Everything You Need to Know About Washable Rugs

Everything You Need to Know About Washable Rugs

Easy to maintain, attractive, and an excellent fit for any room, washable rugs are growing in popularity for all the right reasons. Unlike carpets that typically require specialized cleaning equipment and solvents, washable rugs are floor coverings laundered like a pair of jeans. However, it’s important to note that not every rug is washable, so finding the right one for your needs requires research.

Which Rugs Are Machine Washable?

Wine glasses and spilled wine on machine washable rug

Even if the rug you’re considering comes in a material that looks and feels machine washable, it’s essential to rely on manufacturer cleaning directions. Considerations like weaving, stitching, backing, and more could end up worse for the wear if the rugs aren’t fit for the spin cycle. Your best option for finding these easy-maintenance rugs is to specifically shop for machine washable models, which you’ll usually find in one of the following materials.


Washable blue cotton rug

One of the more popular materials for area rugs because of their sustainability, cotton rugs and runners are machine washable, making them a fan favorite. A natural fiber, cotton makes rugs soft to the touch and typically offers more cushioning than artificial rug materials.

Because a washable cotton rug is absorbent by nature, you’ll want to use it across areas low in moisture, such as a hallway, bedroom, den, or study. Additionally, these machine washable rugs are very hard-wearing but can show staining and discoloration faster than synthetic options, so placing them where there won’t be as much foot traffic will help keep their overall look pristine.


Grey washable polyester rug

Polyester rugs are best known for balancing bright colors and patterns with the ability to repel water and moisture. Any polyester rug will emerge from your washing machine ready to air-dry or, in some cases, tumble dry because of its synthetic properties. Once dry, they’re ready to lay out again without concern for cracking, fading, or discoloration.

A tight weave and moderate absorbency make these rugs ideal for use in areas with higher foot traffic. So, when you’re ready to replace that runner in your hallway near your front door or want to change up the style of your kitchen rug, consider a washable polyester rug.


Washable outdoor polypropylene rug and water hose

Polypropylene rugs are excellent for well-used indoor or outdoor areas like porches, decks, patios, or mudrooms. Made from similar synthetic properties like polyester, they also hold bright colors and patterns. So, if it’s time to swap your outdoor patio rug at the start of a new season, or if you’re looking to update your living room area rug with an eccentric, eye-catching style while staying within your budget, choose a washable polypropylene rug.

Because of their tight synthetic weave, polypropylene rugs resist holding onto dirt and debris, particularly when used outdoors. This means that they’re easy to hose off and air dry for convenience, in addition to their machine washability.


Grey washable olefin rug

A specialized kind of polypropylene rug, olefin area rugs are man-made, varied in style, and excellent for plenty of areas across the home. Since they’re great at resisting moisture, opt for a washable olefin rug if you tend to have a basement that’s on the humid side or prone to puddles after a big storm.

Olefin washable rugs hold up well in utilitarian environments, so if you’re looking for a rug you can place in your garage or have a workroom in your home that can use some warmth and personality, look for a rug made from olefin.

How to Clean a Washable Rug

Person vacuuming patterned blue/white washable rug

While all washable rugs, including washable rug runners, make cleaning up more manageable, there are subtle differences between materials and best cleaning practices. Researching “how to wash a soiled rug should always start by looking for manufacturer instructions. Then, take these steps when you clean a washable rug:

  • Step 1: Vacuum. Before machine washing, make an effort to remove any solids, such as mud, on the rug’s surface. A thorough vacuuming prior to washing minimizes the work required of your washing machine.
  • Step 2: Wash the rug. Apply or add a cleaning solution and run in your washing machine cycle. Always make sure not to mix cleaning agents with some types of stains; bleach, for example, shouldn’t be used even if your pet-friendly rug is washable. Naturally-occurring ammonia in pet urine can interact with bleach, causing chemical issues even in polypropylene rugs.
  • Step 3: Dry the rug. Unless the manufacturer’s directions specifically advise your rug is dryer-safe, air-drying is usually the best way to finish cleaning your rug. Ensure airflow is all around the top and bottom of the rug’s surface, and don’t place the rug down until it is dry to the touch. To facilitate complete drying, you may need to periodically rotate, flip, or move the rug on the surface or railing you use after washing.

Refresh Your Space With a Washable Rug

Decorating your home and cleaning it aren’t mutually exclusive goals: the best washable rugs make it fresh, fun, and accessible. Whether you’re on the hunt for washable kitchen rugs to make dinner prep comfortable, washable bathroom rugs for easy cleaning, or washable entryway rugs that add a wow factor, you’re in luck!

From washable outdoor rugs to washable living room rugs, these versatile fabric models are built for performance and hassle-free maintenance from edge to edge. And if you’re stumped on how to go about finding the right size washable area rug for a particular room in your home, we can help!