How to Clean a Punch Needle Rug

One day I decided that my living room needs general cleaning, including the punch needle rug, which lies on the floor there. But how to clean it safely without damaging its fragile cut loop pile? I explored this topic from top to bottom, and now I am ready to share the results with my readers.

Clean the punch needle rug with a HEPA vacuum cleaner 1-2 times per week. To keep the fragile pile of this carpet safe, set the vacuum on the hard floor mode. Annually do the wet cleaning of the punch needle rug. You may do it both, manually or in the washing machine. Get mild detergent for rugs of this kind. Don’t forget to dry the carpet pile carefully to avoid a mold appearance. Read further to know, how to clean punch needle rugs, made of various types of base fabric and yarn. 

5 Aspects to Take into Account before Cleaning the Punch Needle Rug

Punch Needle Rug

Everyone knows that it is necessary to maintain the punch needle rugs correctly for them to serve you for ages. When choosing the right methods for these rugs cleaning and the detergents for them, take into account the following aspects:

1. The material the punch needle rug is made of 

To create the punch needle rug, you need to choose the right fabric as the base of the future rug and the yarn for the embroidery. Of course, the cleaning method of the rug and the cleaners you use for that depend on both, the rug base material and the yarn. The most popular base fabrics for punch needle rugs are:

Monk’s Cloth Cleaning

Monk’s Cloth Cleaning

Monk’s cloth is the most popular basis for punch needle carpets. This even-weave cotton-based cloth has special holes, which are ideal for the punch needle to create loops. 

You can wash the rugs with monk’s cloth as a base in the washing machine. Use the delicate cycle of the washing machine for that. You can wash this rug with mild detergent in warm water. Then dry the rug, based on the monk’s cloth, thoroughly.


If your punch needle rug’s basis is monk’s cloth, then before washing it, check its edges. They should have zig-zag stitches to keep the cloth together while washing. If there are no such stitches on the edges of the monk’s cloth, they will unravel during the washing process. So, refuse the wet cleaning in this case.

Linen Cloth Cleaning

Sometimes they use linen as the base cloth for this kind of rug. It’s a great choice, as in this case the rugs have a solid durable structure, which is easy to maintain.

You can clean the linen-based punch needle rugs both, manually and in the washing machine. For machine cleaning, use the gentle cycle. Add the mild detergent for delicate cloth to the washing machine tank. Then dry the rug.

Weaver’s Cloth Cleaning

This kind of punch needle rug base consists of a woven poly-cotton blend. Its firm structure is long-lasting and beautiful. 

If the base of your rug is weaver’s cloth, it’s better to wash it manually. Use the mild versatile detergent and a bowl with warm water to clean such a rug. Don’t rub the cloth roughly, just gently touch it in the warm water and then dry down naturally.

Other Cloth Cleaning Options

I’ve recommended to you, how to clean the rugs, based on the most popular kinds of fabrics. But there are many other variants, too. Thus, you can get the punch needle rug, based on flannel, denim, burlap, etc. To be sure, what cleaning regime is suitable for your case, check the care tag. 

If you are not sure, choose the most delicate detergent and the gentle cycle on your washing machine. Such a regime won’t ruin any kind of base fabric for punching the needle rug. 

2. The height of the carpet pile

punch needle rug

The punch needle rugs may have both, long or low piles. The low-piled punch needle rugs are easier to clean. Besides, it’s much faster to remove stains from the rug with a low pile. So, if your carpet has such 

kind of a pile, you may put it in the high traffic area, in the nursery or dining room.

The punch needle rugs with high piles look marvelous. But they are hard to maintain. First of all, you should use your fingers to take junk and pet hair from its surface regularly. Besides, it’s necessary to vacuum such rugs 2 or 3 times a week. It’s recommended to do the wet cleaning – manually or automatically – at least once a year.

3. The durability of punch needle carpet dyes

Of course, the method of rug cleaning depends on the quality of its thread dyes. If the craftsman used cheap synthetic yarn (like acrylic) for carpet embroidery, its colors can become faded after 1-2 washings. So, in this case, it is better to choose a dry cleaning method.

But if the thread in your punch needle rug is natural, like wool, cotton, sport weighed yarn, etc, its colors will be durable. So, you can wash the punch needle rug with such yarn in the washing machine. It won’t lead to the dyes’ discoloration.

4. The sealing of the punch needle rug loops with glue

fix the mat with glue

I advise you to buy the punch needle rug with the backing, sealed to its base fabric with carpet adhesive. The glue keeps the loops, made by the punch needle, steady. So, the rug, sealed with backing, will be more durable. Besides, you can wash it in the washing machine and won’t be afraid that your rug will be unraveled. 

5. Type of punch needle carpet pollution

Very often my readers ask me, how to clean their punch needle rug. But I can’t help them with it until I know what kind of dirt they have on their rug.

Regular dust and debris

Of course, the pile of punch needle rug gets dirty very often. The particles of dirt on the shoe sole, food remnants, pet and human hair, candy wrappers, etc accumulate on the rug pile regularly. To get rid of such kind of pollution, dry cleaning is suitable. So, in this case, you can clean the punch needle carpet with a broom and a dustpan or with a vacuum cleaner.

If you choose the second variant of dry cleaning, get a HEPA vacuum cleaner. To keep the fragile cut-loop pile of the punch needle rug safe, turn on the vacuum’s beater bar and switch it to the hard floor cleaning option. 

Annual wet cleaning

The wet cleaning of the punch needle rug is compulsory. Even if you vacuum the rug regularly, some parts of dust and dirt remain in the thick carpet pile. Some food remnants fall behind the rug backing. To keep the rug dyes bright and fresh, to keep the punch needle pattern clear, it’s necessary to do the wet cleaning annually.

punch needle rug

I’ve already described above how you can wash the rugs, made of different kinds of the base fabric. Very often you can find the information on carpet washing on its care tag.


This way of cleaning is suitable for any type of punch needle rug. Pour cool water into the bathtub or in the big bowl. Add the mild versatile detergent. Put the rug into the soapy water for 10-15 minutes. Then drain the extra water, rinse it and hang it on the rope to dry.

Removing various kinds of stains

The punch needle rug, which lies in the high traffic area, or the kids’ room, very often gets some stains on its surface. 

First of all, try to blot any kind of stains as fast as possible. Use the soft warm white cloth for it. 

Then, clean the punch needle rug with mild stain remover. You may get the one in the nearest store or make a solution with your own hands.

Homemade Punch Needle Rug Cleaning Solution

colored punch needle rug

You can use baking soda and salt, separately or together, on light rugs. You should scatter the soda-salt mixture on the rug’s surface. Then rub it with a soft cloth into the rug pile and left the mixture for 15-20 minutes. After that sweep soda-salt blend away and clean the punch needle rug with a vacuum cleaner. 

Salt and soda have an adsorbing effect, help to cope with stubborn stains and bad odors, and refresh the color of the punch needle rug.


To wrap up, before planning the punch needle rug process, define the material it is made of (the base fabric and the yarn). Choose the method of cleaning, suitable for this kind of carpet cloth and threads. The way of wet cleaning, suitable for most punch needle rugs, is to wash the item in soapy water manually and then rinse it. 

In addition to wet cleaning, vacuuming is also recommended. Use a HEPA vacuum on the hard floor mode to clean the pile of the rug.

Maintain the punch needle rug correctly, and it will look shine for a long time!

Nancy Adams

I am a fan of home decor, I devote all my free time to this activity. One of the most important components of home comfort is carpets & rugs and at the same time, it is one of the poorly covered topics on the Internet. Therefore, I decided to share my experience and knowledge in this niche.

Recent Posts