How to Wash a Cotton Area Rug in a Washing Machine

Many homeowners want to know if they could wash their cotton area rugs in the washing machines without damaging it. The answer to this question is to check the label that is attached to the back of the rug. It will state machine washable if it is suitable for washing in a washing machine. If you did not see any machine washable term in the label, it means you should not wash it in a washing machine. Learning how to wash machine washable cotton area rugs in a washing machine can help you to save money on sending it to professional cleaning.

Step 1: Removing Dust and Hard Particles

  • First of all, before tossing in the machine washable cotton area rugs into the washer, you must shake off the dirt and other solid particles. You can have another person to help you carry the other side of the carpet. Both of you can then shake the carpet a few times to let the dirt fall out.
  • You can use a vacuum cleaner to vacuum up the dust if you don’t want to carry it outside. You must vacuum gently, especially the fringe, to prevent the fiber from getting pulled off. If you are not yet skillful in using a vacuum cleaner, it will better to take the rug outside and shake off the dust.
  • Shaking off the dust can prevent dust from getting into the motor and damage it.

Step 2: Check the Carpet for Visible Stain

  • After shaking off the dust, you must check the rug for any visible stain mark. The stain should be treated accordingly.
  • If the carpet has beverage stain, you can mix 1 tbsp hydrogen peroxide to 1/2 tbsp of dish soup and apply it on the stain area. You should let the solution sit on the stain area for a few minutes before washing it away.
  • If it is a fat based stain, you can sprinkle some baking soda powder on it and let it sit there for 6 hours. After 6 hours, you can vacuum away the baking soda and use a wet cloth to blot it away.
  • For gum stain, you can use a spoon to remove as much gum as possible and then scrub it with a sponge that is dipped in detergent. Hard gum can be softened with some ice cubes.
  • If the carpet contains bodily fluid like urine, vomit or blood, you can sprinkle some baking soda over it. Next, you are to pour some vinegar over the baking soda so that bubbly white foam starts to form. You are to wait for about 5 minutes or so for the baking soda to absorb the stain before using a dry cloth to wipe it away.
  • There is no need to soak the carpet for days to remove the stain mark. If you soak the carpet for days, your carpet will be damp which means it will take longer to dry. If it takes longer to dry, it is going to give way for mold growth to appear on the carpet. These stains can also be removed by spraying with an enzymatic cleaner which you can purchased at the pet store.

Step 3: Wash the Carpet in the Washing Machine

  • Once the dust is shook off, you can arrange the machine washable cotton area rugs around the agitator in the washer.
  • If it is a white cotton rug, you can wash it with detergent and bleach in warm water.
  • If it is a color cotton rug, you should just use detergent and not bleach it in cold water. It is best not to mix with other color rugs. This is because colors may come off during washing and stain your cotton rug with other colors.
  • If your cotton rug has rubber backing, it is best to brush it with a soft bristle brush gently.
  • If you feel lazy to wash it with hand, you can take it to a laundry shop and get it washed in a heavy-duty washing machine.
  • The buttons on the washing machine will provide illustrations on how much detergent to use. For example, for medium loads, fill the detergent container to bar 1. If it is a large load, fill the detergent container to bar 3.
  • You should set the washing machine to delicate cycle. Doing so will prevent the fiber from becoming damaged as it spin it around several times in the wash cycle.
  • If after washing the carpet, some stain mark remains, you should not put it back into the washing machine. Instead, you should dry it on the clothesline as usual. The stain may disappear as the sun suck out all the moisture from the wet carpet. If the stain did not disappear, you may repeat the washing process again.

Step 4: Air Dry the Washed Carpet

  • Finally, when the wash cycle ends, you must take the machine washable cotton area rugs out and air dry on a clothes line. The carpet is heavier after washing because it is damp and soaked in water. You can have someone to help you carry it to the clothesline where you can lay it out for drying.
  • It is best to air dry it under the sun in the morning or afternoon. The sun will dry up all the moisture and the wind helps to keep away the stale stuffy smell from the carpet.
  • It may take more than 1 day for the cotton carpet to become completely dry. From time to time, you can turn the carpet over so that both sides get to dry under the sun. When it is raining, you can take it indoor and turn on 2 – 3 table fans to the highest power setting to dry it.

Maintaining Machine Washable Cotton Area Rugs

  • Machine washable cotton area rugs are best washed in a separate washing machine used for cleaning dirty stuff. It should not be washed in the same washing machine that you use for washing your clothes.
  • You shouldn’t frequently wash your cotton carpet in a washing machine as it can get damaged. You may toss it into the washing machine once every 2 – 3 months.
  • It is important that you not just wash the cotton carpet when it is dirty with stain. To find out whether it is necessary to wash it, you can pick it up and drop it on the floor. If some dust appear to fly around the air, it means that your carpet is dusty and need to be washed.

What If Your Carpet is Not Machine Washable

  • Handmade cotton carpet is not suitable to be washed in a washing machine so the only way to wash it is to wash it with hand. You can use a soft bristled brush to gently scrub the carpet and work a lather with detergent. The soapy foam should be left on the carpet for around 10 minutes before rinsing it with the garden hose. Both sides must be scrubbed with a brush.
  • When working with soap, always wear rubber glove to protect your hands.
  • When rinsing, you are to keep spraying the carpet with a garden hose until the water that flows down is clear without any foam. You are to squeeze out the excess water with your hand before hanging it on a rack outside.