How to Wash Rubber Backed Rugs Without Damaging it

How to Wash Rubber Backed Rugs

Rubber-backed rugs are a great choice for high traffic areas in your home like the bathroom or kitchen because the rubber backing helps keep the rug in place protecting you and your family from slips and falls.

Knowing how to wash rubber backed rugs correctly and washing them when absolutely needed is very critical in extending their lifespan. Because with time, the rubber backing of the rugs may start to deteriorate when you wash them too often.

The best way to was rubber backed rugs is by using a washer, simply load it into the machine, pour in some cold water and add an appropriate amount of detergent. Wash the rug in cold settings, then air dry.

You can keep your rubber backed rugs looking good for years with the right cleaning tips and methods.

How Often Should you Wash Your Rugs

Rugs, especially those placed at your bathroom, are a haven for bacteria and mildew due to warmth and moisture. And the last thing anyone wants after taking a shower is stepping into a pool of microorganisms.

Rugs in the kitchen also catch oil, food crumbs, and grease, they accumulate to form an ecosystem in your rug. You don’t want that, especially in a place where you prepare your meals, that is why you need to wash your rugs regularly.

The number of people you have in your household is also a determinant for how frequent you need to wash your rugs, if you have lots of kids who play a lot of sports, thereby needing to shower frequently making the bathmat to never fully dry and also have lots of cooking being done.

You may need to wash it at least once a week, but if its a household that consists of just one or two persons, you can space out the rug washing to like once every two or three weeks.

How to Wash Rubber Backed Rugs

Using a washer

First, check the tags on your rugs to see if there’s any specific cleaning products or washer and dryer settings you need to adhere to.

After that, take your rug outside and give it a good shake, you will be amused by the amount of dirt, dust, dander, and food particles that fly out of the rug, then wipe the rubber backing with a dry cloth. Rubber-backed rugs are made of a wide range of materials; that’s why it’s important to check the tags.

Next, load the rug into a top-loading machine, then make sure to arrange it evenly around the agitator in the center.  You may need to place a couple of towels alongside the rug in order to balance out the wash-load

Set the machine to a delicate cycle for a large load even if you are washing only the rug and some towels, the rug needs enough room to move freely.

Fill the machine with cold water and add some detergent making sure it is appropriate for your rug’s material; rugs require less detergent than other laundry, so keep that in mind and use about half of the recommended amount on the bottle.

Before throwing your rugs into the washer, check the underside to see if it’s cracked or peeling, if so, do not place in the washer as these little pieces may come off during the washing process and clog or even damage your machine.

Wash your rugs in a cold setting, after which you air dry. Air drying is usually more recommended for rubber-backed rugs because it helps to prolong the life of the backing, which can disintegrate in high heat.

Hang it on a clothesline or over a railing, but if the weather is not permitting of air drying, you can tumble dry on low setting or hang the rug on a drying rack.

How to Hand Wash Your Rugs

We’ve talked about how to wash rubber backed rugs using a machine washer, in cases where you have no access to a washer or prefer to hand wash your rugs, you can do so using the following process

After giving your rug a good shake, mix some detergent with some water in a bucket

Mix it up till it forms lather, using this mixture soak up your rug adequately but avoid over saturating the rug, allow the detergent mixture to sit for about five minutes.

Then using a soft-bristled brush, scrub the rug gently all over. Be gentle while doing this to avoid pulling on the fibers of the rug.

After scrubbing for a couple of minutes, get a bucket of clean water and immerse the washed rug in; this will remove the dirt and soap off the rug, or you can use a garden hose to rinse off the rug, then hang to air dry.

Tips on How to Safely Wash your Rug Without Damaging it

Before using any cleaner on your rug, be sure to test it out on a very small spot of the rug, this is to make sure the cleaner is safe to use on your rug and won’t damage it. It’s better to have a tiny spot that’s barely visible than to have your whole rug ruined.

Before putting your rug into a washing machine, place a clean piece of paper towel underneath it, push the fibers of the rug apart then pour a little bit of warm water over it, see if it bleeds any color underneath if it does you cannot wash that rug with a machine because the soap may damage it.

Always give your rug a good shake or vacuum it thoroughly before attempting to wash it; not only does it make the cleaning process easier, but the dirt inside your rug is not good for your washer.

When using a washer, always wash it in cold water and on a gentle cycle, also never use a dryer to dry your rubber backed rugs, always allow it to air dry, the heat from the dryer will melt the rubber backing.

Lastly, take large rubber backed rugs to a laundromat or professionals with high capacity machines, do not attempt to wash them yourself as you could ruin them because handling them is a bit tricky than your regular bathmat.


All the aforementioned are all there is when it comes to learning how to wash rubber backed rugs; taking good care of your rugs will help keep it in good shape for a long time, and your feet will thank you for a job well done.

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