machine washing rug

Can You Wash a Rug in the Washing Machine?

When it comes to cleaning your rugs, you may be wondering if it’s possible to wash them in the washing machine. And, if so, what is the best way to do this? 

In this article, we will answer all of your questions about washing rugs in the washing machine! Let’s take a look. 


Can Rugs Be Washed in a Washing Machine?

Some rugs are designed to be washed in the machine, while others are not.

If you’re unsure about whether or not your rug is machine-washable, it’s always best to check the label before proceeding. If there are specific instructions, then make sure that you follow them. If there aren’t any instructions on a label then it’s best to take a cautious approach. 

There are a few factors that determine whether or not a rug can be washed in a machine including the material, the overall size, and also the weight. Let’s take a look in further detail.


Factors That Affect Whether Rugs Can Be Machine Washed

different rugs

Before you try to machine wash your rug, consider these factors. 

1. Design

Some rug designs are not suitable for machine washing. Rugs that have intricate designs or are made of delicate materials are not typically machine washable.

For example, your rug may have long tassels that can easily be caught up in the machine. If the rug is sentimental or expensive, then it’s often best to hand wash it. 

2. Material

The material of the rug affects whether it can be machine washed. Rugs made of 100% cotton or synthetic fibres such as polyester or nylon can usually be machine washed. On the other hand, delicate fibres such as wool and silk are not typically machine washable.

3. Size and weight

The size and weight of the rug also affect whether it can be machine washed. Rugs that are large or heavy may not be able to be safely laundered in a washing machine. Machine washing a large or heavy rug could damage the washing machine or the rug itself.

These two factors usually go hand-in-hand but even if you can fit your rug into your machine, it’s best to double-check that it’s not too heavy. 


What You Need to Know About Machine Washing Rugs

all about machine washing rugs

Assuming your rug is machine-washable, there are a few things you’ll need to do in order to ensure that it comes out of the wash looking and smelling fresh and new.

Use a gentle cycle with cool water

First, you’ll want to use a gentle cycle with cool water. Anything above 40°C and you risk shrinking the material. Most rugs can be washed at 30°C and will come out looking great.

Use a mild detergent

You should also use a mild detergent, nothing too harsh or abrasive. You don’t want to use too much, as this could damage the fibres or cause the colours to run.

Check your washing machine’s capacity

As we mentioned, you need to make sure your washing machine can handle the weight of the rug. If it’s too heavy, it could damage the machine or cause it to break down. Your machine is likely to have a weight limit, which you can check in the manual. 

Choose the right cycle

You also need to choose the right cycle. A delicate cycle is best for most rugs, but if your rug is particularly dirty or made of a tougher material, you might need to use a heavier cycle.

Air dry after washing

Finally, be sure to air dry your rug after washing it. A clothesline is perfect for this, but you can also lay it flat on a towel to dry.


Tips to Prevent Damage

tips in washing rug

As far as tips for preventing damage, there are a few key things to keep in mind. 

Shake out your rug first

First, be sure to shake out your rug before putting it in the machine this will help prevent it from becoming tangled and also remove any large bits of debris. 

Don’t overload the washing machine

Second, don’t overstuff the machine as this could cause the rug to become misshapen. If you’re struggling to fit your rug into the machine, then it’s best to leave it out and hand wash it instead. 

Tie up tassels before washing

Finally, if your rug has tassels or fringe, be sure to tie them up before washing. This will help prevent them from getting caught on anything and becoming damaged. 

Use a laundry bag for small rugs

If it’s a small rug, you can place it into a washing bag. For larger rugs, you could use something else like a duvet cover to keep them protected. 

There is a chance that your rug could shrink or fade after being washed in the machine. It’s possible, but it’s not very likely as long as you use a gentle cycle and cold water. 

However, there is always a slight risk of damage when washing any kind of fabric in the machine, so be sure to check your rug for any loose threads or weak spots before putting it in.


Should You Machine Wash Your Rug?

cleaning rug in a washing machine

If it’s an antique or particularly delicate rug, then handwashing is always the best option. But for most rugs, washing them in the machine is perfectly safe and will get them just as clean as handwashing would.

Most modern washing machines have settings that can replicate handwashing to some extent. They are perfect for washing rugs, as long as they are small enough to fit in. If you follow the advice above, then you should have no problems machine washing your rug.