How to Clean an Area Rug with Pressure Washer

Don’t we all love the comfort and warmth that area rugs and carpets bring to our homes in those chilly months? But, over time, they can accumulate dirt which is a pain to clean. As most rugs are not small enough to fit in the washing machines or dryer, pressure washing is a great way to get them clean at home. Pressure washer provides you with a perfect solution to clean rugs without damaging them.

When you have made up your mind to clean an area rug with a pressure washer, you need to ensure that the rug and pressure washer you use are compatible. Pressure washing area rugs may be a convenient way to clean them but for old and expensive rugs, you might want to take them to the professionals to prevent any kind of damage to the rug.

Regular vacuuming may keep your area rug clean and in a good condition but a vacuum cleaner does not suck the dirt deep within the pile. A stain spot remover may also clear away the spill marks on the area rug surface making it look good. But power washing to clean an area rug helps you to deep clean bringing it back to its original look. [1]

Here are some useful steps for you to use a power washer to clean the area rugs easily and safely.

How Does A Power Washer Clean A Rug?

The high pressure water spray from the washer cleans the surface effectively. You can control the cleaning power by adjusting the pressure from the machine and the tip. To clean a rug without damaging it, it is important that you use a fairly low power tip as a high pressure stream can tear the rug.

The green 25-degree and white 40-degree tip provides you with enough cleansing power to clean a rug. To avoid any kind of damage, start spraying from a right distance and come closer to the area rug until you get the desired pressure on the rug. Keep your wand a few feet away from the carpets to prevent them from tearing. Additionally, check out these amazing pressure washers for house cleaning.

Add detergent to the soap tank on your pressure washer to remove dust, stubborn stains, dirt and grime. You can spray the detergent with a foam cannon or add it to a bucket and use a brush to rub in the soap into your rug.

Why Pressure Wash Your Rug?

Using a pressure washer to clean an area rug has certain benefits to it such as:

  • It is faster, cheaper and easier than hand washing or washing machine
  • It doesn’t fill your space with airborne particles that can cause flu and other respiratory problems
  • Cleansing your area rug with pressure washer gives a fresh, calming smell. You can use baking soda every couple of months to deodorize the rug.
  • It cleans the rug properly which makes it last longer
  • By regular cleaning rugs, its colors stay intact

Tips to Prevent Damage to Your Carpet Rug

Cleaning a rug with pressure washer can be easy and effective but you need to take some caution to make sure you don’t end up damaging them. Here are some useful tips for you to keep in mind while cleaning your rug with a pressure washer. Get to know more about the window cleaners.

Be Mindful of the Type of Rug

Before you start washing your rug, you need to make sure your rug is pressure washable. Natural fiber rugs are usually not suitable for pressure washing as this fabric is sensitive to excessive water and pressure wash will only damage the threads. 

Avoid cleaning your oriental rugs with a pressure washer as well. They have fragile fibers that can be destroyed due to pressure spray.

Also, wool rugs are delicate. If you want to wash your wool rug, make sure to read the cleaning instructions in the owner’s manual. 

Washing them with a steam cleaner is a more suitable option for these types of fabrics.

The rug that is safe for pressure cleaner is a polyester rug. Polyester rugs have plastic fibers that are able to hold up that kind of spray.

An outdoor rug is also safe for cleaning with a power washer as they are made of sturdier materials such as polypropylene which can withstand washer’s spray.


Place your area rug in a clean, open place. You can place it in the driveway or patio that has good drainage. Pressure wash the place to push away the dirt from the surface of the driveway or patio and lay the rug flat on the ground. Furthermore, check out this amazing guide about presser washer nozzles.

Pressure Washers

Both electric power washer and gas power washer are suitable for this work but the important thing is the type of tip you use. Avoid using the powerful tips as they can tear up your rug. Start cleaning with a lower pressure, wide spray pattern tip. Be careful not to hold the wand tip too close to the rug. Spray from some distance of about 3-5 metres and move closer to get the suitable pressure on the rug. A pressure washer with 1600-1800 PSI is strong enough for the job. Also, do not use hot water to clean an area rug.

Brush and Detergent

Use the right liquid detergent depending on the type of fabric your area rug is made of and double check if it is safe for the rug. You can use some carpet cleaner or a gel stain remover to remove the stains. Use a cotton or soft bristle brush to rub the cleaner on the stained areas. Instead of using laundry detergent, or any other liquid you use for cleaning tasks, you can use a carpet shampooer but make sure your rug has the suitable material for it.


Preparing The Carpet For Washing

When you have planned to wash the rug on some weekend with sunny forecast, you need to do a couple of things before you grab a pressure washer and start spraying your area rug with pressure washer spray. 

Vacuum clean your rug before taking it out of your house. It will help you get rid of any loose debris and there will be a little less for you to spray out.

Place the area rug out flat on some clean and hard surface so that it is easy for you to move around the rug. Loosen up some of the tough stains with a stain remover and scrub it with a soft bristle brush for a deep clean. 

How To Power Wash Your Rug?

Lay Your Rug Flat On The Ground

Lay out the rug on the clean outdoor surface with good drainage. A concrete space or a wooden deck would be the best options for cleaning dirty rugs. You can also take your rug to your car wash area to clean it. Make sure your rug doesn’t come in contact with mud or dust.

Treat Stains

Cleaning stubborn stains will require a little more elbow grease. To clean stains, clean out the loose dirt, debris, food substances and hair first by sweeping it or vacuuming it. Find the tough stains and rub some gel stain remover or a carpet cleaner on them so that it is easy to clean your area rug with pressure washer. Make sure to use the detergent that doesn’t cause much discoloration.

Leave the stain remover on the rug for a minute or so and use a cotton cloth or soft bristle brush to gently brush the spot to remove the stain. 

Set Up the Pressure Washer and Adjust the Pressure

Make sure the engine of the pressure washer is well-oiled and you have all the right equipment, attachments and accessories you are going to need for the job. Attach the garden hose to your best pressure washer and turn it on. Start the pressure washer and connect the lowest pressure tip to start with.

Start Cleaning the Rug

Spray the water in a sweeping motion to blow away the dirt from the fabrics of your dirty rug. Start washing by working in one direction and stick to the same pattern throughout the cleaning to push out the loose dirt.

Move the washer’s nozzle over the carpet moderately slowly to clean the spots and take out the dirt and dust.

For larger area rugs, you can step on it to reach every section. Make sure you are barefoot as shoes can damage the fabric.

Use the Detergent

Prepare a water cleaning solution by adding the recommended amount of detergent into the water and put it in the detergent tank of the pressure washer. Use only that detergent that is safe for the fabric as some detergents may cause adverse effects.

Once you have sprayed the cleaning solution, let the soap sit for a few minutes; for delicate fabrics such as wool rugs, don’t wait for more than five minutes, and for synthetic rugs, you can wait up to 10 minutes.

If your pressure washer doesn’t have a detergent tank, you can apply the detergent directly to the rug.

Flip Your Rug

Once you have cleaned the top of the entire rug and rinsed it thoroughly to remove all the soap, flip it over to turn the rug upside down and clean the back in a single spray pass and flip it over again.

Wash the Rug

Wash the rug again with a more powerful tip to get the remaining dirt out of the fabric. Try not to spray high pressured water from too close to avoid damaging the fibers. Make sure you get all the soap out leaving it shiny and clean. 

Turn Off the Pressure Washer

After cleaning the carpet and pushing the dirty water in the drainage, turn off your pressure washer and put it away properly so that it is easier to use it again in the future.

Leave the Rug to Dry

After thorough cleaning, keep your rug laid out flat in the sun and away from the wind to let it dry so that it doesn’t create a crease. Make sure it is dried up completely before putting it back in your house. Drying in the sun will take out any odor left in it. Moreover, discover this awesome guide about the pressure wash a pool and spa.

If the rug isn’t too heavy with soaked up water, you can prop it on a wall to let excess water drain off.