Can You Put Rugs in the Washer? Safe Cleaning Tips

Have you ever wondered if it’s safe to clean your rugs in the washing machine? It can be a time-consuming task to hand clean them or take them to a professional cleaner. But is using a washing machine really a viable option for washing your rugs? Let’s find out!

Machine washable rugs are becoming increasingly popular among homeowners. They offer convenience and ease of cleaning, especially for those with busy schedules. But are they truly safe to put in the washer? Are there any special care instructions you need to follow to avoid damage to your rugs or your washing machine?

In this article, we will delve into the dos and don’ts of washing rugs in the washer. We will provide you with safe cleaning tips and proper rug care instructions to ensure that your rugs come out clean and intact after a machine wash.

Key Takeaways:

  • Machine washable rugs are a convenient option for many homeowners.
  • Follow safe cleaning tips to avoid damaging the rugs or the washing machine.
  • Check the care label on your rug for any specific washing instructions.
  • Shake the rug outside to remove loose dirt and treat stains before washing.
  • Proper loading, cold water, mild detergent, and gentle cycle are essential for washing rugs in the machine.

How to Wash a Rug in the Washing Machine

Before washing a rug in the washing machine, there are a few steps you should follow to ensure a successful cleaning process.

Firstly, check the care label on your rug for any specific washing instructions. This is important as certain rugs may have special requirements or limitations when it comes to machine washing.

Next, shake the rug outside to remove any loose dirt and debris. This step helps to minimize the amount of dirt that ends up in your washing machine.

If you notice any stains on the rug, it is advisable to treat them prior to washing. There are various rug stain removers available in the market that can help tackle different types of stains.

Proper loading is crucial, especially for top-loading machines with agitators. Make sure the rug is distributed evenly in the machine to prevent any imbalance during the wash cycle.

When it comes to selecting the wash settings, opt for cold water and the gentle cycle. Cold water helps to protect the fibers of the rug and prevent any color bleeding. Additionally, use a mild detergent specifically formulated for delicate fabrics.

After the wash cycle is complete, it is important to air-dry the rug. Avoid using a dryer as the high heat may cause shrinkage or fading. Instead, hang the rug outdoors or lay it flat in a well-ventilated area until it is completely dry.

By following these steps, you can safely and effectively clean your machine-washable area rugs, keeping them fresh and vibrant for years to come.

Do’s and Don’ts of Washing Rugs in the Washing Machine

When it comes to washing rugs in the washing machine, following the do’s and don’ts is crucial to avoid any potential damage to both the rugs and the machine. By adhering to these guidelines, you can ensure that your rugs remain in excellent condition and extend their lifespan.

Do Check the Label for Manufacturer’s Instructions

Before washing any rug in the machine, always refer to the label for specific care instructions provided by the manufacturer. These instructions may include any special considerations or precautions tailored to the rug’s material or construction.

Do Vacuum the Rug Before Washing

Prior to washing the rug, make sure to thoroughly vacuum it to remove any loose dirt, dust, or debris. This step will help prevent these particles from getting trapped in the washing machine or potentially damaging the rug during the wash cycle.

Do Use Cold Water and a Light Detergent

When selecting the wash settings for your rugs, opt for cold water instead of hot water. Cold water is gentler on the rug’s fibers, reducing the risk of shrinkage or color fading. Additionally, choose a mild or gentle detergent specifically designed for delicate fabrics.

Do Air-Dry the Rug

After washing the rug in the machine, avoid using the dryer as high heat can cause the rug to shrink or lose its shape. Instead, air-dry the rug by laying it flat on a clean, dry surface. Allow it to dry completely before placing it back on the floor.

Don’t Overload the Machine

It’s important not to overload the washing machine when washing rugs. Overloading can prevent the rug from getting properly cleaned and may put too much strain on the machine, leading to potential damage or malfunction.

Don’t Use Hot Water or Bleach

Avoid using hot water or bleach when washing rugs in the machine. Hot water can cause the rug’s colors to fade or bleed, while bleach can damage the rug’s fibers. Stick to cold water and gentle detergents to protect the rug’s integrity.

Don’t Use High Heat in the Dryer

Using high heat in the dryer is not recommended for rugs. High heat can cause the rug to shrink, warp, or lose its original shape. Always opt for air-drying to preserve the rug’s appearance and structural integrity.

washing machine safe rugs

Rugs that Should Not be Washed in the Washing Machine

While many rugs can be safely washed in the washing machine, it’s important to know which ones should not. Natural fiber rugs such as wool, silk, and jute should be professionally cleaned instead of being machine washed. These delicate materials require special care to maintain their texture and appearance.

Shag rugs and synthetic sheepskin rugs should also be avoided when it comes to machine washing. Due to their long fibers and density, these rugs can easily become waterlogged and suffer damage or deformation in the washer. It’s best to utilize alternative cleaning methods for these types of rugs, such as spot cleaning or professional dry cleaning.

Additionally, rugs with rubber backing should be treated with caution. Machine washing can cause the rubber to detach or flake off, compromising the rug’s non-slip properties. If your rug has rubber backing, consider using other cleaning methods such as hand washing or vacuuming to maintain its integrity.

By understanding the materials and construction of your rug, you can ensure that it receives the appropriate care it needs. Always check the manufacturer’s instructions and follow the recommended cleaning methods. This way, you can keep your rugs looking their best and extend their lifespan, even if they can’t be cleaned in the washing machine.


Can you put rugs in the washer?

Yes, many rugs can be safely washed in the washing machine. However, it is important to follow proper cleaning techniques to avoid damaging the rugs or the machine.

What are some safe cleaning tips for rugs?

Before washing a rug in the washing machine, check the care label for any specific instructions. Shake the rug outside to remove loose dirt and treat stains. Use cold water, a mild detergent, and the gentle cycle. Air-dry the rug after washing to prevent shrinkage and fading.

How do I wash a rug in the washing machine?

To wash a rug in the washing machine, follow these steps: check the care label, vacuum the rug, use cold water and a light detergent, and air-dry the rug after washing.

What are the do’s and don’ts of washing rugs in the washing machine?

Do check the care label, vacuum the rug, use cold water and a mild detergent, and air-dry the rug. Don’t overload the machine, use hot water or bleach, or use high heat in the dryer.

What types of rugs should not be washed in the washing machine?

Natural fiber rugs like wool, silk, and jute are typically not machine washable and should be professionally cleaned. Shag rugs and synthetic sheepskin rugs should also be avoided. Rugs with rubber backing require special care to prevent the rubber from flaking off.

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