How to Clean a Polypropylene Rug
As a less expensive rug material, you get more than your money’s worth with polypropylene. In fact, polypropylene rugs are made to be extra durable, so they can handle high-traffic areas where spills and stains are more likely to occur. On top of that, they’re super easy to clean. While it doesn’t take a lot of time or cleaning supplies to get rid of stains from this type of rug material, it’s important to go about it the right way. Read on for how to properly clean a polypropylene rug.
What You'll Need
Depending on the severity of your rug stain, you might use a paper towel, cloth, or sponge to remove it. Make sure to use a light-colored cloth or sponge for blotting to avoid transferring the dyes to your rug. Mild dish soap or dry-cleaning liquid can help to make stain removal more efficient.
Disclaimer: To make sure your dish soap or dry-cleaning liquid won’t discolor the polypropylene, you can test it in an out-of-the-way corner of the rug. You’ll also want to ensure that the water you use to blot the stain is cold. This will help to avoid any potential for heat damage.
As always, consult the manufacturer’s cleaning and care instructions before trying these methods.
Preparation for Stain Removal
Fortunately, polypropylene rugs are already treated to be stain-resistant for everyday situations. That said, oil-based stains can be more difficult to treat. And no stain – no matter the type – should be left to linger. Ideally, get to the stain before it’s settled. You’ll have a better chance of absorbing the stain when it’s wet.
Spot Cleaning Liquid vs. Solid Stains
Liquid stains: If you’re dealing with liquid stains, start as you would with any rug fiber. Grab a wash cloth or paper towel, wet it, and apply it gently to the stain. Gentleness is key so that you don’t force the stain to cling to the polypropylene. Working your way in towards the center of the stain will help to keep it from spreading across the rug.
If the stain is stubborn, add a teaspoon of dish soap to your cloth for a bit more cleaning strength. This is especially effective for grease stains, which polypropylene rugs are known to absorb quickly. If dish soap is not tough enough for these types of stains, having a dry-cleaning solvent on hand can be helpful. Once you feel like you’ve tackled the majority of the stain, vacuum up the area to remove any residue.
Solid stains: The process for solid stains is similar, but simpler. Skip the detergents and scrape away at the solids until the stain comes up. Silverware is typically sturdy enough to get the job done without fraying the polypropylene fibers.
Vacuuming vs. Steam Cleaning
It’s important to vacuum your polypropylene rug once a week to keep it looking fresh. Double these efforts if kids and pets wreak havoc on your rug. You can safely steam clean polypropylene without damaging your rug — in fact, it will lengthen the life of your rug to do this seasonally.
Even acting fast with the right cleaning agent, your rug might still need professional cleaning. However, because polypropylene rugs tend to be a cheaper investment, sometimes you’re better off buying a new rug from the same material, rather than seeking costly professional cleaning services.
Regular Rug Maintenance
If your polypropylene rug is in need of a general cleansing, the material is durable enough that you can spray it off and scrub it down. To wash your rug, simply toss it outside and pour a mixture of water and mild dish soap onto the affected areas. Massage the mixture into the fibers with a scrub brush and spray your rug down again to rinse.
To dry your polypropylene rug, it’s important to air dry only. The synthetic nature of the fibers makes them sensitive to heat, so they can melt in the dryer. As you air dry the rug, avoid laying it in direct sunlight — while the rug won’t fade, it shouldn’t be exposed to excessive heat.
Got a tricky stain that won’t quite lift? For more information on how to remove specific stains, such as urine and vomit, check out our guide on How to Get Stains Out of Carpet and Rugs.