Can You Wash a Runner Rug in the Washer?

Can You Wash a Runner Rug in the Washer? Let’s see whether that is possible.

Runner rugs are long and narrow rugs that are usually placed in hallways, entryways, or other areas where you want to add some style and comfort. They can also protect your floors from dirt, scratches, and wear and tear. However, runner rugs can also get dirty and stained over time, especially if they see a lot of foot traffic. So, can you wash a runner rug in the washer?

Can You Wash a Runner Rug in the Washer?

How to Tell If Your Runner Rug Is Machine-Washable

The first thing you need to do is to check the care label of your runner rug before washing.

The care label will tell you what kind of material your rug is made of, and what kind of cleaning methods the manufacturer recommended or allowed. Some rugs will have a clear indication that they are machine-washable, while others will say “dry clean only” or “spot clean only”.

If you can’t find the care label, or it is unreadable, you can also look at the material and the texture of your rug.

Runner rugs that are made of cotton or synthetic fibers (such as polyester or nylon) and have a rubber backing are safe to wash in the washer. These rugs are durable and can withstand the agitation and water temperature of the machine.

How to Wash a Runner Rug in the Washer

Once you determine that your runner rug is machine-washable, follow the steps below properly to do the washing:

Shake off dirt

Take your rug outside and shake it vigorously to remove any loose dirt, dust, or debris. Alternatively, you can also use a vacuum cleaner to suck up any remaining dirt from both sides of the rug.

Pre-treat stains

If the rug has any stains or spots, you need to pre-treat them before washing.

You can use a mild detergent or a stain remover that is suitable for your rug’s material and color.

Apply it to the stained area and gently rub it with a soft-bristled brush. Let it sit for a few minutes before putting it into the washing machine.

Load the machine

Place your rug in a large front-loading washer that has enough space for it to move freely. Do not overload the machine or wash your rug with other items that may damage it or cause color transfer. If you have a small washer or a top-loading washer with an agitator, you may need to take your rug to a laundromat or a professional cleaner instead.

Wash the rug

Choose a gentle cycle and a cool water temperature for washing your rug. Use a mild detergent that is compatible with your rug’s material and color. Do not use bleach, fabric softener, or harsh chemicals that may damage your rug or cause fading or bleeding.

Dry the rug

After washing, take your rug out of the machine and shake it gently to remove any excess water. Do not wring or twist your rug as this may damage its shape and texture. You can either air-dry your rug by laying it flat on a clean surface or hanging it over a railing or a clothesline, or tumble-dry it on a low heat setting in a dryer. Make sure your rug is completely dry before using it again.

How to Care for Your Runner Rug

Washing your runner rug in the washer is an ideal way to care for your rug.

Frequent washing may shorten the lifespan of your rug and cause more wear and tear. To keep your runner rug clean and fresh between washes, here are some tips you can follow:

Vacuum your rug regularly

Vacuuming your rug at least once a week will help remove any dirt, dust, or crumbs that may accumulate on its surface. This will prevent them from getting embedded into the fibers and causing stains or odors.

Spot-clean spills

If you spill something on your rug, act quickly and blot it up with a paper towel or a cloth as soon as possible. Do not rub or scrub the spill, as this may spread it further or push it deeper into the fibers. Use a mild detergent or a stain remover that is suitable for your rug’s material and color to treat the affected area.

Rotate your rug

Rotating your rug every few months will help prevent uneven wear and fading from exposure to sunlight or foot traffic. This will also help balance out any wrinkles or creases that may form on your rug over time.

Store your rug properly

If you need to store your rug for a long period of time, make sure you clean it thoroughly before doing so. Roll up your rug instead of folding it to avoid creating permanent creases or folds. Wrap it in a breathable fabric such as cotton or linen to protect it from dust, moisture, insects, or rodents. Store it in a cool, dry, and dark place away from direct sunlight or heat sources.

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FAQs

How often should I wash my runner rug?

There is no definitive answer to this question as it depends on the foot traffic your rug sees, how dirty it gets, what kind of material it is made of, and what kind of cleaning methods it can tolerate.

What kind of detergent should I use for washing my runner rug?

You should use a mild detergent that is compatible with your runner rug’s material and color. Avoid using bleach, fabric softener, or harsh chemicals that may damage your rug or cause fading or bleeding. You can also use vinegar as a natural alternative to detergent as it helps remove odors and stains without harming your rug.

Can I wash my runner rug with other items?

No, you should not wash your runner rug with other items that may damage it or cause color transfer. Wash your runner rug separately in a large front-loading washer that has enough space for it to move freely. If you have a small washer or a top-loading washer with an agitator, you may need to take your rug to a laundromat or a professional cleaner instead.


How do I prevent color bleeding when washing my runner rug?

Color bleeding occurs when dye from one fabric transfers onto another fabric due to water temperature, detergent type, or agitation. To prevent color bleeding when washing your runner rug:

      • Test for colorfastness before washing by rubbing a damp white cloth on an inconspicuous area of your rug
      • Use cold water for washing
      • Use mild detergent
      • Wash on gentle cycle
      • Do not soak
      • Do not mix colors
      • Rinse thoroughly
      • Dry immediately

How do I prevent shrinking when washing my runner rug?

Shrinking occurs due to water temperature, detergent type, or agitation.

To prevent shrinking when washing your runner rug,

      • Test for shrinkage before washing by measuring your rug before and after washing
      • Use cold water for washing
      • Use mild detergent
      • Wash on gentle cycle
      • Do not soak
      • Do not wring or twist
      • Dry on low heat setting or air-dry

How do I prevent fading when washing my runner rug?

Fading occurs when dye from fabric loses its intensity due to exposure to sunlight, water temperature, detergent type, or agitation.

To prevent fading when washing your runner rug:

      • Test for fading before washing by comparing the color of an exposed area of your rug with an unexposed area (such as under furniture)
      • Use cold water for washing
      • Use mild detergent
      • Wash on gentle cycle
      • Do not soak
      • Do not mix colors
      • Rinse thoroughly
      • Dry immediately away from direct sunlight

 

Final Thought

Runner rugs are great additions to any home as they add style, comfort, and protection to your floors. However, they also need proper care and maintenance to keep them looking their best.

You can wash some runner rugs in the washer if they are made of cotton or synthetic fibers and have a rubber backing that hasn’t worn out.

Other runner rugs that are made of natural fibers other than cotton or have no backing should not be washed in the washer as they can be damaged by the machine. These rugs should be cleaned with dry methods or spot-treated only if necessary.

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