How To Clean A Braided Rug (Step-by-Step Guide)

Ryan Womeldorf
by Ryan Womeldorf

Rugs make for a great complimentary design feature in a home. They come in a ton of different color and fabric options, allowing for mixing and matching to create the perfect design aesthetic. Braided rugs are often handmade, providing that one-of-a-kind look to a room.

Unfortunately, braided rugs can collect dust and dirt, deteriorating the overall quality and condition. Follow this step-by-step guide to get your braided rugs looking cleaner than ever without doing any damage to the overall quality or composition.

To clean a braided rug, begin by shaking out your rug fully outdoors to remove any debris. Next, lay the rug flat, and scrub it thoroughly with a mixture of vinegar and water. Once the solution starts to become dirty, you can use a pressure spray to thoroughly rinse off your rug. Let hang to dry.

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Why Braided?

Rugs can be purchased from just about any major chain or home goods store and at a relatively low cost. So, why would you go with a braided rug when they can be quite a bit more expensive than other generic rugs?

Braided rugs are great because they are very durable and last a long time. This makes them perfect for areas that have a lot of dirt or traffic. They can even be used both indoors and out, making them a versatile choice. And because they can last for such a long time, proper cleaning is necessary to keep them looking new.

Cleaning a Braided Rug

Step 1: Take Them Outside and Shake

The first thing that you need to do is take your braided rugs outside and shake them out thoroughly. This is meant to get rid of the larger, loose chunks of debris as well as any pet hair or dust that can become trapped.

You can also hang them over a balcony or deck railing and beat them with a broom. It doesn’t matter how you do it but removing those loose dust and debris particles is an important first step in cleaning out your braided rugs.

Step 2: Scrub

After removing the loose dust and dirt particles, it’s time to lay the rug flat and scrub. Braided rugs, particularly those in lighter colors, can become worn and grungy looking over time. Vacuuming will not remove that look; you will need to scrub thoroughly.

Create a mixture of half water and half white vinegar in a bucket. You don’t want to use soap for this task because the soap can get trapped in the fibers of the braided rug, leaving it with an unsightly white residue.

Keep scrubbing until you notice your liquid concoction starts to get dirty. This is the best indication that the dirt trapped in your braided rug is starting to get pulled up.

Step 3: Pressure Spray

After you’re confident that the stains have been scrubbed out, you’ll need to rinse your rugs. Spray it with a high-pressure hose or a pressure washer if you have one around. The high-pressure of the wash will not only remove the dirt-filled water as a result of the scrubbing but should take up any remaining loose dirt and dust particles as well.

If your hose isn’t cutting it in terms of pressure, you can take it to your local car wash. They have pressure washers there that you can use to spray the rug. Just lay it on the ground and spray it off with plain water to remove the dirt and nasty water from the scrubbing process.

Step 4: Hang it Out to Dry

At the end of the cleaning process, when you’re confident that all of the dirt and grime has been removed from the braided rug, it is time to dry it out. It is imperative that both sides of the rug be completely dried out before bringing it back in the house.

Hang it over a railing (like you did when you knocked out the loose dust particles) in a particularly sunny spot so that it can properly dry out. If you leave water in the rug, it will start to stink and you’ll need to clean out the rug again starting from the beginning.

How Do You Clean a Cotton Braided Rug?

Spills happen from time to time no matter how careful we are. When your cotton braided rug has a stain on it that needs to be cleaned, there is an easy, effective way to do this. Take it outside and place it on a large, flat area. Try something like a chaise lounge or a picnic table.

Use mild liquid detergent mixed with some water and a sponge to clean the impacted area. When you’re confident that the stain is gone, hose down the spot thoroughly and allow it enough time to dry completely.

Are Braided Rugs in Style?

Think of a popular style over your lifetime. Trends will come and trends will go but it seems like everything comes back around again. That seems to be the case with braided rugs in particular.

Braided rugs originally went out of style back in the 1960s. But like the bell-bottom, they have come back in popularity in recent years. This is due to a couple of things. The first is that they are very durable, very affordable, and very comfortable. The second is that they are nostalgic for the 1950s and 1960s in particular. Nostalgia is huge in a variety of ways these days.

Can I Get a Braided Rug Dry Cleaned?

Because soap is not meant to be used in the cleaning of braided rugs, it is important that you talk to your local professional before simply bringing in your rug. They may or may not be aware of the damage that soap can do, so just ask first.

In most cases, a local professional should be able to clean your braided rug for you. With smaller rugs, it is easier and cheaper to just do it yourself, but really large area rugs can be a pain to clean. For that reason, it may be more beneficial to bring it to a professional.

What is the Best Material for Braided Rugs?

When looking to choose a braided rug, wool is hands down the easiest to clean as well as the most durable. If you’re looking to implement a braided rug to an area with high traffic – like a family room or entryway – a wool braided rug is the best bet.

If you want something softer and with more vibrant colors, cotton may be the way to go. There is also polypropylene, which is a synthetic material. This is a great choice because it can be used both indoors and out, can be hosed off, and won’t mold or stain. Both cotton and polypropylene come in chenille; this is the texture that makes rugs appear to be fuzzy.

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What is the Best Shape for Braided Rugs?

Generally speaking, braided rugs tend to be oval in shape. Oval is the most traditional shape, though round rugs are also quite popular. You may not see a lot of square and rectangle rugs; this is because they are fairly new to the braided rug market.

A good idea is to take a look at your space. If there are a lot of linear pieces in your setup, a curve here and there can be good for breaking that up. An oval or round braided rug can provide a pop of color and help to provide a different shape than the rest of the room.

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Ryan Womeldorf
Ryan Womeldorf

Ryan Womeldorf has more than a decade of experience writing. He loves to blog about construction, plumbing, and other home topics. Ryan also loves hockey and a lifelong Buffalo sports fan.

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