Can You Put a Rug in the Washing Machine?

Can You Put a Rug in the Washing Machine? [Answered]

Rugs are thick and heavy, so hand washing them is tough. Some users may be tempted to chuck them into the washing machine. While it seems easier, putting a rug in the washing machine may come with consequences.

So, can you put a rug in the washing machine? Yes, you can put a rug in the washing machine if it is made of cotton, polyester, or polypropylene. In that case, you should use mild detergents and gentle wash cycles. Wool or silk rugs shouldn’t be put in the washing machine.

Let me tell you more about what rugs can be washed in a machine and what precautions you should take.

Can You Put a Rug in the Washing Machine?

The washability of rugs depends on several factors. Here is a detailed overview of which rugs can be washed in a machine.

Material and Design

Rugs made of cotton, synthetic, or cotton-polyester blend are machine washable. These include commonly used rugs in bathrooms, kitchens, or anywhere else.

But if you have an expensive rug made of other natural fibers such as wool, silk, or jute, they aren’t machine washable. These natural fibers absorb too much water. So, the rug becomes too heavy to handle for the washing machine.

The overall integrity of rugs made from wool, silk, or jute is damaged during a machine wash. For example, wool and silk rugs may have complex designs with tassels. These designs will be damaged if you wash them in the machine.

It is best to dry clean those rugs. But as long as you have ordinary rugs made of cotton, synthetic, or a blend, you are good to put them in the washing machine.


Some rugs may have a cotton or synthetic construction at the front with a jute backing. These rugs aren’t machine washable. 

Weight and Size

If the rug is too large, it won’t fit into the washing machine. Also, heavier rugs shouldn’t be put in the machine because each machine has a specific load capacity. So, check these factors before washing a rug in the machine.

Pre-Wash Steps for Rugs

Before you put a filthy rug in the washing machine, you should take the following steps to ensure better cleaning.

Step 1: Shake Off Excess Dirt

Every time we walk over rugs, the dirt from our feet lands on them. Before you throw the rug into the machine with that much dirt, give it a good tumble. This will remove loose dirt from the rug.

You can also use a vacuum cleaner to remove the loose dirt and debris from rugs. Beating the rug lightly with a beater or paddle will also work.

Step 2: Spot Clean Large Patches 

This does two things. The first is removing stains better from the rug. And the second is you can test whether the dye will leech from the rug.

Take a water and baking soda solution. Use a soft-bristle brush to dab the solution onto stains. Then, scrub the spots with the brush lightly. Finally, rinse the spot with cold water.

Step 3: Preparing the Rug for the Machine

If the rug has any extended parts like tassels, you can tie them in bunches. It will prevent these parts from getting stuck inside. Let’s move on to the washing process of the rugs.

How to Put a Rug in the Washing Machine Correctly? Step-By-Step Guide

Here are the steps you need to follow to put a rug in the washing machine.

Step 1: Select the Right Detergent

You should use mild laundry detergent to wash cotton or synthetic rugs. Harsh detergents can damage the rug and the color. I suggest using liquid detergents, as they have a lower chance of getting stuck into the rug.

Step 2: Select the Right Wash Cycle and Water Temperature

Cotton or polyester rugs should always be washed in delicate or gentle cycles. If you use regular wash cycles, the rugs can get damaged. You must use water at normal temperature for washing rugs. 30℃ is a good water temperature for this process.

Step 3: Load the Rugs and a Buffer

After checking the load capacity of your washing machine and the weight of your rugs, you can load them into the machine. Throw in a few old towels as buffers for better cleaning and load balancing.

Step 4: Start the Wash Cycle

The rugs are now ready to be washed. Start the cycle and let the machine run for about 30-45 minutes.

Step 5: Hang the Rugs Outside

Air drying is the best method for drying your washed rags. Don’t use the dryer because heat can tamper with the build of these rugs. Hang them outside until they dry completely. Alternatively, lay them on a clean, flat surface where they don’t get direct sunlight.

Tips for Washing Rugs

You should remember the following tips for washing your rugs safely.

  1. Never use bleach for any rug. It will damage the color and fiber of the rug. 
  2. If there are stubborn stains that can’t be removed with baking soda solution, you can use chemical stain removers. But they shouldn’t be too harsh.
  3. Wash frequently used rugs after 6 months and less used rugs after 12 months. It will prevent the rugs from getting too dirty.
  4. Don’t put other clothes in the washing machine with dirty rugs.

People Also Asked

Many people ask the following questions regarding washing rugs in a washing machine. Here are brief and precise answers.

Q: Can a 5×7 rug fit in a washing machine?

It can fit if the loading chamber has a volume of at least 5 cu. ft. In most cases, standard washing machines may have this much space, so you can put a 5×7 rug in the machine. But be sure to check the volume before putting the rug.

Q: Can I put a rug with a rubber back in the washing machine?

Rugs with a rubber back can be washed in the machine if the wash cycle is gentle and the water temperature is normal. Warm water will loosen the rubber backing.

Q: What should I do if the rug shrinks after drying?

After machine washing and air drying, some rugs may shrink a bit. Lay it on a table and cover it with a thick towel. Then, iron the rug gently to recover the original size.

Final Thoughts

Some rugs are too delicate to put in a washing machine. Even though other rugs are safe for a machine wash, they might damage the machine if you don’t follow the right process.

I answered the question, can you put a rug in the washing machine, and explained the washing process in detail. If you carefully check the care labels, select the right detergent, and set the right washing cycle, your rug will be clean and fluffy after the wash.

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