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Can You Put Carpets and Rugs in the Washing Machine? A Safe and Easy Guide

can you put carpets and rugs in the washing machine
July 4, 2024

In short, yes, you can wash most rugs and carpets in the washing machine if they are made of cotton or synthetic fibres, using mild detergent and cold water, without overloading the machine, and ensuring proper air drying afterwards.

If you're uncertain or have a carpet or rug too big for your washing machine, you can call us at 07557914387 or 02036215221 and request a free quote and we'll take care of all the rug cleaning and carpet cleaning for you.

And for more in-depth information on what you need to know before you put your carpet in the washing machine, read the rest of the article.

Deep cleaning rugs takes time and a lot of effort sometimes. Tossing them in the washer can save you a ton of time and money, but it is something you need to consider carefully. The material of the fabric, the dimensions of the mat and the cleaning solution used in the process are all major factors that can affect the process.

In this guide, you will find out how to wash rugs and carpets in the washing machine and how to make the most of it. You will also learn of the dos and don'ts of the process and how to prevent problems like colour fading or other types of irreversible harm.

The importance of machine washing rugs

If you have rugs and carpets at home, you have probably thought about throwing them in the washing machine and calling it a day. They can indeed accumulate dust and dirt, not to mention the chance of stains and spills.

When it comes to machine washing rugs and carpets, you have to pay very close attention to the manufacturer's instructions. Knowing what to do and what to avoid can save your rug and carpet from washing mishaps.

According to carpet cleaning experts, you have to consider the material of the rug. It is generally safe to put cotton and a synthetic sheepskin rug in the washing machine as long as you adhere to the care label. It is also important to consider the size of the rug. A tiny washer is probably not ideal to use for larger rugs. Last, but not least, be cautious of the cleaning solution you use, as high heat and harsh chemicals can damage the fabric.

Here are the dos and don'ts you have to consider for good and consistent cleaning results of rugs and carpets.

The dos of washing rugs in the machine

Always check the care label on washable rugs

Rug washing may seem like a difficult thing to do, but it can be done well when you know how to proceed and you have the right tools. Before you even think about putting your rugs or carpets in the washing machine, you need to check the care label. The manufacturer has likely provided washing instructions, which present the best way to care for your rug.

You will find important information there, such as what temperature they can tolerate and what cleaning solutions to use. If you don't follow these instructions on the care and drying process, you can damage the rubber backing or some other part of the rug during the wash cycle.

Vacuum the rug before washing it

Before you toss the rug or carpet in the washing machine, it is important to remove loose dirt from it first. You can do this by vacuuming the surface thoroughly or by shaking the rug outside. Take the rug outside, hang it on a clothesline or the patio railing and give it a good beating with a broom handle. It is a nice way to pre-treat the rug and remove embedded dirt without it clogging your washing machine.

Use only a mild detergent and cold water

Washing your rug with mild detergent and cold water is very important. Washing with hot or warm water can damage the material and cause colour fading or stretching. And bear in mind that when you wash a rug in the washing machine, you need to remember the type of fabric. The washing machine is not a suitable cleaning solution for all rugs.

The don'ts of washing rugs in the machine

Don't use hot water

Whether hand washing or machine washing your rug, remember that hot water can potentially damage the fabric. It is usually one of the main specific washing instructions that manufacturers put on the care label of their rugs. Rug fibres can shrink and become permanently damaged when machine-washed at high temperatures. It is best to use cold water only to be 100% safe.

Never bleach the rug

Bleach is a potent cleaning agent that can cause discolouration and other damage to rugs and carpets. Never use it on your rugs. If you have to clean some stains, use only products made for the kind of fabric you have.

Don't overload the washing machine

You cannot machine wash rugs that barely fit the washing machine. You need to do small batches. If you overload the washing machine, you risk ruining the rug's quality or even damaging the machine itself. Place the rug in the washing machine and spin it slowly, noting if there is enough room in there for the entire rug.

Post-washing tips for cleaning a rug or a carpet

Cleaning the rug doesn't end when the washing machine is done with it. There are still a few things you need to do afterwards to ensure proper cleaning.

Let the rug air-dry

When the washing machine cycle ends, it is time to dry the rug. According to carpet and rug cleaning professionals, air drying the rug is the best way to remove moisture and restore the rug itself. Ideally, you should ensure good ventilation in the room so that the rug can air dry quickly. Open all doors and windows in the area.

Use a fan or air conditioner

To speed up the process and air dry the rug, you can use a fan or air conditioner. Remove the rug from the washing machine, squeeze out excess moisture with bath towels and place it in the middle of the room. Then, direct a fan at the rug or turn on the air conditioner. Ensure the stream hits from a distance, as direct airflow can cause the fibres to stretch.

Don't place the rug in direct sunlight

After rug washing, avoid placing the rug in direct sunlight. This can be harmful to the colours and cause them to fade in time. Avoid placing the rug near a skylight or a window without the blinds on. Don't be tempted to speed up the drying process, or else you can damage the rubber backing while getting the rug completely dry.

Other ways of deep cleaning carpets and rugs

Hand washing

If you want to give your rug a hand wash, you need to be very picky about the cleaning solution. Based on the material of the rug, you should choose a gentle product that allows you to wash the entire surface without damaging it. If you are dealing with stains, it is important to do a small test on an inconspicuous area.

Spot cleaning

If you encounter a stain, you should spot treat it immediately. Pre treat the affected area by blotting the excess liquid with a paper towel or a soft cloth. Then, follow up with the appropriate product for your rug. Make sure you test it on a small inconspicuous area to ensure it will not cause discolouration or some other form of damage.

Professional cleaning services

You can always contact professional services, such as steam cleaning or dry cleaning. Having your rugs and carpets professionally cleaned is the best thing to preserve them in the long run. Experts know what kind of detergents to use depending on what the rug or carpet are made of and how to perform spot cleaning for best results. If you think hand washing the rug or tossing it in the washing machine will do you no good, you should book professional cleaning services.

Rug washing faqs

Can you throw a carpet in the washing machine?

Yes, but there are some caveats. Most carpets and rugs made of synthetic fibres are safe for the washing machine. Place them with a few soft towels on a delicate cycle and run them on cold water. Make sure you are careful with rugs that have rubber backing. A gentle cycle with cold water is the way to go with them.

Is it hygienic to wash rugs in a washing machine?

Yes, you can wash a rug in the washing machine to not just remove stains, but also deep clean and sanitise it. Make sure you don't use harsh detergents and only run the delicate cycle to ensure you preserve the rug's material.

Can I dry the carpet in the washing machine?

After regular cleaning of your rug or carpet, you should dry it with the aid of an air conditioner or a fan. That way you will preserve the rubber backing and take care of excess water without damaging the rug.

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