Is It OK to Put the Rug in the Washing Machine?

I am the rug fan and have lots of them at home – in the kitchen, in the bathroom, and in the bedroom. The rugs in my house deserve my care and attention, that’s why I clean them regularly. One day I wondered if I can use my washing machine to clean the rugs. Is it possible?

Usually, it is ok to put the rug in the washing machine. The rugs are made of either wool or synthetic fiber, which can be easily cleaned in a washer. It is also possible to use the dryer to make the rug lose the water fast. I’ve learned how to wash wool, synthetic, rubber-back, and shag rugs safely. Just keep up reading to know more on this topic! 

Rug in the Washing Machine

Settings to Wash the Rug in the Washing Machine Correctly

Check our table and use general recommendations for carpets of different types. There are four main types to be washed: wool, synthetic, rubber-back, and shag rugs. Look in the table to learn fast, what settings you should use to wash each of these rugs successfully.

Wool rugsSynthetic rugs (polyester, microfiber, etc)Rubber-back rugsShag rugs
TemperatureUnder 150 degrees Fahrenheit104 degrees FahrenheitWash in cold waterUnder 150 degrees Fahrenheit
Regime of washingHand-wash or gentle settingDelicate settingGentle settingGentle setting
The drying settings Dry naturally on a flat surfacePut it in a dryer at a temperature under 100°FDry naturally in a well-ventilated areaDry naturally in a sunny room or outside
How often to washOnce a yearFrom 1 to 6 monthsOnce a monthFrom 11 to 18 months

So, you’ve understood that the rug, which serves you well, cherishing the eye and gently massaging your feet, needs to be washed. Nevertheless, don’t put the rug into the washer immediately, mixing it with dirty socks and towels! First, you have to read the information on the rug’s care tag carefully. I’ll remind you how to understand the rug tags.

Tips to Understand the Rug Care Tags

Rug Care Tags

I always tell my readers to leave the care tags on their rugs. Each label contains lots of useful information about the item, which you must have on hand all the time.

Now, please, stop reading this article and look at the care tag of your rug. In the top part of the label, you can see the name of the manufacturer, the number of the collection, the rug size in feet, etc. This data is very useful, but I am not focusing on it now. Please, look a little lower and you’ll see the first thing, which is necessary to know before you put the rug into the washing machine. It is the name of the material the carpet is made of. Very often the carpet is made of different types of fabric. In this case, you’ll see the name of the material and its percentage by weight in the rug fiber.

For example, your rug may have:

  • 75% of wool
  • 20% of acrylic
  • 5% of polyester

In fact, it is enough to know to wash and dry the carpet correctly. As in our example, the carpet has 75% of wool, you should treat it as a wool carpet and wash it according to the instructions in our table above.

But if you want to be even more precise, then follow the instructions, which are written on the label for washing the rug. You’ll know under what temperature you can clean your carpet (usually it is shortened to the letter t), whether you can use a dryer or a steamer and how often you should vacuum your rug. These rules are suggested by the manufacturer, so if you follow them. Your carpet will serve you for ages. 

Washing of Wool and Shag Rugs in the Washing Machine

So, you’ve decided to clean the rug from your kitchen or living room. I am here to lead you through this interesting, but the complicated process to make your carpets look better and keep their fragile fiber safe. I’ve joined wool and shag rugs in one group as they are actually similar. Shag rugs are usually made of wool, too. But shag carpets have a longer pile in comparison with wool ones.

Let’s start with wool rugs.

  1. You should start from this step for washing any kind of rug. Before you put the carpet into the washing machine, please, vacuum it properly. Thus, you’ll take away from the fiber all the dust, grime, and pet hair. 
  2. Put the rug into the washing machine, set the hand wash regime, and start the laundry. Choose the delicate detergent to clean the rug. I recommend using liquid laundry detergent as it is more delicate and it is easier to rinse from the carpet’s surface. [amazon link=”B07MFW3DL7″ title=”Persil 360 Complete Clean Liquid Laundry” /] is a great choice in this situation. If your washing machine has a special setting for woolen things, you may use it to clean the carpet. 
  3. Don’t hit the spin, even the light one, for wool carpet as it may cause excessive stretching of the fabric. Just take the wool rug out of the washer, put it on a flat surface – in your house or yard – and let it dry down naturally. 
  4. If your rug is not very big, just wrap it with a towel to make it dry faster.

Use the same instructions to clean shaggy rugs. But I advise you to put the item into the laundry bag to prevent the long pile from damage and extension. For shag carpets use a delicate detergent like [amazon link=”B000OR0ZMM” title=”The Laundress New York Delicate Wash” /].

[amazon box=”B000OR0ZMM”]

Washing of Synthetic and Rubber Rugs in the Washing Machine

Synthetic Rugs

These two types of rugs can easily be washed in the washing machine. First of all, I’ll tell you how to clean synthetic rugs

  1. Firstly, use the pre-wash regime of your washing machine to soak the carpet in warm water with a bit of delicate laundry detergent in it. To clean synthetic rugs, I recommend using the fragrance-free washing detergent and adding “OxiClean Versatile Stain Remover” to it. Pay attention to the fact that OxiClean is chlorine-free. In this case, the color of your rug will be safe.
  2. Start the washing process. Choose a gentle cycle to wash your synthetic rug carefully and safely.
  3. Use a double rinse to wash out the detergent properly.
  4. You may put the rug into the dryer. Choose the lowest temperature not to damage the synthetic fiber of your rug.

To wash the rubber-back rugs, you should use the cold water setting on your washing machine. Add to the water [amazon link=”B07N8SJ5GF” title=”Gain Liquid Soap” /], which works great even in cool water. It is better to dry rubber-back rugs outside. But don’t put it under the direct sunlight and the rubber padding of the rug can melt.

[amazon box=”B07N8SJ5GF”]

Can I Put a Big Rug in the Washing Machine?

 Big Rug

You can put a big rug in your washer only in case its capacity allows you to do it. Keep in mind, that you shouldn’t overload the washing machine. Even the small rug becomes very heavy after it has absorbed enough water during the washing process. So, if your washer has a small drum up to 6 kg, it is better to wash just one small rug there. If the drum is bigger, you can even put two rugs of the same color in the washing machine simultaneously. 


I’ve shared with you all the ideas I’ve found to wash the rugs of different types in the washer. I also told, you how to dry the rugs away correctly, recommended the right laundry detergent for each case, and helped to choose the right settings for this process. I am sure cleaning the rugs in the washer is available to everyone. It helps to improve the hygiene of your house. Sometimes your rugs need some SPA. So, don’t be lazy and wash them regularly!

Nancy Adams

I am a fan of home decor, I devote all my free time to this activity. One of the most important components of home comfort is carpets & rugs and at the same time, it is one of the poorly covered topics on the Internet. Therefore, I decided to share my experience and knowledge in this niche.

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