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Washable Rugs

There has been a lot of talk lately about washable rugs. Are they good? Are they bad? Can you really wash them? Are they worth it? Can they go in a regular washing machine? How do you dry them? Here we will answer some questions and examine the pros and cons of washable rugs to learn more about them.

FAQs about washable rugs:

Does a washable rug really fit in my washing machine?

Maybe, maybe not. Most size washable rugs require at least a 4-cu ft. capacity washer. Some larger sizes even need 5 – 7 cu ft. Check the capacity of your washer. If it isn’t big enough, consider having your rug cleaned in your home by a professional.

What is the care and maintenance of washable rugs?

  • Vacuum the rug regularly in between washings.
  • Treat spills both liquid and non-liquid right away.
  • Rotate the rug periodically to prevent wear patterns.
  • Read the manufacturer’s care instructions.

Can you wash all rugs in a washing machine?

No, not all rugs are machine washable. Silk should never be put in a washing machine. Neither should wool, jute, sisal, seagrass, coir, or any rug with a rubber backing. Read the manufacturer’s instructions on how to clean your rug.

How can I dry my washable rug?

Most manufacturers recommend either air drying or drying in a dryer with low or no heat. (If the dryer is big enough). The manufacturer’s instructions will best recommend how to dry your rug.

How often should I wash my rug?

Most manufacturers recommend it every 4-6 months but read the care instructions for your particular rug.

What happens if my rug gets a stain in between washing?

If you spill something on your rug, treat the spill right away. If a stain occurs and you can’t wash the rug right away, click on the resources tab of our website and consult the Carpet and Interior Textiles care Guide.

Pros of Washable Rugs:

  • Easy to keep clean – You can (most of the time) just throw them in the washing machine and they come out clean.
  • Environmentally friendly – Some washable rugs are made from recycled polyester or some type of natural fiber.
  • Cost effectiveness – Most washable rugs are treated to be stain resistant or are created from stain resistant materials, giving them a long-life span and the need to be replaced less often.
  • Allergy friendly – Most of these rugs are low pile, so they don’t hold dirt, mites, dust, and other allergens like higher pile rugs do.
  • Versatile – Washable rugs come in a wide variety of colors, styles, and sizes.

Cons of Washable Rugs:

  • Durability – Washing can cause wear and tear on the fibers in your rug, shortening its life span over more conventional rugs.
  • Resale/Trade value – Washable rugs are often thought of as less expensive or luxurious in comparison to rugs made of wool or silk.
  • Curling or Poofing- Sometimes, after washing and drying, the edges may curl up or the seams along the side may gather and not lay flat.
  • Washer Issues – Not all washable rugs will fit in all washing machines. If you have a smaller capacity washer, or a very large rug, you may not be able to throw it in the washing machine. If it doesn’t fit in your washer or is extremely heavily soiled, calling a reputable carpet cleaning professional will solve your problems.
  • Too Lightweight – Many washable rugs are low pile and lightweight, which means they can bunch, slide, and move, creating a fall hazard. Make sure you have a pad underneath your rug.

Washable rugs, in spite of their recent notoriety, have been around for quite some time. They can be beautiful, economical, and quite a sensible option in home décor. Just be sure to do the research on the one you want to make sure it is a good fit for you and your environment.


By Sharon Koehler. This article is one of a series of articles written and published on behalf of Surface Care PROS Partners.