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Cleaning Tips: Can You Wash an Area Rug in the Washer?

The average area rug tolerates heavy foot traffic from busy areas like foyers, playrooms, and hallways. So much so that, over time, even regular vacuuming can still leave it looking faded and dingy. But did you know that you can wash an area rug in the washer to make it look like new? Our step-by-step guide shows what to do from pre-treating stains to proper drying techniques.

Wash an Area Rug in the Washer With These Simple Steps

Can rugs be washed in a washing machine safely? The answer is yes, with a few basic precautions to preserve both the rug and your appliance. Our simple steps for how to wash a rug in the washer start with a little pre-wash planning.

Step 1: Follow the Care Label

Before you wash an area rug in the washer, read the care label to determine if there are specific washing instructions. Refrain from washing the rug if the label states that it’s dry clean only.

Step 2: Shake Out the Rug

This simple pre-washing tip can achieve cleaner results and save your washer from harmful clogs. Before you wash a rug in the washing machine, shake it outside to dislodge loose dirt and pet hair. Simply shaking it with your hands or banging it against a hard surface should do the trick.

Step 3: Pre-Treat Spots and Stains

For the cleanest results, the best way to wash a rug is to pre-treat significant spots and stains. Pour a small amount of detergent directly on the stain and rub it into the material with an old toothbrush. Allow the detergent to sit for 15 minutes before washing.

Step 4: Put Rug in the Washing Machine

Proper loading techniques can ensure that your rug is sufficiently cleaned and prevent machine damage from an unbalanced load. Wash an area rug in the washer separately from other items to avoid overcrowding. When loading, follow these tips for your specific washer:

  • Front-Loader: For a balanced load, wash two smaller rugs together or add 1-2 bath towels with a single rug.
  • Top-Loader: Position the rug evenly around the agitator for better balance. If the rug doesn’t reach all the way around the agitator, add towels to create a balanced load.
how to wash a rug
Image: Loreality via YouTube

Step 5: Wash the Rug

Using a delicate or gentle cycle, wash an area rug in the washer with cold water and your regular detergent. Can you wash a rug with rubber backing? Yes, you can, as long as you refrain from using bleach. This powerful cleaner may deteriorate the rubber. If your rug has a rubber backing, use only oxygen-based bleach to freshen and brighten without causing damage.

Step 6: Hang Dry the Rug

Can rugs go in the dryer after being washed? Even the most sturdy rug can shrink or fade with the dryer’s heat, while the rubber backing on others could quickly disintegrate. Instead, air dry the rug over a drying rack, clothesline or railing. Dry the rug out of direct sunlight to avoid fading.

If the rug is very wrinkled after drying, it can be ironed on a low setting or tossed in the dryer on a tumble dry setting with no heat.

wash an area rug in the washer

DeserTech Appliance Service has the answers to all your laundry appliances. Call us for any high-end washer repair or concern.

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