The scene of the crime

Choose a flat area such as a concrete driveway, wooden deck, or pool surround. A gently sloping driveway is a good choice. Make sure it is clean and large enough, has a nearby environmentally safe drain (some municipalities will not let you put suds into the drain) and a plentiful supply of water. Watch the weather and choose a time when you have a few fine warm and even windy days ahead. There is usually only one or two seasons suitable in most climatic zones, and they around spring/summer.


Water, Water, there is never enough water! Have at least 2 garden hoses on hand and more if your victim is roomsize. Brushes - two, a nail brush for small areas and fringes and a soft brickies brush. Hard brushes are out! Better to use a straw handbroom or bare hands. 
A squeegee. Not the window cleaners’ rubber type. You may have to make your own from a piece of pine about a foot or 30cms long and big enough to hold. Something around 3x1inch or75x25mm. Sand off one horizontal edge to pencil roundness

The Victim

What sort of rug is it? Is it heavy, light, old, new, damaged, stained etc.You should not attempt a badly stained rug nor should you wash a valuable antique rug yourself. You should not wash a carpet too big or heavy for you to turn over when wet. 3x2metres or 6x9ft is usually the householder’s maximum.


Running dyes are your biggest problem. Certain types of rug are out. Such as Nain, Turkmen(istan), much Iranian and Turkish village products as well as Afghan mowri etc. The list is endless. The colours that run can be deceptive, also. ie. Blue is nearly always a safe colour but it is a running colour in 1960’s and 70’s Ardebils, even though other Azerbaijan rugs of the period all have good blues! Generally the more synthetic or hard/saturated a colour looks the more likely it is to run. ie. Most bright oranges run as do a lot of dark maroons. There are some tricky strange greens. The older a carpet the less likely it is to run with good old 100% vegetable dyed rugs totally safe.