How to wash rugs in washing machine; A Comprehensive Guide

Is it finally time to clean your rugs? So I am sure you must be wondering how to wash rugs in washing machine.

Or have you been struggling with how to get the coffee smell out of a carpet?

Carpets are those trusty, vibrant, and cozy home accessories that provide the perfect touch to all kinds of rooms? We’re here to tell you about washing them in a machine.

But before we get started, let’s look at the facts.

Washing machines have been around for quite some time, and it’s no wonder why.

They are instrumental and time-saving when cleaning our clothes and various items, from blankets to pillows. So why not give it a try with rugs to save yourself some time and energy?

Wondering if it’s possible or how you can do it properly without damaging your precious rugs?

Then read on! In this article, we’ll guide you through washing rugs in a machine – from choosing the correct settings to safely drying them afterwards.

Types of Rugs That Can Be Washed in a Washing Machine

Do you have a carpet that needs a good cleaning?

Before washing them, you must know what rugs are safe in your washing machine.

For a machine-washable rug, you will find it is made of synthetic materials, such as acrylic, nylon, or polyester. Natural fiber rugs like wool, silk, or cotton require more delicate handwashing.

To determine its type of rug, look at its care tag. A “W” on this tag means your rug can be washed with a machine and detergent.

However, make sure that the rug size is suitable for the capacity of your washer.

If you feel your rug is too large, send it out for professional cleaning.

Once you’ve established that you can safely wash your rug in the machine, it’s time to prep it for the treatment!

Preparing Your Rug for Washing in a Machine

Before jumping into cleaning your rug, there are a few steps you need to take.

First, ensure the carpet is not too large for the machine. If it is, you must take it to a laundry facility with larger machines or hand wash it.

The next step is to check the labels on your rug and washing machine.

The labels should provide cleaning instructions for the carpet and the machine. Follow these instructions carefully and select the proper cycle on your machine – use a gentle cycle if possible.

Depending on the rug type and what’s written on the label, you may also need to choose between cold or warm water.

Another essential step is identifying the stains and spots on your carpet. For this, you must pre-treat them with mild detergent before putting the rug in your machine.

Next, remove all the dirt or debris before putting it in the washer.

These are the small things that could cause damage to both your rug and your machine. Finally, check for any loose threads that could tangle up in the machine—if you find any, cut them off before starting your wash cycle.

Choosing the Right Soap and Setting

You need to be careful here—because the wrong soap or washing machine settings can cause permanent damage to your rugs.

Detergent and Soap

It pays to use a suitable soap; a mild detergent is recommended for most rugs, this list of the best carpet shampoo should also help.

Avoid bleach and harsh detergents or soaps containing dyes or optical brighteners.

If you want extra cleaning power, you could try adding half a cup of white vinegar to the wash cycle—this will also help kill bacteria and break down any dirt stuck in the fibers of your rug.

Washing Machine Settings

Regarding your machine’s settings, you’ll want to use a gentle cycle with cold water.

You’ll also have to decide on spin speed – anything below 800 rpm is recommended for most rugs, but ideally, try for the lowest setting possible, which should be about 400 rpm.

This way, you can protect your carpet from being damaged by too much spinning motion.

Once you’ve chosen your settings, add your rug and detergent mixture, then hit start—it’s that easy!

With the correct washing machine settings and a mild detergent, your rug should look good as new!

What to Do After the Washing Cycle

Once washed, you need to dry your carpet properly.

This is where many people make mistakes—they don’t do it right and end up with a damaged carpet! Avoid this by following these steps for best results:

Drain excess water

Carefully but firmly press down on the rug to squeeze out any remaining water. Don’t twist or wring the rug, which can damage its fibers.

Lay the rug out flat

To dry your carpet perfectly with no creases, folds, or further damage, lay out your rug correctly.

Dry in warm (not hot!), well-ventilated areas.

In areas such as on a covered porch, patio, or balcony. If you can’t find an outdoor place, dry it in a room with good air circulation and low humidity (like your basement).

Allow at least 24 hours of drying time

Before folding or rolling your rug up again for storage. If you’re pressed for time, laying it outside in direct sunlight can speed up this process (but take caution not to leave it too long!).

Shake it gently

Once dry, shake it your rug to remove any excess lint and debris that may have accumulated while washing and drying.

Vacuum your carpet

 Lastly, vacuum your rugs to restore their fluffy appearance—that’s it!

Essential Tips and Tricks on How to Wash Rugs in Washing Machine

Sounds impossible? It’s not, with a few tips and tricks. When washing rugs in the machine, you want to ensure you don’t overload it.

After all, you don’t want to damage the carpet or your machine. So here are a few tips to help you along the way:

Test for Colorfastness

Make sure to test for colorfastness before throwing your rug into the washer.

Do this by dampening a small spot on the rug with water and then rubbing a white cloth. If any dye rubs off on the fabric, the rug isn’t colorfast, so you shouldn’t wash it in a machine.

Stick to Cold Water

When washing rugs in a washing machine, always use cold water—hot or even warm water is not recommended as it can cause shrinkage and fading of colors.

Also, avoid the fabric softener on your carpet, which could cause discoloration.

Use Gentle Cycle

Always set your machine on a gentle cycle – either regular/permanent press or delicate cycle – and always use a mild detergent designed for delicate fabrics, such as wool or silk.

Washing rugs doesn’t need to be an intimidating task—remember these tips: test for colorfastness before tossing in the washer; stick to cold water; use a gentle cycle; and do not use fabric softener!

Troubleshooting Common Rug Damage

You might think washing rugs in a washing machine is easy, but sometimes things can go wrong.

Here are some tips on how to troubleshoot common rug damage:


If you notice your rug is fading during washing, you likely use too much detergent. Use the recommended amount for your washing machine model or a gentle detergent.

Also, reduce the time spent in the washer and dryer, as too much time can cause fading.


Rugs can shrink when washed in a machine, so checking the material they’re made of before putting them in is essential. Wool or cotton rugs should be line dried or professionally cleaned due to their delicate nature.

Polyester and polypropylene rugs can usually be washed in a machine if you follow the manufacturer’s instructions carefully.

Color Bleeding

If you’re noticing color bleeding in new rugs, it’s likely due to dye residue left over from manufacturing that didn’t get washed away before the sale.

To prevent this from happening, you’ll want to soak the rug for 20 minutes before washing it in lukewarm water with detergent and then run it through an extra rinse cycle afterward.

A True Guide on How to Wash Rugs in Washing Machine

When we say comprehensive guide, we genuinely mean it; by now, we are confident you have all the knowledge you need to safely and effectively wash your rug in a washing machine.

Be sure to take the time to investigate your rug’s specific care instructions and use the right laundering products and settings, and you’ll be on your way to having your rug look new in no time.

Although washing rugs in a washing machine isn’t the most complicated task, care must be taken to ensure you don’t end up with a damaged carpet.

As long as you take your time to research the rug’s care instructions and follow the steps we’ve outlined in this guide, you’ll give your rug a thorough clean without risking any damage.

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