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How to Wash a Rug in the Washing Machine? Easy Carpet Cleaning at Home

Nothing can warm up your home like a lovely area rug. Any room, from the bedroom to the living room to the kitchen and beyond, benefits from the dimension, color, and character that a well-chosen rug brings to the design.

Traditionally, deep cleaning rugs have been a bit of a hassle, requiring a trip to the dry cleaner, the in-home assistance of a carpet cleaning expert, or the homeowner steam cleaning with a bulky carpet cleaner that needs a specific carpet shampoo or cleaning solution.

The typical area rug may endure a lot, and even after vacuuming, dirt and stains can make them look worn. In this post, let’s learn how to wash a rug in the washing machine and tips to do it in the right way.

Steps to clean a rug in the washing machine

Some simple safety measures should be taken before washing rugs in the washing machine to protect both the carpet and your washer:

  •   A rug with rubber backing may be washed. It should be completely safe as long as you refrain from using bleach or a dryer. The heat from the dryer may accelerate deterioration while bleach may cause the rubber to flake off.
  •   While learning how to wash a rug in the washing machine, always check the care label on your rug to see if there are any specific washing requirements. To prevent damage, heed the instruction that the rug should only be dry cleaned if it is stated on the label.
  •   Ensure that your rug is compact enough to fit in the washer. Use a laundromat's larger industrial washer if your rug is too huge or you're washing more than two or three smaller carpets.
  •   To keep your washer operating effectively after washing your carpets, you might wish to clean it.

Here are 5 easy tips on how to wash a rug in a washing machine.

Remove more dirt and dust by shaking

Take it outside to shake off extra dirt before washing a rug in the washing machine to lessen the load on the washer. Give the rug strong shaking with your hands several times or bang it against a solid surface. Pet hair and grime that could otherwise clog the washer will be eliminated as a result.

Treat stains immediately

Before washing a rug in the laundry, take care of any major stains for cleaner results. Use an old toothbrush to gently rub in the detergent after applying it directly on the stain. Before washing, give the detergent 15 minutes to sit.

Ensure proper washer loading

A rug should be properly loaded into the washing for the best results. Depending on the kind of machine you have, here is how to load the rug:

  •   Position the rug evenly all around the agitator of a top-loading washer. To balance, add more bath towels as necessary.
  •   Wash two small rugs together in a front-loading washer or add one or two bath towels to the load to balance it.

Wash in a gentle mode

Use cold water, your regular detergent, and the delicate cycle to wash a rug in the washing machine. If you'd like, add bleach; for rubber-backed rugs, use only oxygen-based bleach.


Although it will take more time, air drying your rug will prevent shrinkage and fading. Simply hang your rug over a fence or railing, over a clothesline, or a drying rack to keep it out of direct sunlight. Use a low-heat iron or the dryer's tumble dry low cycle if the rug is extremely wrinkled after drying.

Do’s and don’ts of washing rugs in the washing machine

When it comes to time and money, throwing a mat or rug in the washer can be a lifesaver. However, it's crucial to consider the mat's size, fabric type, and cleaning chemicals to avoid doing irreparable damage.

It is important to learn how to wash a rug in the washing machine properly, including reading the label, vacuuming the rug, and using mild detergent and cold water. Don't include overloading the machine, using hot water, bleach, and other chemicals. Following a wash, it is important to let the rug air dry, use a fan or air conditioner, and stay out of direct sunlight to avoid color loss.

The rug's material is the first thing you need to think about. As long as you take the appropriate precautions, it's generally safe to wash wool, cotton, and synthetic carpets in the washing machine. Second, the rug's size is more crucial than you might realize. Stuffing a rug, the size of a football field into a little washer is not a good idea. Last but not least, you must be careful with the detergent and cycles you employ. High heat and abrasive detergents can harm the rug.

List of Do’s

Check the label for the manufacturer's instructions

Although washing a rug may seem like a difficult process, with the correct equipment and experience, you can complete it successfully without harming your priceless item.

Rug washing is the monster in the closet that people continually want to stay away from. Cleaning rugs can be quite intimidating, but you can find easy, approachable, and helpful advice that will make it as simple as taking a big breath.

Check the label of your rug before washing it to see whether the manufacturer has supplied any specific washing instructions. The easiest method to get to know your rug well is to follow the instructions, which are there for a reason. Finding out what temperature they prefer and what type of detergent you can use, not taking them out to supper. It's crucial to follow the manufacturer's directions to prevent any unintentional harm to the rug.

Vacuum the rug to get rid of any dirt or particles

Before machine washing your rug, it's critical to remove any dirt or debris. The rug can be thoroughly vacuumed to accomplish this. By taking this precaution, you may avoid causing the rug in your washing machine any additional damage and make sure that any loose dirt or debris won't block the drainage system.

Use cold water and a light detergent to avoid damaging the rug and maintain its color. It's crucial to wash your rug in the washing machine with cold water and moderate detergent. This will stop the rug from suffering any harm, like stretching out or losing color.

Never use hot water or harsh chemicals since they can cause discoloration or shrinkage. Keep in mind that not every rug type will be suitable for washing in a washing machine. It's recommended to speak with a reputable rug cleaner if you're unsure whether or not your rug can be machine washed.

Follow the manufacturer's washing recommendations exactly, vacuum the rug first, use a light detergent and cold water to prevent damage, and preserve color to extend the life of your rug.

List of don’ts

Use cold or hot water sparingly

You must be cautious to avoid damaging the fibers when washing rugs in the washing machine. As a rug enthusiast, you are aware that each rug is special and priceless, thus you must handle them carefully.

Using hot or warm water is strongly discouraged. The fibers of the rug will shrink as a result, possibly irreversibly harming them. To preserve the integrity of the rug fibers and avoid damage, it is advisable to use cold water.

Avoid using bleach

Bleach is a potent substance that will stain and damage the fibers of your rug. At all costs, avoid using this product. Use a gentle detergent that won't degrade the rug's quality or color in the event of stains or dirt. To guarantee that a cleaning solution doesn't destroy the entire rug, always try it in a tiny, discrete area first.

Don't fill the washing machine to the top level

Small batches must be used while washing a rug in the washing machine. The machine may produce inconsistent washing or possibly sustain harm if it becomes improperly loaded. Place the rug inside the machine, give it the freedom to circulate, and allow it to spin gently and evenly to guarantee consistent cleaning.

When washing rugs, it is imperative to handle each one carefully and attentively. By avoiding these mistakes, you may ensure that your rug retains its value and beauty and can be handed down through the generations. Pay attention to the rug's fibers and washing instructions to avoid any damage.

Note: Use cold water, stay away from bleach, wash rugs in small batches, and handle them carefully while washing them in a washing machine.

Rugs that you should not wash in the washing machine

Natural fiber rugs are typically either not machine washable or not washable at all. Any kind of wool, silk, or jute rug falls within this category. These rugs' carpet fibers will absorb and retain water, making the drying procedure challenging.

Additionally, they should be professionally cleaned by the manufacturer's instructions because they are typically too heavy for any kind of washing machine. A shag rug or even a synthetic sheepskin rug shouldn't be machine washed since they are simply too heavy and will become waterlogged. Some synthetic rug designs should also be avoided.

Many additional washable area rugs are made of lighter-weight cotton, synthetic fiber, or mixes of these materials. You may wash a microfiber rug or a lightweight cotton rug in your washing machine.

Additionally, some rugs have a detachable rug "cover" that can be removed from its rubber backing and washed in a washing machine. In general, washable carpets have a tighter weave and a deeper pile since they will perform better in a washing machine.

Best practices for rug maintenance

Area rugs can be the final touch in home decor, tying together different design elements and unifying a space. A woven rug offers the home remarkable beauty and warmth. A rug can last for many generations if properly maintained. Your rugs can remain lovely if you adhere to a few straightforward rules.

Five crucial principles can be distilled down into basic rug care suggestions:

  •   Adjust the Rug Rotation to Foot Traffic
  •   Cleanup Spills Professionally Right Away Every few years
  •   Employ a rug pad
  •   Regular vacuuming will prevent dirt and other debris from being trapped in the fibers of your rug. To maintain the finest possible appearance for your carpeting, do this.

Check Out our collection of Washable Rugs


What is the best way to wash rugs in the washing machine?

The best way to wash rugs in the washing machine is by tossing in the rugs and adding a mixture of mild detergent and water to them. If you are washing on a high-speed mode, make sure you through in another rug or some towels to restrict the damage of the rug fibers.

Will an 8x10 rug fit into the washing machine?

Yes, it is possible to fit an 8x10 rug into the washing machine considering that the material is not too hard or something like leather.

How big of a rug can I put inside the washing machine?

It is possible to wash almost all sizes of rugs in the washing machine including 9x12 rugs. However, if you are putting in larger rugs make sure to fold it properly to restrict any damage.

Can I wash any type of rug in the washing machine?

Yes, mostly all rugs are perfectly fit to undergo cleaning in the washing machine considering they are made of synthetic or cotton fibers. However, checking is mandatory for leather or rubber back ones before chucking them into the machine.

What types of rugs can be safely washed in a washing machine?

Any rugs made of synthetic fibers, cotton, or rubber with non-slip back covers are eligible for washing machine cleaning.

How do I dry the rug after washing it?

Air-drying the rug is the best option, but before that wringing all the excess water is very important. Since twisting the carpet is a tedious option, you can hold it between two towels and squeeze out the moisture.


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