Area Rug Cleaning vs. Carpet Cleaning


rug cleaning

Area rug cleaning and carpet cleaning sound very similar, but there are several differences between the two processes due to the many differences between wall-to-wall carpet and rugs.

Differences in materials, construction and style require different cleaning processes for the two.

Below, we will provide some of the ways area rugs are different than carpet and how our process successfully cleans most common rugs and residential and commercial carpet:


Area rugs are constructed differently than wall-to-wall carpeting.  The fibers and dyes vary from country to country of origin and require different types of product chemistry for proper cleaning.


Most area rugs are thicker with a dense pile construction. Most finer rugs are tied or knotted at the base. Dry soil will get trapped in the dense construction of area rugs and the knotted base of finer rugs. A vacuum cleaner alone can not remove the impacted soil at the base of the fibers. Instead, it requires professional, specialized dusting systems to remove the impacted soil.


Most of the time carpet cleaning is more of a topical cleaning. If harsher cleaning products are used during the service, they can settle at the base of the carpet fibers and cause more premature wear or loss of fibers over time.  These products cannot be properly flushed from area rugs. Over time fiber loss, deterioration or even a color bleeding could occur because of the products left behind.


Most of the warp (length) and weft (yarns running left to right) of area rugs are made of cotton. While cotton is very a very strong fiber, some harsher cleaning products not flushed out can cause deterioration of the foundation over time (dry rot).  This is also an area of the rug that can hold the most odors as well.

These foundation yarns extend out thru the end of the rugs to form the fringe in most cases (on more expensive rugs). Some fringe is post applied and sewn on the end of the rug.


Most fringe on area rugs is made of cotton or with cotton/silk blend fibers. Proper cleaning agents must be used in order to be sure they are not damaged by normal carpet cleaning products.

Proper cleaning agents/products are important because of different quality of wool/dyes (color of fibers).  Some rugs can have blends of fibers (wool, nylon, silk, viscose (fake silk/rayon), cotton, olefin, polypropylene and etc., each fiber has certain cleaning characteristics. The same is true with different dyes used in the coloring of the rug fibers.

Most are grouped into two different categories: acidic or vegetable.  While acidic dyes are more stable (set) in the fiber, vegetable dyes are not set in the fibers and can cause bleeding issues during the cleaning process.


Some rugs may have a very aggressive acidic wash or a post treatment of tea dyeing to make it look older or create an antique look.  This is usually done by an importer of rugs to try and give a rug a more expensive look for the consumer.  This “antiquing” of a rug could be washed out during the cleaning process, but don’t worry it can be re applied after cleaning if needed.


True artisan cleaners of area rugs have extensive training to properly handle fine area rugs.  Many people take multiple classes and develop the skill set necessary over many years.

Don’t trust your fine treasures to just any carpet cleaner you find on a local internet search or phone book. Ask questions as to the training and skill set of the people cleaning your rugs. This will ensure trust in the company you choose for your cleaning needs.


Proper cleaning is done by professionals with a rug cleaning facility.   These facilities can handle just about any type of rug.


  • Through Pre-Inspection
  • Dry Soil Removal
  • Dye Stability Tests
  • Stabilize Loose Dyes (Colors)
  • Apply Wool Safe Cleaning Agents
  • Proper Gentle Washing of the Rugs (More Natural Flushing of the Foundation/Fibers)
  • Through Flushing of Cleaning Agents & Extraction
  • Drying of Area Rugs
  • Cleaning Fringe (Or Correction of Soiled Fringe)
  • Additional Services Offered:
  • Pet Urine Odor Removal
  • Sanitizing (Helps Eliminate Bacteria/Helps Neutralize Pet Dander)
  • Protectants (Protects Fibers from Spots/Spills)
  • Moth Repellant
  • Some Minor Repairs (Loose Yarns on Edges, Re-gluing of Backing Boarders or Complete Rebacking of Tufted Area Rugs)

Chem-Dry of Brazos County in College Station offers both area rug and carpet cleaning for residents and businesses in the area. Our service features green-certified solutions and top-of-the-line equipment and facilities to provide superior results to our customers.

To schedule an appointment, call (979) 776-9833 today!


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