You can wash your rug by machine or by hand if it’s composed of synthetic fibers or cotton. Some of the popular synthetic fibers include nylon, olefin, polyester, viscose, and polypropylene. Even if the rug has a rubber, non-slip backing, it can be machine washed, as well as woven or braided rugs. However, if the rug is made out of natural fibers, then it’s not safe to wash in the machine. Some natural fibers your rug may be made of include seagrass, sisal, jute, wool, or any other animal furs/skins.
If you already have a rug, but you’re not sure if it’s washable or not, check on the back to see if there’s a label on the back that lists the rug’s materials and composition.
Why Decorate with a washable rug?
Some areas of the house get extra dirt in them, such as entryways, kitchens, and living rooms. Decorating with a washable area rug takes away some of the stress of needing to keep the rug absolutely perfect, since you know that you can wash it and get it back to its original beauty. Whether it’s mud from the great outdoors, food from meal preparations, or an enthusiastic pet who doesn’t know how to wipe his paws, decorating with a washable rug in these high traffic areas is a perfect way to keep a beautiful rug while not stopping life from entering the home.
Choosing the best washable rug for you
Color/Pattern - When deciding on a color, think about the general tone of the room. Is this a room that you want vibrant and lively, or a room that is more mellow and peaceful? Also look around and see what other furniture you’re going to have in the room. Neutral furniture and neutral rugs can pair well together, but the more neutral the furniture, the more opportunity you have to add in a pop of unexpected color. In fact, choosing a rug can help guide you through decorating the rest of the room. If you choose a rug that has reds and teals in it, then that may guide you towards wall art that has the same color scheme, or pillows, or blankets, or any other accents you want to add to the room.
Style - There are many design styles out there, and rugs sometimes fit into a particular design style or serve as a bridge between different styles. Persian rugs and oriental rugs are both great examples of a rug that fits into multiple styles, such as traditional, transitional, and even modern design. So if your room blends design styles, choose a rug that can serve as a bridge between those styles.
Rooms/Outdoor - Washable area rugs can fit into any room of the house, or even outside the house. There are great benefits to placing washable rugs in the high traffic areas of the entryway, living room, and kitchen, but it can be handy in any part of the house. A child’s room in particular can see some extra love, and so can the laundry area where you may have the cat’s litter box. Ultimately, you know the traffic of your home, and you know that messes can happen just about anywhere, so having a washable rug just makes sense.
Material/Durability - Choose a rug for its look, feel, and durability. Cotton is a common fabric that is soft, machine washable, and affordable, but it’s not as durable as other materials. Synthetic rugs are also easy to clean and even work well outdoors, though some say that they don’t always feel luxurious. Even so, synthetic rugs are durable and comfortable.
Size/Shape - The size and shape of the rug is very dependent on the room you are trying to decorate. Larger rectangular area rugs fit well in living rooms and dining rooms, while runners work well in entryways, kitchens, and laundry rooms. Whenever you’re working in a larger area, also think about adding in a different shaped rug such as a round rug, a square one, an oval rug, or something truly unique like an animal hide.
Popular sizes for living rooms, bedrooms, offices, and dining rooms include: 5x7, 8x10, and 9x12. Bathrooms often will use a 2x3 or a 3x5 rug. Entryways can use any size between a 2x3 to a 5x8, since they vary so largely insize.
Frequently Asked Questions about Machine Washable Rugs
What kind of rugs are machine washable?
Washable rugs are available in a variety of materials, both synthetic and natural these include cotton, polyester, olefin/polypropylene
How big of a rug can i put in the washing machine?
Make sure your rug is small enough to fit in the washer properly or use a laundromat's larger commercial washer.
How long does it take an area rug to dry after cleaning?
It will take 6-10 hours for your carpet to dry after it is cleaned, but it could take up to 24 hours depending on the conditions in your home.
Ideas and Advice
Check out our latest how to's + design tips to find the perfect rug for your space.