Can I Wash a Rug in the Washing Machine?

A Practical Guide

In the pursuit of cleanliness and maintaining the aesthetics of our homes, we are often faced with questions about the best ways to care for various household items. One such question often arises is, “Can I wash a rug in the washing machine?” Rugs are versatile decor elements that add warmth and style to our living spaces and bear the brunt of everyday wear and tear. Throwing a rug in the washing machine can be tempting as we seek efficient and convenient cleaning methods. However, it also raises concerns about potential harm or complications. In this exploration, we’ll discuss the possibilities, considerations, and best practices associated with washing rugs in a washing machine. So, if you’ve ever wondered about the potential of this method, join us as we uncover the answers and the secrets to maintaining clean and vibrant rugs in your home.

Can I Wash a Rug in the Washing Machine

Can I Wash A Rug In The Washer?

Yes, you can wash most rugs in the washer, but checking the care label first is essential. Typically, manufacturers make washable rugs from cotton, synthetic fibers, or both. Rugs with natural fibers like wool or jute should not be machine-washed.

How to wash a rug in the washer:

  1. Check the care label: Make sure the rug is machine-washable and follow the instructions on the care label.
  2. Shake out the rug: This will remove any loose dirt or debris.
  3. Pre-treat any stains: Apply a stain remover to any colors and let it sit for the recommended time.
  4. Place the rug in the washer: Use cold water and a mild detergent.
  5. Wash the rug on a gentle cycle: Avoid using the heavy-duty process, as this can damage the rug.
  6. Air dry the rug: Avoid placing it in the dryer, as this may cause it to shrink or become damaged.

Tips for washing rugs in the washer:

  • Wash the rug by itself: This will help avoid the colors from bleeding onto other fabrics.
  • Use a mild detergent: Avoid hard detergents or fabric softeners, as these can damage the rug.
  • Air dry the rug: Please don’t put it in the dryer, as this can damage it.

Should I Wash Your Rug In Washing Machine?

Whether or not you should wash your rug in the washing machine depends on a few factors, including the material of the rug, its size, and its condition.


Some materials, such as wool and silk, are too delicate for machine washing and should be professionally cleaned. Synthetic fibers and cotton, among other materials, are commonly suitable for machine washing.


If your rug is too large to fit in your washing machine, don’t try to force it. Forcing could damage the rug and your device. Instead, please take it to a laundromat with a commercial-sized washing machine.


If your rug is heavily soiled or damaged, it’s best to take it to a professional cleaner. Professionals have the specialized equipment and expertise to clean your rug without damaging it.

Other factors

Suppose you need clarification on whether or not your rug is machine-washable. In that case, it’s always best to err on the side of caution and take it to a professional. It would help if you also considered the following factors before washing your rug in the machine:

  • Rug backing: Rubber-backed rugs can be machine-washed, but use cold water and avoid bleach.
  • Dyes: Some rugs may bleed dye in the washing machine. To test for this, place a damp white cloth on a corner of the rug and rub it vigorously. Do not wash the rug in the machine if any dye transfers to the fabric.
  • Shedding: Some rugs may shed more than others. To address alleviating concerns, consider placing the rug in a laundry bag before washing it.

Is it Safe to Wash a Rug in the washer?

Whether or not it is safe to wash a rug in the washer depends on the rug’s material and care label instructions. Generally speaking, most cotton, synthetic, and wool rugs are machine-washable. However, there are some exceptions, such as rugs with rubber backing, delicate rugs, and handmade rugs. It is important to always read the care label before washing any rug to avoid damage.

If the care label says that the rug is machine-washable, follow these steps to wash it safely:

  1. Shake out the rug outside to remove any loose dirt or debris.
  2. Beforehand, use a gentle detergent or stain remover to address any stains.
  3. Place the rug in the washing machine on a gentle cycle with cold water.
  4. Add a small amount of mild detergent to the washing machine.
  5. If the rug has a rubber backing, prevent using bleach or fabric softener. These can damage the rubber.

After finishing the washing cycle, remove the rug and hang it up for drying.

How big of a rug can I put in the washing machine?

Whether you’re washing a small throw rug or a large area rug, it’s essential to ensure it fits comfortably in your washing machine. Overloading the washing machine can damage the rug and the device itself.

Here are a few things to keep in mind when:

  • Check the rug tag: Most rugs will have a tag indicating whether they are machine-washable and, if so, what size of the washing machine they are suitable for.
  • Measure your washing machine: Firstly, look up the space of your washing machine in cubic feet or kilograms. In addition, the owner’s manual or online should list this information.
  • Consider the material and thickness of the rug: Therefore, heavier and thicker rugs will take up more space in the washing machine.

As a general rule of thumb, however, you should not put a rug in the washing machine that exceeds the machine’s capacity. For example, if you have a 5.5 cubic foot washing machine, you should put a rug more significantly, most 3.7 cubic feet.

Here are some specific examples of rug sizes that are safe to wash in a standard 5.5 cubic foot washing machine:

  • 7′ x 2′ cotton rug
  • 7′ x 5′ cotton rug
  • 8′ x 5′ cotton rug

In addition, suppose you have a larger rug or a rug made of a heavier material. In that case, you may need to take it to a laundromat with commercial-sized washing machines.

Here are some tips for washing rugs in the washing machine:

  • Pre-treat any stains. Before you put the rug in the washing machine, use a spot cleaner to pre-treat any stains.
  • Wash the rug on a gentle cycle. Use cold water and a mild detergent.
  • Include a cup of vinegar during the rinse cycle. This will assist in eliminating any detergent buildup and revitalizing the rug.
  • Air dry the rug or dry it on low heat. Do not overdry the rug, as this can damage it.

Following these tips, you can safely wash rugs in your washing machine.


Question: Can I wash all types of rugs in the washing machine?

No, not all rugs are machine washable. Stick to machine-washable materials like cotton or synthetic blends.

Question: Can I use regular laundry detergent for my rugs?

It is best to use a mild detergent without bleach or harsh chemicals to protect the fibers of your rug.

Question: Should I use hot water to wash the rug?

No, cold water is preferable to avoid color fading and shrinkage.

Question: Can I tumble-dry my rug?

We don’t recommend it. Air drying your rug flat is safe and prevents damage.

Question: How often should I clean my rug in the washing machine?

Usually, once or twice a year is enough. More frequent washing can cause corrosion.

Can I Wash a Rug in the Washing Machine


In conclusion, whether you can wash a rug in the washing machine depends on several factors, including the type of rug, its size, and the characteristics of your washing machine. While small, machine-washable rugs made from durable materials may do well in the washing machine, more oversized or delicate rugs often require alternative cleaning methods such as spot cleaning, professional cleaning, or even hand washing.

Therefore. inspect the care label and adhere to the manufacturer’s instructions for your rug to preserve its longevity and appearance. Moreover, being cautious and understanding your mat’s requirements is essential to deciding whether the most proper and viable cleaning strategy includes a clothes washer.

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