How to Clean a Hooked Rug

Note: if you're reading this article on your phone, it will make much more sense on your pc or laptop!  

Vacuuming is very good for hooked rugs, since it removes the grit that tends to wear away the fiber. However, I always examine the rug, top and bottom, to make sure no loops have been pulled out. If you do find a loose piece, just re-hook it before you vacuum.

Dry cleaning is not recommended, unless you're sure your dry cleaner is familiar with hooked rugs. I've heard horror stories, so just be careful. Anyway, it's not too difficult to do it yourself.

To wash your hooked rug, dissolve about one tablespoon of laundry detergent (you want laundry detergent as opposed to dish-washing liquid because it won’t make suds) in about 2 cups of cold water (if you are using powdered laundry detergent, make sure it dissolves completely). 

Put in a sponge or a rag and squeeze it almost all the way out. You don’t need to get the rug soaking wet, you just want to use enough moisture to lift the grit and hair off the surface of the rug, top and bottom. Scrub in a pivot motion. I kind of twist my wrist in a spot a couple of times, then move on to the next.

Rinsing: After you have scrubbed a small section, rinse the section with a clean sponge in plain water (I‘m told that a dash of vinegar is also good for the wool), so you rinse out some of the soap. 

Continue the whole process on the top and bottom of the rug. Then lay it somewhere where it can get plenty of air circulation while it dries. Outdoors on a sunny day, a rug should dry in a couple of hours. Indoors it might take a day or more. If so, just flip it over a couple of times during the drying process.

You might be surprised how much hand-cleaning a rug can brighten it up. Here you see a matching pair of rugs. The one on the right has been washed, the one on the left has not.