Can I Wash a Rug in the Washing Machine?

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The average area rug can take a beating, so much so that dirt and stains can leave it looking dingy even after vacuuming. So, how to give it a safe and effective refresh? Your trusty washer can do the trick! We’ll detail how to wash a rug in the washing machine with the right settings and cleaning methods so it looks like new.

Wash a Rug in the Washing Machine With These Safe and Simple Steps

Using the washer presents some considerations to avoid damaging both your rug and your machine. Our simple steps detail how the right preparation and techniques can enable you to wash a rug in the washing machine safely. But first, here’s what to consider when washing your rug.

Is it Safe to Wash a Rug in the Washer?

Before washing your rug, some basic precautions can ensure the safety of both your rug and your washer: 

  • Always read your rug’s care label to determine if there are specific washing instructions. If the label says the rug is dry clean only, follow that recommendation to avoid damage.
  • Can you wash a rug with rubber backing? As long as you avoid using bleach or your dryer, it should be perfectly safe. Bleach can cause the rubber to flake off while the dryer’s heat may cause deterioration.
  • Make sure your rug is small enough to fit in the washer properly. If your rug is too large or you’re washing more than 2 or 3 smaller rugs, use a laundromat’s larger commercial washer.
  • You may want to clean your washer after washing your rugs to keep it running efficiently.

Here’s how to wash a rug in the washing machine in 5 simple steps.

#1. Shake off Excess Dirt and Dust

Before you wash a rug in the washing machine, ease your washer’s burden by taking the rug outside to shake off excess dirt. Bang the rug against a sturdy surface or give it several good shakes with your hands. This will remove pet hair and dirt that could otherwise clog the washer.

#2. Pre-treat Stains

Addressing significant stains before you wash a rug in the washer can lead to cleaner results. Apply detergent directly to the stain and rub it in gently with an old toothbrush. Allow the detergent to sit for 15 minutes before washing.

#3. Load the Washer Properly

The best way to wash a rug in the washer is to load it properly. Here’s how to load the rug depending on your type of machine:

  • Front Load Washer: Wash two small rugs together or with 1-2 bath towels to balance the load.
  • Top-Loading Washer: Position the rug evenly around the agitator. Add bath towels as needed for balancing.
best way to wash a rug
Image: Ruggable

#4. Wash on a Gentle Setting

Wash a rug in the washing machine on a delicate cycle with cold water and your usual detergent. Add bleach, if preferred, using only oxygen-based bleach for rubber-backed rugs.

#5. Air Dry

Though air drying your rug will take longer, using the dryer can lead to shrinking and fading. Simply hang your rug on a drying rack, clothesline, or over a fence or railing, keeping it out of direct sunlight. If the rug is very wrinkled after drying, place it in the dryer on a tumble dry low cycle or use an iron with low heat.

When it comes to your laundry appliances, the Gilbert washer experts at Tiger Mechanical have all the answers. Call us for any questions or concerns!

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