Should I Mop Under My Rug?

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It is very important to take care of your floors. One way to protect them is with an area rug. Not only do area rugs add to the decor and make any room feel finished and cozy, but an area rug is a great way to protect your floors.

How does the floor get dirty under my rug?

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Not many people think about the floor after the area rug is put down, but they should. Rugs can trap dirt which could get through the weave and onto the floor below if there is no rug padding between the rug and the floor. That trapped dirt can cause micro scratches on the floor by the slight movements of the rug.

Having a rug pad does not assure your floor will stay clean beneath the rug. Since there are many kinds of rug pads look for a quality pad that will protect your floor. A rug pad does not last forever. Felt pads can break down over the years and the felt can shed. Rubber area rug pads can dry and crack over time leaving the rug vulnerable to movement. This break down of materials needs to be cleaned up.

Other hazards to floors covered by an area rug include house-trained pets. Pets can have accidents and these accidents are not always noticed on an area rug. Pet urine can seep through the rug and the rug pad causing damage to wood floors. Household members and guests can accidentally spill a drink on an area rug. This, too, can seep through the carpet even after sponged clean. So, in other words, your protected floor can be living a life of its own that needs remediation.

How often should I mop under my rug?

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Pick a scheduled time to clean your floors. Area rugs should be cleaned once a year, maybe longer between cleanings for rooms with less traffic. Do a maintenance check on your area rugs and the floor underneath. Schedule more frequently if there is a pet in the house.

Use this time to change the decor in your home. If you are taking your rug to get cleaned, put down a fresh one in a color or design to mark the season. Consider a light weave for the summer, a plush rug for the winter.

Caring for your rug

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Cleaning instructions for your rug depend on the material it is made of. Some area rugs are washable, others need professional cleaning. Consult the label under your rug for instructions or call a rug specialist for information. A local carpet cleaning company can help, as well as professionals at online companies like

To clean your floor, you need to roll up your area rug. Carefully remove any furniture sitting on the rug and vacuum thoroughly. Then, roll your rug and carry it to a safe place so you can mop your floors. Look at the bottom of your rug as you roll it. Do you see any watermarks or stains? That would indicate the rug pad needs cleaning, too.

Remove the rug pad and assess whether you should buy a new one. You can tell it needs replacing if it is coming apart or sticking to the floor. If your rug has water stains underneath, your padding had water seeping into it. When laying the rolled carpet on the floor, discourage people in your household from walking or sitting on it, as this could damage the backing of the rug.

Caring for the floor

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With the rug removed, clean your floors using a microfiber mop so your floor does not scratch from any abrasive dirt that has collected under the area rug. A tile floor can handle sweeping followed by a wet mop with floor cleaning detergent. Mop your floor, mop again with clean water.

Wood floors will need extra care especially if you found water damage from a spill or pet accident. Consult a floor specialist for this problem, otherwise, use the recommended cleaner your flooring company suggests to remove the dirt and preserve the finish on the wood.

How to clean under a small room area rug

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A small room area rug is easy to move. First, remove furniture sitting on it. Vacuum the area rug well, then roll the rug away from the area it currently sits. Remove the padding by rolling it, too. Mop the floor using the appropriate cleanser. After the floor is completely dry, unroll the carpet back to its original spot and replace furniture.

How to clean under a large room area rug

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A room with a large area rug may present a few challenges to get the floor under the rug clean. But it is worth the effort. It is easier if you have a professional come to take the carpet away for cleaning, but if you choose not to clean the area rug, follow these instructions to get the carpet removed and the floor clean.

First, remove all furniture sitting on the rug. Vacuum the area rug well. Decide where you will put it while you mop the floor. Roll the area rug in the direction of your holding spot. Next, roll the rug padding in the same direction. Clean the floor with an appropriate cleaner, and after the floor is dry, replace the rug pad, followed by the rug. Replace furniture and enjoy your clean room.

Don’t forget to clean the exposed areas of the floor.

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