General Care Tips: How Do You Clean Runner Rugs?

With regular care, your rug will last for decades to come. As tempting as it might be, never dry clean your rug. While it might sound nice, dry cleaning is actually a very aggressive cleaning method and does more harm than good. Instead, try the following methods for washing your runner rugs.

Vacuum Regularly

We recommend that you regularly vacuum your runner rug to remove dirt and grime. Depending on how heavily your rug is used, just once or twice a month is adequate. Too much vacuuming can wear down the knots and fibers more quickly. If you have a suction attachment on your vacuum cleaner, use that instead of a rotary vacuum.

Every few months, you’ll want to flip your rug over and vacuum the back to get the grit out of the foundation of the rug. It also helps to rotate your rug once a year to ensure even wear over time.

Can I Wash A Rug Runner in the Washing Machine?

Unless your runner rugs have specific instructions stating it can be washed in the washing machine, you should avoid this. Instead, you should get your rug professionally hand-washed every couple of years.

Professionally Hand-Washed Tips

Every 3-5 years, we recommend getting your rug professionally hand-washed. Hand-washing uses a pH-balanced shampoo that is gently worked into the rug by hand with a soft-bristled brush. It is then rinsed thoroughly. These steps are repeated several times.

Again, you want to avoid getting it steamed or dry cleaned as it causes significant damage to your runner rug.

Specific Care Instructions Based On Runner Rug Type

If You Have a Morrocan Runner Rug

Moroccan rugs, also called Amazigh or Berber rugs, are known for their asymmetrical beauty. It’s important to wash your Morrocan runner rug often, as dust and dirt can accumulate and erode the fibers over time. To clean your rug, you can either shake it outside at least once per week or vacuum it.

Once or twice per year, you’ll want to flip the rug over and vacuum the back as well. You can also hang your Morrocan runner rug out in the hot sun for a couple of hours once per year, which is a natural way to give it a good clean.

How Do You Clean a Woven Runner Rug?

For spills on woven runner rugs, you’ll want to act quickly and the type of spill will help determine your washing method. If the spill is non-oily and organic (such as wine) you can use a paper towel or cloth to blot the liquid. Add small amounts of water as needed and continue to blot several times until the stain is removed.

Do not scrub the stain. This will only damage the fibers of your woven runner rug and cause the stain to run deeper into the rug. If blotting with small amounts of water isn’t removing the stain, you can try using a diluted mild detergent (such as a dishwashing soap mixed with water). Add this mixture and blot, repeating several times.

For oily spills, try using a spoon to scoop and remove the excess oil, followed by blotting and using small amounts of water to remove the stain.

If none of these methods work for you, your best bet is to take your runner rug to a professional to be hand-washed.

If You Have a Flatweave Runner Rug

Flatweave runner rugs with Revival include our Kilims, Steppe, and The Panel Collection. If you spill on a flatweave runner rug you’ll want to blot the spill until it’s dry. Do not add any liquid to it, as this will only cause the spill to go deeper into the fibers of the rug.

What To Avoid

Rotary Vacuums

When you do vacuum your runner rug, you’ll want to avoid vacuums that contain rolling cylinder brushes at the bottom, known as beater bars. They tend to reduce the rug’s lifespan by pulling on the fibers of the rug.

Stain Cleaners

Stain cleaners are often loaded with harsh, toxic chemicals and will only damage your runner rug further. Therefore, we recommend avoiding them. If you have stubborn stains, you should take your run to a professional to be hand-washed.


Steamers might sound like a deep cleanse for your runner rug, but similar to stain cleaners, they will only cause more harm. Steamers essentially turn all the dirt and grime in your rug into liquid, while also stripping the wool fibers of their natural oils. Again, we recommend getting your runner rug professionally hand-washed for those tough-to-remove stains.

About Revival

Revival curates one-of-a-kind, high-quality handmade rugs and home decor from around the world. Our styles are original, design-centric rugs fresh off the loom to your home. With operations in the U.S., Turkey, Morocco, and India, the Revival Rugs teams visit suppliers regularly to make sure our products meet our quality specifications, and that workers are treated fairly. We simplify the process, eliminating steep markups and costs that don’t add value.

We believe that rugs have the power to transform any space. Transform yours today.