Steps to Follow to Clean Handwoven Rugs

Clean Handwoven

Keeping our home nice and neat is one of the main reasons we employ the use of a rug.

These essential home accessories help to catch much of the dirt and dust that is on our floors but there comes a time when they, too, will need cleaning.

Some rugs are easier to clean than others. Handwoven rugs are one of the more delicate types of rugs and as such, will need a more delicate touch during the cleaning process.

If you aren’t sure if your rug is handwoven, hand-knotted, or machine-made, read this article for a better idea. 

Let’s delve into the best steps to follow to clean your handwoven rugs.

1. Remove the Dirt and Dust

Before you can get down and dirty to clean your rug, you need to get rid of any excess dirt or dust. 

There is a three-step plan for this. First, do what you would do on a daily or weekly basis; vacuum your rug. However, don’t just roll the vacuum over the fibers. Vacuum with intent.

Slow down and cover the entire area of the rug, giving the vacuum plenty of time to such up the dirt.

Next, you need to take a soft-bristled cleaning brush and brush your rug from end to end. You’ll be surprised by the number of pet hairs, lint, and other stray fibers you’ll get off your rug with this trick. 

Be sure not to push too hard on your rug fibers during this step. If you notice some of the fibers coming loose, stop immediately and move to the next step.

Lastly, you need to roll your rug and take it outside. Find a spot in your yard that you can drape your rug over. This can either be a fence or porch. 

Get a broom and start beating your rug. You may want to wear a dust mask for this process since you’ll create quite a dust cloud. As you continue to smack your rug, you’ll notice this cloud getting smaller and smaller. 

You’ll need to switch sides of the rug and repeat this process. Once your rug abuse fails to produce any more dust to be released, you’re ready for the next step.

2. Get Your Water Ready

Next, you will want to get your cleaning solution ready to shampoo your carpet. You can choose between a pre-made brand name solution, or make your own.

Some carpet shampoos on the market can be a bit harsh and damage the color of your rug, which is why a DIY solution is the safer choice. 

To make your solution, get a bucket with warm water. Hot water can make the colors bleed and shrink your rug. Add a squirt of mild dish soap to the water and stir it in. Keep another bucket of clean water nearby.

3. Lay Out Your Rug

Now that you have a dust-free rug and cleaning solution ready to go, you need to prepare your rug for deep cleaning.

In a flat area outside, preferably close to a garden hose, spread plastic sheeting, or a tarp, and then lay down your rug on this tarp.

4. Do a Patch Test

Before you dive in and shampoo your entire rug, it’s important to test a small section of your rug to see if the color stays well. Choose an inconspicuous area such as a corner to perform this test.

Place a little bit of your cleaning solution onto your chosen spot and wait a few minutes. If the colors don’t bleed, you’re good to clean the rest of the rug.

5. Shampoo Your Rug

Using either a sponge or the same soft-bristle brush used in step 1, use a small amount of cleaning solution to the rug and gently work it into the rug until you see a light lather build.

You don’t want to overwet your rug. Just use enough cleaning solution to cover each area of the rug. 

After you have scrubbed about a three-foot square section, rinse out your sponge or brush in the clean water bucket. 

Again, dip it in the cleaning solution and clean another three-foot section. Repeat this process until the entire rug is cleaned. 

If you find a spot with a deep stain, treat it first and spend a little more time here. 

Let this lather sit on the rug for about five minutes. This is when the magic happens. Don’t rush this process.

6. Rinse Your Rug

Using the water hose, rinse your rug well. Start at one end and spray it all the way to the other end. 

Keep rinsing until the water runs clean, with no suds, out the other end of the rug.

7. Dry Your Rug

The first step to drying your rug is to grab a handful of your not-so-favorite towels and lay them over your rug. Press the towels into the rug to soak up any excess water.

Alternatively, you can try to use a wet/dry vacuum to suck up any excess water but do so with caution. This may damage the fibers.

Lastly, find a good spot to hang your rug to let it air dry. 

This could be the same place that you were hitting it with a broom in step 1 but make sure all the dust is cleaned up. You don’t want to have to start the whole process over!


A beautiful handwoven rug is a good investment in the comfort and style of your home. It is well worth the extra effort that you put into caring for and cleaning this type of rug.

Many people choose to pay a professional to clean their rugs but this can still be risky. They may not use the right cleaner or even be aware of the type of rug they are dealing with.

Although, there are some rug companies such as Lawrence of LaBrea that are experts in caring for, cleaning, and deodorizing luxury rugs. 

With the knowledge shared in this article, you can clean your own rug with care and precision, knowing that you are extending the life of your rug for years to come. 

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