From getting the family ready in the morning to settling down for dinner in the evening, the floors in your home see a lot of action. For most busy families, it’s inevitable that with action comes stains. Whether it’s makeup, food, coffee or general dirt and grime, chances are high that by the end of the day, the rugs covering your floors have received their fair share of mess. 

If you’re wondering how to wash rugs effectively, we’ve got tips for you. Washing rugs in the washing machine can be done in many cases, which means you can be confident they’ll get clean without hard work on your part. When it comes to emergency stains, we give ways to make sure they don’t stick.

Your Pantry Partner-in-Crime, Vinegar

Some may refer to them as their life juice, but we all know both coffee and red wine can leave some nasty stains if not handled properly. While we tell the young ones not to cry over spilled milk, crying over spilled coffee or wine is 100% acceptable, especially if it has spilled all over one of your favorite rugs.

If you have vinegar in your pantry, you’re in luck. This simple home staple can be used to fight tough stains and remove all evidence of a mishap. Here’s how.

Removing Coffee Stains

Spill your coffee while rushing out the door? What if we told you it’s possible to remove coffee stains from rugs and still be on time for work? Blot (don’t rub) the stain with a rag or paper towel. Then, pour vinegar directly on the rug, directly over the stain. If the rug isn’t too large, throw it in the washing machine (before wiping the vinegar away) at a cold temp and head out the door. When you return home, hang the rug to dry overnight. The next morning, your rug will be stain-free and ready to take on another day.

Removing Wine Stains

Red wine stains do not have to be the end of your dining room rug’s life cycle. That vinegar is going to come in handy again. After the spill, cover the stain in white vinegar, then immediately rub in liquid laundry detergent. If possible, run the rug through the washing machine with hot water. This should lift the stain and leave you with a spotless rug. If your rug is too large, blot the stain with hot water until it disappears.

Make Spot Remover a Mud Room Staple

It’s arguable that entryway rugs and door mats see the most action, from dirty boots to muddy paws. There’s likely a plethora of mysterious grime living in the depths of entry rugs. Having a spot remover on hand can help you eliminate sudden stains. like mud or juice. Have more mess than a spot remover can handle? Most door mats can be washed in the washing machine (always check tags). Make sure not to overload the machine and hang to dry.

Give Rugs the Spa Day They Deserve

As a general rule, clean rugs every 12-18 months (unless you have an emergency, of course). If you have pets or kids or your rug is in a high traffic area, you may find you need to clean them more often. Luckily, most appropriately sized rugs can be thrown in the washing machine and come out looking as good as new. It’s a good idea to always check tags for special instructions before washing. 

Pro tip: washing rugs that are exactly the same size together will save you time and keep the load balanced. Avoid putting rugs in the dryer. Air dry wet rugs on a clothesline or dryer rack. Need to wash a rubber-backed rug? You’re still good to go. Just make sure you don’t use chlorine bleach as it can cause the rubber to flake off. 

Now that you know how to wash rugs, put your feet up and enjoy that cup of coffee or glass of wine. You deserve it.