Can You Pressure Wash a Rug?

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Cleaning The Carpet With A Gun For Washing High Pressure Water. House Cleaning. Can You Pressure Wash a Rug


Got an old tired looking rug that you are considering throwing away? As time goes on, your rug will start to look faded, lacking in color, this may not be because the rug is old; instead, it may be because of the amount of dirt that has accumulated inside of the rub fibers, making it look old and crinkly.

This kind of dirt can’t be washed off with a regular brush, it doesn’t matter how many times you try, it’ll still seem old and dirty. This is when you may remember the pressure washer you have in the garage, the one you’ve cleaned your car with, perhaps your garden furniture or your driveway.

Did you know that you can use it to clean your carpet as well? Well, you can, and i’ll show you how in this article.

How to Clean an Area Rug with a Pressure Washer

Can You Pressure Wash a Rug? Cleaning The Carpet With A Gun For Washing High Pressure Water. House Cleaning. Close Up Of Washing Carpets With High Pressure Washer. Cleaning The Carpet With A Gun For Washing High Pressure Water. House Cleaning Concept.

We know that with the help of a pressure washer, we can deep clean furniture and other various hard surfaces, but rugs and carpets are soft and fragile, so using a pressure washer to deep clean your area rug surely is going to damage it? Is this something you can do at home yourself, or should you spend some money and take it to a professional carpet cleaner?

Well, believe it or not, but with the right pressure washer, you’ll be able to bring that old tired rug back to life, and back to color, in no time at all. Though you do need to take some care and make sure to use a low PSI pressure unit, if you use a high PSI pressure unit, well you could end up causing damage to the rug, potentially cutting a hole or holes in the rug itself, which isn’t something we want. Ideally, you want to use a pressure unit with up to 1500 PSI when cleaning your rug anything above those, and there is added risk of damage.

Before you go to your garage bust out your pressure washer and have at it, you need to look into what type of materials your carpet or rug is made from. If your fabric is highly sensitive, then I don’t suggest using a pressure washer to clean your carpet. Unfortunately, not every carpet is pressure washer friendly, and for those, it makes sense to get them dry cleaned or spot cleaned, though there are some that will do well when laundered professionally.

If your rug is made of a material that can be pressure washed, however, and you have a surface which is large enough to fit it, such as a place in your garden, on your driveway, even the sidewalk, etc., then you can bring your rug back to life. I suggest using the soap nozzle on your pressure washer to spread out the detergent, then using a pressure washer brush to work the detergent into any stubborn stains or difficult spots, then use a regular nozzle such as the green nozzle to wash the soap away and rinse out the rug. Once you’ve done all of that, then all you need to do is to leave the rug to dry.

Items Needed for Pressure Washing Your Carpet

You need to few things to be successful at cleaning your carpet or rug. The following equipment is what you need at a minimum.

  • A low pressure (PSI) electric pressure washer
  • Black and green pressure washer nozzle tips
  • A stiff bristle broom, or a pressure washer brush
  • A large cleaning area
  • A good carpet cleaning solution which is designed for use in pressure washers
  • Drying equipment

Assuming you have all of the above, then you can crack on with bringing those rugs back to life, though the first thing you should do before dragging any rugs or carpets outside is to make sure that your pressure washer is working correctly. Assuming it is, then you can wash your carpet thoroughly.

Can You Pressure Wash Carpets? A Step-By-Step Guide

Can You Pressure Wash Carpets? Cleaning The Carpet With A Gun For Washing High Pressure Water. House Cleaning.

Knowing how to clean a rug with a pressure washer is a fantastic skill to have, it’ll keep your rug looking brand new for years without having to spend a fortune taking your carpet to the professional cleaners. Here’s my step by step guide.

1.Find the right cleaning area

While you need an area wide enough to clean the rug, that area should also be clean. The last thing you want is to make your rug dirtier when you are trying to clean it. Personally, I find a good spot to clean my rugs is on a wooden deck, or my driveway, at a push, the sidewalk is a good option. But before I do start any rug or carpet cleaning, I make sure to clean the area first with my pressure washer.

2.Prepare the Rug

For the pressure washer to work it’s best, you need to prepare the rug, I tend to vacuum the rug or carpet before taking it outside. This ensures that any debris has been removed, allowing the detergent to penetrate deeply and allowing the pressure washer to lift the dirt away.

Also, suppose your carpet has debris left on it. In that case, the debris itself could cause damage to your surroundings if propelled forcefully enough by your pressure washer.

3.Wash the Rug with Detergent

If your pressure washer doesn’t have a soap tank, you may want to apply the detergent by hand to the rug. I suggest you wet your rug down with the black nozzle, then use the pressure washer brush to scrub away at any stubborn stains. You’ll want to focus on different areas of the rug dealing with the stains, though make sure not to focus too much on a single area as you may risk damaging the rug itself.

Finished up with a clean from one end to the other.

4.Thoroughly Rinse the Rug

Now that you’ve finished dealing with the stains, the stubborn spots, and the overall rug, it’s now looking clean and ready for a rinse. I suggest using the green nozzle for this, as it has the power needed to penetrate deeply enough to lift the dirt and detergent out of your rug.

Start moving the stream in a zigzag manner, and rinse the carpet back and forth until the water comes out clean, meaning that there is no more soap left in the carpet and your rug cleaning has left you with an area rug that’s back to it’s former shine and its former glory

5.Dry the Carpet

Alright, so we have a nice clean carpet or area rugs, move it to a clean spot to dry out. I prefer to hang my clean rug over a washing line as the exposure to the sun and wind help dry it out, but the ability to do that will be governed by the weight of the rug.

If it’s too heavy, it’ll break your line. Also, you don’t want to leave it in the sun for too long as the sun will bleach the color.

Washing Your Rug with a Pressure Washer: Do’s and Don’ts

When you are washing your rug with a pressure washer, there are a few things that you want to keep in mind. If you take care when you are cleaning a rug, then your area rugs will look fantastic for longer. But to make this process a success, there are a few do’s and don’ts when power washing your rug clean.

The Do’s

Washing Your Rug with a Pressure Washer. Cleaning The Carpet With A Gun For Washing High Pressure Water. House Cleaning.

First things first, you need to make sure to maintain the correct distance between the rug and the spray nozzle of your pressure washer. I suggest keeping the distance to around 12 inches if you want to ensure consistent and also perfect results, without any risk of damaging the carpet. Getting closer could end up causing damage as the pressure will be concentrated to highly on a single spot.

You also need to ensure that you are using the right type of cleaning solution alongside a good pressure washer brush. Your pressure washing when cleaning rugs is only as good as the tools you are using it with. The right tools will ensure that you are actually cleaning the rugs without overdoing it.

I suggest a detergent that has a soft formula, you don’t want a high powered solution as that may cause harm and even remove the color from the rug.

Keep the pressure produced by your pressure washer low. If you use a high pressure that could cause damage to the rug. If you feel the pressure is not enough, you can increase the pressure but start low and then increase, if you see any signs of damage back the pressure off or increase the distance between the rug and the spray nozzle.

This harps back to the pressure, but make sure that you are using a pressure unit that’s designed to work with the type of surface you are cleaning, a unit that you would use on your concrete driveway is going to be too powerful for your rugs unless it has adjustable pressure ranges.

The Don’ts

When you are washing your rug with your pressure unit, you shouldn’t use hot water. Now while the hot water won’t damage your rug, it can alter the pressure produced, which could result in results you don’t want. So stick to cold water.

Keep your nozzle at least 12 inches from the carpet unless you want your area rug to have holes suddenly appear. Also, don’t take the nozzle too far away from the carpet as the pressure drastically reduces, and you won’t get the clean that you are aiming for.

Finally, when you are selecting a cleaning solution, you need to make sure that whatever detergent that you chose, that it doesn’t contain any form of bleaching agents. Bleach can cause discoloration and will result in your rug being ruined. Which is something we want to avoid.

Closing Thoughts

Washing your rug with a pressure washer isn’t as difficult as you may have originally thought. It’s actually a really simple process. If you do it right, then that old and tired looking rug will suddenly look almost brand new and beautiful in no time. Your visitors will no doubt comment, asking where you got your new rug.

This is a process that you can master with ease and will be easy to complete if you follow all of my steps above, you’ll save money by not hiring a professional and as for time, it’ll probably take as much time to take your rug to the professional as it would to clean it outside.

All you need is a clean driveway, a few washing tools, and solutions, obviously your trusty electric pressure washer and a place to allow your rug to dry out, I suggest getting it suspended as air getting through the rug will ensure it stays smelling lovely, instead of fousty.

For those perfect results, I highly suggest taking the time to thoroughly read the instructions that come with the pressure unit, the pressure washing brush, and the detergent/soaps being used.

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Adam White is the founder and chief editor at He has years of experience from years of Gardening, Garden Design, Home Improvement, DIY, carpentry, and car detailing. His aim? Well that’s simple. To cut through the jargon and help you succeed.

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