Can You Power Wash A Rug? (Find Out Now!)

Ossiana Tepfenhart
by Ossiana Tepfenhart

Today, we live in an era that is celebrated for being the age of lifehacks. Want to wash a wall? There are tricks for that. Want to wash a floor? Just go on Google and you’ll find a ton of information on how to do it quickly and effectively. These days, we’re even talking about power washing rugs. Is this actually okay, though?

Believe it or not, it is possible to power wash most rugs. To do this, use a pressure that is under 1500 PSI and use a detergent that is meant for rug cleaning in your soap nozzle. Rugs made from delicate fabrics should never be power washed.

I don’t know who made this lifehack happen, but it’s an amazing concept. It’s time to see how to do this the right way, and if it’s even feasible for you.

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Before You Begin: Is Your Rug Capable Of Withstanding A Power Washer?

Let’s start with the most basic issue that you will face if you try to power wash your rug. Not all rugs are going to be able to hold up against this kind of pressure. Here are some quick warnings we want to give before you attempt to try this:

  • Do not try to power wash a carpet that is locked in place. I know this sounds silly to say, but I need to say it. The water that gets stuck in the carpet and its padding will end up staying there. This can ruin a carpet and also cause serious water damage. To power wash a rug, you need to be able to bring the rug outside.
  • Always avoid this on antiques. Antique rugs should be treated with care. Power washing can harm their fibers.
  • Check the type of fibers and material that your rug has. This is best for durable fibers that are made from polyester. A silk rug might end up getting ruined. The same can be said for a jute rug or similar. Use your common sense.

How To Wash Your Rug With A Pressure Washer

Assuming that your rug passes the standards that we mentioned above, it’s time to wash your rug with a pressure washer. You will need detergent, a black nozzle, a green nozzle, and a scrubber. Here’s how:

  • Bring your rug outside and lay it on a stone or put it on your driveway. Or your deck, if you so choose. The best thing you can do is just find somewhere that has good drainage. Do not do this indoors, as this can damage your home.
  • Prep your pressure washer and rug. Make sure you have a good source of water. Apply detergent manually, then use the pressure washer and washer brush to scrub the detergent away. Use a pressure under 1500 psi for this. Use slow, z-shaped strokes whenever you use your pressure washer on your rug.
  • Rinse the rug. Once you have been able to lift up the stains and other issues, you’re gonna be left with a soapy rug. It’s time to switch out the nozzle for the green one and start hosing down your rug with the washer. (If your pressure washer doesn’t have the black and green system, use the rinser/even sprayer option here.)
  • Hang your rug in a clean area. You will also need to dry your rug. Might we suggest hanging it over a deck rail, or trying to give it a bit of space on a clothesline?

Note: Do not spend too much time on any section of the rug, as this could cause your results to look uneven. If there is a stain on your rug, use carpet stain remover before you wash it. Aim the pressure washer 12 inches away from the rug at all times.

Can You Use Heat On Your Rug While You Clean?

Power washing is the heated version of pressure washing. Whether your rug can withstand power washing or not depends on the material it’s made from. If you are certain that it’s heat-resistant, you can do it. Otherwise, it’s best to err on the side of caution.

What Kind Of Detergent Should You Use When You Pressure Wash A Rug?

The detergent you should pick is the same type of detergent you would use if you were choosing to clean it via a rug shampooer. We suggest getting a gentle detergent that has worked well for you in the past. In reality, the only difference between what we’re doing here and what you do with a rug shampooer is the application method.

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Related Questions

What are the best carpet cleaning solutions you can use for a rug?

There are several brands that make world class carpet cleaners. One of the best ones we’ve seen is Bissell, and we strongly encourage using them. Other top picks include OxiClean and BioKleen. When picking out a carpet detergent, avoid using anything that has a bleaching agent in it. This often turns out to be a damaging ingredient for sensitive carpets.

What is the easiest way to make a DIY carpet cleaner?

The easiest way to make your own DIY carpet cleaner is to use equal parts white vinegar and water as a detergent. This usually will break up most major stain solutions and can also lift out grease stains from your carpet. Another option would be to use a mixture of vinegar, baking soda, and salt to lift out offending stains.While many other sites suggest that you add essential oils to your cleaner, we advise against it. Essential oils have the propensity to stain lighter carpets.

What does ammonia do to a rug?

It depends on the rug, but this is not the best solution for a general carpet cleaning solution. Ammonia can lift out stains, yes. However, it also is highly corrosive and potentially damaging to the very fiber of the rug or carpet itself. In rare cases, this chemical can actually stain otherwise workable carpeting. We do not suggest its use unless it’s a last line of defense.

Ossiana Tepfenhart
Ossiana Tepfenhart

Ossiana Tepfenhart is an expert writer, focusing on interior design and general home tips. Writing is her life, and it's what she does best. Her interests include art and real estate investments.

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