How to Clean Polypropylene Rugs

Lead Image
  • 3-6 hours
  • Beginner
  • $0-130
What You'll Need
Clean, white cotton rags
Putty knife or butter knife
Liquid dish soap
All-purpose cleaner (409, Fantastic, etc.)
Scrub brush (on broom handle)

Polypropylene rugs are often used as runners and protection for wood flooring because they retain their color so well and are easily maintained. Routine vacuuming of the rug is strongly advised to keep dirt from grinding into the fibers, but every so often, a mess will require a more thorough job. Learn what procedures and materials you can use to lift difficult messes from your polypropylene rugs before they can set in.

Note: Keep in mind that after deep cleaning your rug, if there is any soap residue, it will attract dirt. The same is true if you are tempted to use fabric softener.

Step 1 - Vacuum Debris

As mentioned before, be sure to maintain your polypropylene rugs by vacuuming on a regular basis to keep dust from getting ground into the fibers. If a spill on your rug has left debris, vacuum the extra particles before proceeding with spot cleaning.

Step 2 - Spot Clean

If possible, blot the mess or stain immediately with a clean, dry cotton rag. Then, if necessary, use a putty knife or butter knife to scrape off any food or other stuck-on debris from rug. Vacuum once again to remove scraped debris.

Step 3 - Clean Stain

In a bucket, mix a small amount (one to two teaspoons) of liquid dish detergent with one cup of cold water. Rub the stain with a sponge wet with the soapy water. Then, blot the area with a clean dry rag. You may have to repeat this process a couple times to fully lift a stain, so be persistent.

Step 4 - Clean the Entire Rug

If the entire rug needs cleaning, after vacuuming, place it outside on a concrete surface (preferably sloped). Hose it down, wetting it thoroughly; either spray entire surface with cleaner (409 or Fantastic) or pour liquid soap directly onto the surface. With a scrub brush, work the cleaner/soap into the carpet, and then rinse rug thoroughly with hose until water runs clear. Lay the rug on a flat surface to dry, turning frequently. If you have a strong enough clothesline, lay the rug over line instead.

In the event that you still have trouble getting rid of the stain, you can take your polypropylene rugs to a professional dry cleaner instead. And, as always, the earlier you clean up the mess, the better off you will be. A stain that sits too long is always that much harder to remove.