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Ideas & Advice > Rug Size Guide > How to Wash a Washable Rug

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How to Wash a Washable Rug

Washable area rugs are becoming increasingly popular thanks to their low maintenance and easy cleaning. Aside from these great attributes, machine washable area rugs are also available in many different patterns, color palettes, and designs to suit whatever style your room falls into.

Learn More About Washable Rugs

  1. What is a Washable Rug?
  2. What are the Benefits of Washable Rugs
  3. Prepping Your Washable Rug
  4. Spot Cleaning Stains
  5. Using the Washing Machine
  6. How to Hand Wash Your Rug
  7. How to Dry a Washable Rug
  8. How to Fluff & Restore your Rug
  9. How Often you should Wash your Rug
  10. Storing a Washable Rug

What is a Washable Rug?

Washable rugs are exactly that: washable. These rugs are designed with specific materials and are crafted carefully so that they can be cleaned in a washing machine without being damaged in the process. Unlike other rugs, machine washable area rugs are made of materials like a polyester/cotton blend to ensure that the rug doesn’t shrink in the washer. The dyes these rugs use are also specifically chosen because they will not fade or run in the washing machine.

Queen Size Runner Rug

What are the Benefits of Washable Rugs

Convenience is perhaps the greatest benefit of washable rugs. All rugs need the proper care and cleaning, but with machine washable rugs, the cleaning process is extremely easy and quick. These rugs are often used in high traffic areas like entryways, foyers, or living rooms, since a lot of life and dirt can be transferred to these spaces. These rugs are also right at home in kitchens or dining rooms where you may accidently drop food or spill liquids. Along with that, washable rugs are a great fit for homes with children and pets.

Prepping Your Washable Rug

The cleaning process is easy for washable rugs, but that doesn’t mean that you can drop it straight into the washing machine. To effectively clean your rug, first remove any loose dirt and debris from the rug by shaking it out or vacuuming the rug. While you’re at it, look at the care instructions on the rug’s tag to map out your full cleaning process. Different rugs will often give you different instructions for detergents, wash settings, and temperatures, so it is important to start the process knowing how to properly clean your specific rug.

Round rug for queen size bed
Queen Size Runner Rug

Spot Cleaning Stains

Before throwing the rug into the washer, it’s a good idea to spot clean any stains on your rug. Ideally, you should treat stains as soon as they occur, but treating them after the fact can also help clean the spot or prep it to be removed in the washer’s deep cleaning. When cleaning your rug, use a mild soap or a specialized stain remover to treat your stain. If this is the first time using that type of cleaner, we recommend trying it on a less conspicuous area of the rug to test it. The last thing you want is to use the detergent in a prominent place and see the rug react negatively to it.

Using the Washing Machine

With those preparations done, you can now put your rug in the washing machine. Spread out the rug as best you can so that the weight is evenly distributed throughout the washing machine. Then, change your machine to the approved settings for your rug. Many machine washable rugs will tell you to use cold water and a mild bleach-free detergent. Even if that is a standard instruction, it’s paramount to look at your rug’s tag and instructions to ensure that you choose the proper setting. Not only will that ensure that your rug isn’t damaged in the washing process, but it will also help you achieve the best results.

Round rug for queen size bed

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Queen Size Runner Rug

How to Hand Wash Your Rug

If your washable rug is too large for the machine or you want a more hands-on approach to cleaning the rug, you can also hand wash your rug. We recommend placing the rug in a bathtub or large basin filled with the recommended water temperature. Gently work the detergent into your rug with your hands or a soft rug brush. Then, rinse it thoroughly. If any detergent remains in the rug, then it may create an unpleasant texture or damage the rug’s fibers later.

How to Dry a Washable Rug

Properly drying your rug is an essential part of the cleaning process. Many machine washable rugs are approved for the dryer, but even in these cases, you must look at the specific drying instructions to ensure that the rug won’t be damaged by excessive heat or tumbling. Many washable rugs will tell you to use a tumble dryer on a low heat setting to fully dry your rug. Naturally drying your rug is another option. You can hang the rug on a washline, lay it on a floor, and/or have fans directed on it to fully dry it.

Round rug for queen size bed
Queen Size Runner Rug

How to Fluff & Restore your Rug

After the rug is washed and dried, you may have to fluff your rug so that the fibers stand up properly again. Fortunately, this is as easy as brushing the rug with a rug brush or shaking the rug. Running your fingers over the surface and deeper into the rug can also help restore those fibers to their previous height and texture.

How Often you should Wash your Rug

Properly drying your rug is an essential part of the cleaning process. Many machine washable rugs are approved for the dryer, but even in these cases, you must look at the specific drying instructions to ensure that the rug won’t be damaged by excessive heat or tumbling. Many washable rugs will tell you to use a tumble dryer on a low heat setting to fully dry your rug. Naturally drying your rug is another option. You can hang the rug on a washline, lay it on a floor, and/or have fans directed on it to fully dry it.

Round rug for queen size bed

Storing a Washable Rug

When you’re not using your washable rug, it’s important to store it properly. Depending on your rug’s size, you can either fold it or roll it to fit into your storage space. At least vacuum the rug before it goes into storage as well. If you do a deep cleaning or wash before it goes into storage, be absolutely certain that your rug is completely dry. If it is still wet from a recent cleaning, then the rug may grow mold or mildew. We also recommend keeping the rug in a low-humidity setting to further protect it from moisture.


Machine washable rugs are convenient, stylish accents that can be used in any home. When you properly take care of the rug through regular cleaning and washing, you can improve the longevity of your rug and create a beautifully fresh, comfortable home.

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