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How to Clean a White Rug

How to Clean a White Rug - Rug the Rock

Adding a classic white rug to your living area is a great way to brighten up any room, whether you're maintaining a neutral theme or looking for a contrast with vibrant-colored furniture. 

However, from a cozy white shag rug to those with a modern geometric pattern, keeping these timeless pieces free from stains can be quite the challenge, particularly if you live in a busy home. Luckily, there are plenty of cost-effective, natural ways to both tackle those messy accidents and maintain the cleanliness of your rug for many years to come. 

Discover how to clean a white rug thoroughly and safely in our expert guide, along with some top tips for preventing further damage to your authentic handmade piece.

How to Clean a White Rug: Routine Maintenance Tips

Stains tend to be more obvious on a bright white base compared to those with a patterned or abstract design, such as traditional Gabbeh rugs.

More often than not, the key to keeping a white rug free from marks, pet hair, dust, and other types of dirt is therefore by regularly giving it a clean, using the following methods:


Loosen dirt within the fibers of your white rug by using a vacuum cleaner at least twice per week. Starting with the back of the rug, use a beater brush for extra power, but be sure to disable this feature to prevent tangling for shag rugs or those with fibers longer than 3/4".

To get rid of pet hair or tackle rugs that are placed in high-traffic areas like the hallway, increase your vacuuming frequency.

Shaking out

It may sound simple, but one of the most effective ways of removing crumbs and dust from your white rug is by giving it a good shake.

Roll up the rug and take it out into the yard, then grasp the corners and shake it up and down until no more debris falls out. For larger rugs, hang them over a fence and hit both sides with a strong stick.

We'd recommend repeating this process once a week or every day for rugs located in high-traffic areas.

Baking Soda

If you're hoping to keep your white rug not only looking, but also smelling fresh, try sprucing it up with baking soda. This chemical compound is a natural odor absorber that's free of industrial chemicals and effectively absorbs trapped dirt.

Simply sprinkle baking soda onto the rug's surface and leave it to work for approximately 15 minutes, or overnight for a deep clean. You'll then need to thoroughly remove the baking soda using a vacuum cleaner, leaving a pristine white rug.


Using mild detergent is an effective way of deep cleaning a white rug without damaging its delicate fibers, especially with those like Afghan rugs that are handwoven and feature tassels.

A store-bought stain remover or mild dish detergent mixed with water can keep a white rug looking its best when applied on a monthly basis.

Effective Stain Removal Tips

While incorporating regular maintenance into your weekly routine can help to keep your white rug looking fresh, unfortunately, accidents do happen. From red wine to nail polish, spilling any colorful substance onto a white rug causes an instant moment of panic – however, taking fast action to remove dirt and stains can prevent further damage.

Before frantically scrubbing away at the stain, try these tips for a more gentle cleaning process:

  • Blot the stain with a cloth immediately to draw out any moisture and remove stains to protect from permanent damage.
  • Hydrogen peroxide works as an effective rug shampoo for stubborn stains like dried nail polish or blood, without the need to employ harsh chemicals that could ruin your delicate white rug.
  • For chewing gum or wax, use an ice pack to freeze the substance before cutting it from the carpet pile, being careful to remain as close to the residue as possible.
  • White vinegar mixed with equal parts water in a spray bottle offers an effective anti-staining solution for a white rug because it acts as an eco-friendly, natural disinfectant to remove milk, mud, spilled soda, or sauce stains. Generously spray this solution onto the white rug before blotting with a clean cloth, repeating the process if necessary.

Taking Care of Handmade Oriental Rugs

Antique or vintage oriental and Persian rugs are often placed in high-traffic areas like kitchens and hallways, as well as making great statement pieces in the middle of living rooms. This means that they collect more dust and dirt build-up than other types, so generally require more frequent deep cleaning.

Although made from heavy textiles, their designs are incredibly intricate and often take years or months to complete by hand, which is why a delicate cleaning solution is crucial. Be sure to place a protective nylon screen over the entire rug before using a vacuum cleaner, weighing it down with heavy objects like bricks or books.

Reach out to our team here at Rug the Rock, and we'll advise you on the best cleaning methods based on the construction and fiber content of your purchase. Taking on our tips for deep cleaning, removing stubborn stains, and maintaining the quality of your rug on a daily basis ensures that you can enjoy the beauty of a bright white rug for years to come.

Choose a Professional Persian or Oriental Rug Cleaning Solution

Unsure of how to clean a white rug that's vintage or antique? We'd recommend leaving the job to skilled and experienced professionals who understand the best ways of handling labor-intensive, hand-knotted rugs.

At Rug the Rock, we offer a comprehensive rug cleaning service that takes a customized approach to every piece, therefore ensuring the best cleaning solution possible without any rips or fading.

For optimal results, our Rug Shui deep cleaning process is performed by hand without a carpet cleaning machine, and follows six thorough steps:

  1. Pre-inspection: We'll take a close look at your rug to determine the type, fibers, whether the dyes are colorfast, and any stains that need to be removed.
  2. Dust Removal: Before starting stain removal, we'll first remove dirt and dust from your rug with a soft bristle brush, or gentle vacuuming and draping techniques.
  3. Wash or Surface Clean: Based on the type and condition of your rug, we'll either commence a deep clean or use lighter surface cleaning methods, such as hot water extraction. If you have a wool rug, we'll spot and deodorize the surface where possible.
  4. Extraction: Removing as much water from the rug as possible reduces drying time, while also minimizing the risk of dye bleeding during the final few stages.
  5. Drying: We'll make sure the newly clean rug has time to air dry completely before returning to its rightful place within your home.
  6. Finish Touches: Brushing out the face fibers and fringe tassels is the final step of our deep clean, which leaves your white rug looking as good as new.

Call us at 709-219-2599 or enquire online for your free white rug cleaning quote and take advantage of our special discounts that offer a lower price per foot. 

Plus, whether you're looking for a kilim flatweave or a small runner, find the perfect handmade white or patterned rug to liven up your living, kitchen, hallway, or events space in our available authentic rugs collection today.

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Explore our Rug Collection!

We have thoughtfully collected authentic rugs from Persia (Iran), Morocco, Turkey, Afghanistan, Caucasus, and more countries. Each rug is handmade, showcasing the craftsmanship of its origin. These remarkable pieces have the potential to appreciate in value over time. In our collection, you can find rugs of any size, ranging from small mini rugs to oversized options. We’re here to provide more information about each of these historic gems. Feel free to reach out to us anytime! :)

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