Can You Put Rugs in the Washing Machine

If you have rugs for long enough, the time will come that a simple vacuuming is not enough. As you know, without a deep cleaning, dirt, debris, stains, and allergens will start to pile up. The good news is that you can put smaller rugs in your washing machine.

How to Clean Rugs in the Washing Machine 

Most rugs, such as small cotton rugs and rubber-backed doormats, are machine washable. In they are made of synthetic fibers or cotton, you can toss them in your washing machine and wash them in cold water. However, you should not wash the rugs that come with rubber back too often because they will tear.

Here are the steps on how to clean your rugs in the washing machine:

Step #1: Read the Care Label

You will find the care label on the back of the rug. If it says machine washable, go for it. However, if it’s dry clean only, putting it on the machine will run colors.

Step #2: Give the Rug a Good Shake 

Take the rug outside and shake it off to remove as much hair, debris, and dirt as possible. It will help you prevent hair or dirt from winding up your machine. One way to do it effectively is by grabbing the rug’s one end and beat it against something.

Step #3: Treat Stains 

After giving your rug a good shake, you can start treating the tough stains. Pre-treating stains helps bring back its former look. If you know the type of stain, treat it accordingly. If you are clueless about the type, you can apply a small amount of liquid detergent to the spot. Then, rub it gently.

You can use a soft-bristled brush to gently scrub stains off. Allow the treatment to sit for fifteen minutes.

Step #4: Load the Washing Machine

Once stains are treated, it’s time to put the rug in the washing machine. If you have a top-load washer, ensure that the load is even on all sides. With a front-load washer, you can wash two rugs at one time.

Step #5: Set the Washing Machine 

set the machine to a delicate setting. Fill it with cold water. Then, add the detergent. Do not use chlorine bleach if you will clean a rug with rubber backing. That is because it causes the rubber to deteriorate. Instead, you can use an oxygen-based bleach.

Step #6: Dry the Rug 

Air-dry the rug on the dryer rack, clothesline, or sling it over the fence. Keep it away from direct sunlight to prevent the colors from fading. While it is tempting to toss it in the dryer, it causes shrinkage or damage to the back.

Alternative Cleaning Methods 

Besides using the washing machine, you can also clean your rug using other methods. In this section, you will learn how to clean rugs based on materials since particular rug types require specific cleaning care.

Grass, Rush, Sisal, and Coir Rugs

Rugs such as grass, rush, sisal, and coir are natural fibers that feature open weaves that sift through dirt, hair, or debris. They are also prone to discolorations and stains.

Step #1: Leave your rug in place.

Step #2: Use a towel and plastic drop cloth to protect beneath the rug.

Step #3: Scrub any stain or discoloration using a soft-bristled brush by dipping it in a soapy water.

Step #4: Rinse the rug using clear water.

Step #5: Place the towel unto the rug’s wet area and then blot the freshly cleaned spot.

Step #6: Use a hairdryer or portable fan to speed dry.

Sheepskin, Fur, and Hair-on Hides 

Rugs like sheepskin, fur, and hair-on hides look stylish at home. However, they tend to attract more dirt and dust. Follow the steps below and keep them fresh and clean at all times:

Step #1: Shake any unscented talcum powder of your choice on the rug. Leave it for a couple of hours.

Step #2: Gently brush the powder in between hair and shake it to fall out.

Step #3: Repeat the process multiple times. This will depend upon the fur’s length.

Step #4: Clean the back of the rug with cotton cloth. Dip the cloth in soapy, lukewarm water and wipe off spills or dirt.

Step #5: Dip a cloth in fresh, clean water to rinse.

Step #6: Allow the rug to dry before putting it back in place completely.

Oriental, Antique, and Hand-Knotted Rugs 

For timeless elegance and style, many people prefer using oriental, antique, and hand-knotted rugs. They are a popular choice for kitchens and high-traffic areas. That is why they require more attention than other types of rugs.

Don’t worry; you can enjoy their elegant look and functionalities for a long time by cleaning them regularly. The cleaning process is easy through the following steps:

Step #1: Vacuum the rug as you do with wool area rugs and carpets.

Step #2: Place a nylon screen over the rug to protect the rug from the vacuum cleaner.

Step #3: Weight it down with bricks or heavy books.

Step #4: Vacuum over the screen.

Step #5: Ensure there is no more debris, dirt, or hair before putting it back in place.

Braided and Woven Rugs 

If you want to add unique patterns and appealing colors at home, you can go for woven or braided rugs. Check out the steps below and learn how to keep them looking good.

Step #1: Place the rug on concrete or vinyl floor or place an old blanket beneath it.

Step #2: Sponge carpet-cleaning foam over the surface.

Step #3: Rub the rug according to the product directions.

Step #4: Finish by rinsing. You can also vacuum it.

Step #5: Air-dry the rug thoroughly before placing it back on the floor.

Final Thoughts

Area rugs help warm up your floors while providing patterns and colors into the space. They also create zones in the living quarters. However, they often come with debris and stains. So, it is critical to know how to clean them. Choose the appropriate cleaning method for your rug type and enjoy its lasting benefits.

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