinse it out. Continue to repeat these steps until you have successfully removed the stain.

Finally, make sure that you give your rug plenty of time to dry. This is especially important if you have a natural rug that is prone to mold and mildew.

Hydrogen Peroxide

Hydrogen peroxide is wonderful for removing tough stains on white rugs. Simply dip a washcloth into the peroxide, and then blot away the stain!

Wash Your Rug

Most faux fur and all natural rugs can be cleaned in the washing machine. Double check the tag for cleaning instructions. If you can wash your rug, this is an easy way to remove the stain. First, wash your rug with regular detergent. Make sure to set your washing machine cycle on the delicate cycle. This will remove most pesky stains.

If not, spray the stain with a store-bought stain remover like Shout. Washing it with Oxyclean is another great idea! You can use any commercial stain remover. Using bleach on an all-white rug is a great idea, but make sure that it is safe for the material that your rug is made of.

Use Rubbing Alcohol to Remove Oil Stains

Rubbing alcohol can be a useful tool in removing oil stains. It helps to break up the oil to effectively remove the stain whereas other stain removal products can’t. Dip a washcloth in rubbing alcohol. Use the rag to blot the stain away! As you remove the stain, rinse the rug with a bit of water or a clean washcloth that has been dipped in clean water.

How To Deep Clean White Rugs By Yourself

Calling a professional can be effective, but you can save quite a bit of money by deep cleaning your rugs by yourself. Before you take on this project, carefully read the tag on your rug. It’s important to know what material the rug is made of because certain cleaning methods can’t be used for certain rugs. For example, it’s not recommended to wash wool rugs in the washer or to steam clean them.

Steam Cleaning

Steam cleaning your rugs with a steam cleaner is the easiest way to clean them. If you happen to own a steam cleaner, simply follow the directions with your product. Do not steam clean natural wool rugs. The natural fibers have little pockets that will hold onto water, which can make your rug grow mildew.

Deep Cleaning By Hand

Deep cleaning rugs by hand is necessary if you own natural rugs, such as handmade wool rugs. To do this, you’ll want to follow a similar method to the one you used to remove stains.

Start by mixing together a small amount of detergent and water. Then, dip your sponge in the water and wring it out. Gently scrub your rug. Next, dip a clean sponge in a bowl of water. Wring it out, and blot the area you used the water detergent mixture on to rinse the detergent out of the rug. Work in two foot sections until you have deep cleaned your entire rug. After you’re done, hang the rug to dry.

For more tips and tricks on how to clean or maintain rugs, check out the rest of our blogs!