Cleaning Your Area Rug in the Washing Machine: Is It a Good Idea?

Because an area rug is often positioned in a location where there is a lot of traffic, such as the living room in a house or the entrance to an office building, the carpets often get very dirty very fast. The basic maintenance of a carpet is therefore often the only way to be able to keep it a little more than a few weeks, but how do you maintain a rug properly? Is an area rug machine washable?

Regular carpet cleaning

To keep a carpet clean and in good condition, we, first of all, recommend vacuuming it very regularly to eliminate embedded dirt. To do this, vacuum in the direction of the fibres of the rug to allow it to regain its shape and beauty. As for using a carpet sweeper, this is not recommended, because carpet sweepers are generally too ineffective and only remove the dirt on the surface while contributing to the wear of the rug. If it’s well-maintained, regularly and even every day for an area rug subjected to heavy traffic, it can last several years and hold on to its beauty – if it’s a quality carpet, of course. A well-maintained and regularly vacuumed carpet also lets you preserve the air quality in a room by eliminating the dust that flies all over the stagnant air and that you breathe all day long.

Annual carpet cleaning

Because vacuuming has its limits on a carpet, its regular maintenance must be accompanied by an annual or biannual cleaning carried out by a professional cleaning company in order to eliminate the dirt embedded in its fibres. The carpet cleaning carried out professionally by qualified people is done using a steam and extraction-based process that completely removes dirt, stains, and potential mould and bacteria nestled within the carpet. In addition, some of the most demanding materials in terms of cleaning require a know-how that professionals are familiar with and that gives the carpets a second life. Professional cleaning companies also have materials that allow them to effectively remove pet fur as well as dust mites, which are responsible for allergic reactions in many people.

Cleaning an area rug in the washing machine

Unfortunately, the washing machine and most of the materials that make up area rugs aren’t a good mix. If your rug is made exclusively of a very resistant material, such as synthetic or plastic fibres, and after carefully verifying its composition, you can put your carpet (if it fits in your washing machine) in the drum with other resistant fabrics, such as sheets, and set your machine to a gentle, cold water cycle with a small amount of detergent. Once washed, make sure to always dry your carpet, preferably outside. This cold water washing technique, however, does not allow you to remove embedded bacteria or mould and only removes a small amount of pet fur or hair, which is unfortunately quite hard to remove from the fabrics.


Cleaning an area rug in the machine therefore presents many limitations, whether in terms of its composition, to avoid damaging its fibres or making it shrink, but also in terms of its size. Indeed, a large area rug won’t fit, certainly not in the drum of a regular-sized washing machine. Take care of your carpet and it will make you feel good by remaining stylish and pleasant under your feet for a long time!

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