Home Modern Area Rugs How to Disinfect Area Rug from Covid-19 Exposure

How to Disinfect Area Rug from Covid-19 Exposure

Many homes of today are stylized with some sort of interior decor in one form or another, ranging from customized paint scheming, tiling, ornaments, all the way to a range of carpet and rugs. If there is anything that comes with home decor is their maintenance and cleanliness which ensure these items maintain their longevity and a safe and healthy environment for the home and its inhabitants.

Ever since COVID-19 happened, the importance of cleaning and disinfecting took on a whole new dimension and meaning, especially for people confined to their homes in a lockdown situation. This became even more important for houses with decor made out of soft porous surfaces, which include carpet, rugs, and drapes, and other upholstery as mentioned by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) 

Amongst all home decor items, carpets and rugs are the ones that see through the roughest use over the years. From members of the family walking over with dirt and mud filled shoes, pets mistakenly considering it as a large litter box, to season after season of influenza and now COVID-19 carrying bacteria embedded into the fibers. 

Simple vacuuming and using clorox wipes might not be enough to answer the pressing question on how to clean and disinfect carpets? In these challenging times seeking professional cleaning services can be a costly adventure. So why not pursue something more doable on a regular basis that keeps you and family much safer from nasty allergens, harmful bacteria, and anything that would affect their well-being and be a saver to your pocket altogether!

What is Carpet Cleaning, Disinfection, Sanitization?

Some of the most common questions asked recently have been regarding ‘how to disinfect carpet and ‘how to sanitize carpet’? Despite appearing to enquire about the same process, both hold different meanings and are handled differently. 

Most disinfectants registered under the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) are to be used on hard non-porous surfaces. This leaves out carpets and rugs which come under the soft or porous surface category, leading us in a situation where sanitizing is the way forward.     

Pocket Friendly Ways To Sanitize Your Rugs From Home

What You’ll Need

Equipment / Tools

  • Dry Vacuum
  • Spray bottle
  • Steam cleaner
  • Circulating fan (optional)
  • Multiple Dry Cleaning Rags
  • Medium Strength Bristle Brush 

Materials

  • Cleaning strength distilled white vinegar
  • EPA-approved sanitizer or disinfectant
  • Baking Soda

Instruction and Procedure 

You’re obviously on the right track of wanting to know how to clean and disinfect carpet. These general rules of carpet and rug cleaning apply before we proceed with any of the listed ways mentioned in the next section.            

Removing Debris

If you have space available, take your rug outside and give it a good shake, don’t be afraid to use a stick to hit the rug with moderately. This will help loosen all of the top layer soil, dust, dirt and other debris particles.    

Agitation

Start by having the area rug spread uniformly on the floor, followed by gently brushing with the medium strength bristle brush across the length of the rug in uniform passes till you have the entire rug covered. This would loosen the soil, dust, dirt and other debris particles attached to deeper fibers of the rug.  

Vacuuming Graciously

Dry vacuuming can be a saver when it comes to reducing man hours in getting your carpet thoroughly cleaned. Few passess with the vacuum will ensure all dust loosen from the agitation process to be sucked in by the vacuum.

1.Rug Sanitizing with Vinegar – Steam Clean

An effective procedure to sanitize a carpet at home is by using an effective carpet disinfectant that is cleaning strength distilled white vinegar with a household recommended steam cleaner.  

  1. Prepare the cleaning solution mix by mixing equal parts water and white vinegar in a spray bottle.
  2. Using the spray setting of the bottle, generously shower the entire carpet evenly for a presoak and let dry completely.   
  3. Prepare a cleaning solution by mixing three parts water and one part cleaning strength distilled white vinegar. Pour it into the steam cleaner’s detergent vessel.
  4. Make repeated passes of the steam cleaner over the carpet as per the instruction manual and severity of the areas affected.  
  5. Have the rug thoroughly air dried, an air blower may be used depending on how quickly drying is desired.
  6. Have the rug thoroughly vacuumed in sequence to ‘comb’ the fibers uniformly

2. Rug Sanitizing with Vinegar – Non Steam

Not everyone has a steam cleaner lying around their garage, so it was fair to include another procedure that provides the same effectiveness as the one with a steam cleaner involved albeit with a lot more sweat involved. Did you know? mixing baking soda, white vinegar and mild dish detergent makes for a great homemade carpet disinfectant.

  1. Spread baking soda generously over the carpet uniformly and let set for 30 minutes
  2. Prepare a cleaning solution by mixing equal parts water, white vinegar and a generous amount of liquid detergent (Dish) in a spray bottle. 
  3. Using the spray setting of the bottle, generously shower the entire carpet evenly for a presoak (Damp-wet) and let sit for 30 minutes  
  4. Spray additional cleaning mixture on a medium strength bristle brush and scrub the rug thoroughly,(Formation of thick lather) across length with uniform passes until entirely done. Let it sit for 30 minutes.
  5. Take a clean rag and wipe the rug in sections, making sure to clean the rag each time by dipping in a separate bucket of fresh water and rinsing the collected dirt from each pass. It’s best to form quadrants of sizes as per convenience of the individual, to work evenly and track coverage and prevent repassing over completed areas. Repeat steps across all quadrants till no further dirty lather is witnessed and the rag comes out clean.
  6. Run a clean rag across the entire carpet as a final ‘surface wash’.
  7. Have the rug thoroughly air dried, an air blower may be used depending on how quickly drying is desired.
  8. Have the rug thoroughly vacuumed in sequence to ‘comb’ the fibers uniformly. 

Key Takeaways

  • Not having a steam cleaner does not mean deep cleaning cannot be achieved at home.
  • Vinegar and baking soda make a disinfecting carpet spray
  • Always perform a test first on a small hidden area of the rug surface preferably in the corner.
  • Frequent cleaning by dry vacuuming, disinfecting and sanitizing goes a long way in having a safer and cleaner home environment.

Read the rules to buy hand knotted area rugs.

Anna Smith
Anna Smith is Interior Designer and decorator. She is a writer by nature and an expert in Area Rugs. Her knowledge about area rugs is helping many people to know everything about Rugs.

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