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Rug Size Guides

Rug Cleaning  And Washing Machines: Things to know

Since rugs see so much traffic and dirt, they will need some sort of cleaning and care as time passes. Fortunately, machine washable area rugs are widely available and are known for being easy to maintain, easy to clean rugs for primary living spaces. Even with these machine washable rugs, there are important rules that must be followed to ensure that your rug is as clean as possible and to protect the lifespan of your rug.

Learn More About Carpet & Rugs

  1. Can You Wash a Rug in the Washer?
  2. Can You Dry a Rug in the Dryer?
  3. How to Wash a Rug in the Washing Machine
  4. What to Look for Before Washing your Rug

Can You Wash a Rug in the Washer?

Rugs that are specifically labeled as machine washable rugs may go in the washer as long as they fit inside of it. The benefits of machine washable rugs include just how easy they are to clean, how comfortable they are, and how diverse they are in designs and colors. With machine washable area rugs, you do not have to sacrifice beauty or comfort in the name of having an easy to clean rug; these rugs are just as stylish as others and are quite affordable. The rug’s material plays a large part in whether the rug is machine washable or not, and how easy to clean it is in general. Here is a brief list of materials and whether they are machine washable or not.

Queen Size Runner Rug

Materials That are usually machine wash friendly

  • Nylon
  • Olefin
  • Polyester
  • Viscose
  • Polypropylene
  • Cotton
  • Linen
  • Faux Fur
  • Other Synthetic Fibers

Rug Materials that aren't Machine wash friendly

  • Seagrass
  • Sisal
  • Jute
  • Wool
  • Animal Fur and Skins
  • Most Other Natural Fibers
Round rug for queen size bed

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Can You Dry a Rug in the Dryer?

Rugs should be air-dried, not dried in a machine dryer. If you attempt to dry your rug in a dryer, your rug may be damaged by the heat and tumbling and could even shrink due to the heat. Some machine washable rugs also feature rubber-backing, and when rugs with the rubber-backing are placed in the dryer, the backing will peel off the rug and remain stuck inside the dryer. Suffice to say, it is better for the health and life of your rug (and your dryer) if you air dry your rug instead.

Queen Size Runner Rug

How to Wash a Rug in the Washing Machine

Test for Colorfastness 

  • Colorfastness defines how resistant the rug is to color fading and dye-transfer. The simplest way to check colorfastness is to take a damp warm cloth or warm wet cotton swab and blot the rug. If there is color transfer, then this rug will likely dye the other fabrics it is being washed with. This is critical to consider, since you may throw in towels with the rug to balance the washer’s load. If you are unsure of the results of the blot test or not confident about the rug’s colorfastness, use towels that you don’t care about in the load to see if the color transfers to them.

Shake and vacuum the rug 

  • Before washing your rug, it is important to clean out any dirt or debris trapped inside the rug. Shaking your rug outside or beating it over a washline will help you remove that dirt, but you should still vacuum your rug to capture any loose dirt that may not have fallen out of the rug after shaking it. 

Spot treat stains 

  • Spot treat your rug’s stains following the care instructions for your rug’s material. Approved stain removers, dish soap, and other cleaners can be used to treat that stain. First, dampen the stain with a bit of water, and then apply your stain remover and rub it in with a soft-bristled brush. Leave the cleaner in the rug for about fifteen minutes to ensure it has the proper time to work. 

How to Wash a Rug in the Washing Machine (cont)


  • For top load washing machines, position your rug around the central agitator. Add one towel to each side of the agitator to balance the load. For front loading machines, two towels will balance the load. In both cases, the towels will help agitate the rug to remove dirt and stains. 


  • After your rug and towels are loaded, add your gentle laundry detergent to the washer’s drum or dispenser. Set your washer to a delicate cycle with cold water and then run for its standard time. 

Air dry 

  • Since rugs should not go in the dryer, we recommend hanging your rug on a washline to allow it to air dry. Your rug should lay flat as much as possible, so you may drape it over several clotheslines or find a flat place for it to lay. Be aware that your rug may take a full day to completely dry.
Round rug for queen size bed

What to Look for Before Washing your Rug

Stain Removals & Spot Cleaning

  • Even with machine washable rugs, spot cleaning should be done as soon as you notice a stain to treat it before it spreads further across the rug. If the stain appears without you noticing it, you should still treat the stain and spot clean it before placing the rug in the washing machine. This pre-treatment will help prepare your rug for washing and make the most of your machine washable rug.

Dry Clean Only Rugs

  • With rugs that are dry-clean only, you must take extra care in how you treat the rug’s stains. Regular vacuuming will protect and keep your rug clean, but you should take it to the dry cleaners when you notice stains or want to refresh your rug. 

Rubber Backed Rugs

  • Rubber backed rugs may still be machine washable, but you must be careful in your cleaning and drying methods. Bleach and heat both risk destroying the rubber or damaging it and creating flaking. 

Shag Rugs

  • Because of their pile height and long fibers, shag rugs hide a lot of dirt and debris. Vacuuming that rug once or twice a week will help you maintain the rug, but when it is time to machine wash it, put extra effort into shaking out the rug and beating it to remove dirt.

Both small and large rugs come in machine washable options, which makes adding a rug to your home an easy choice. Through the proper care and maintenance, these rugs are ideal for homes with heavy traffic, kids, pets, and general living. With the proper knowledge in hand, you may now confidently choose a washable rug perfectly suited to your home’s lifestyle and aesthetic.


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