Rugs are designed to be walked on, so it makes sense that they can become quite dirty. Generally, a quick vacuuming will keep rugs dust- or dirt-free and have them looking like new in no time.
However, if a rug becomes particularly dirty or something is spilled on it, it may need to be washed.
It can be convenient to wash a smaller rug, such as one measuring 5 by 7 feet, in the washing machine when possible.
Can a 5 by 7-foot rug fit in a washing machine?
The answer to whether or not a rug measuring 5 by 7 feet will fit in a washing machine depends on how large your machine is and what type of material the rug is made of.
A 5 by 7-foot rug requires about 5 cubic feet of space in a washing machine. Home washing machines usually have a capacity of between 3.1 and 5 cubic feet, although most home washing machines have a capacity closer to 3.1 to 4 cubic feet.
If your rug is made of cotton or synthetic materials and has no rubber or non-slip backing, it should be relatively flexible, which will make it easier to fold the rug into the washing machine.
In this case, you may be able to wash a rug in a machine that has a capacity of 4.5 or even 4.2 cubic feet.
If your rug has a rubber backing, you can still wash it in the washing machine, but you will need a machine with a capacity of at least 5 cubic feet.
If your rug is woven or made of more delicate materials, check that it’s safe to put those materials in a washing machine.
If it is, place the rug in a mesh bag, if possible, to better protect it during washing.
What cycle should I use to wash a rug?
Always wash rugs on the gentle or delicate cycle with cold water. Cold water is especially important if your rug has a non-slip backing, as this can melt or deform in hot water.
Even if the rug is quite dirty, never run it on a stronger cycle than gentle, as a harsher cycle can damage the rug.
What is the best way to dry a rug?
Because rugs are so thick, they absorb a great deal of water, so drying them can take a very long time. Depending on the size of your dryer, you may be able to place a 5 by 7-foot rug in the dryer on a gentle or low cycle.
To get the rug dry, you’ll probably need to repeat the cycle several times.
You can also hang a rug to dry it. It’s best to hang rugs outside, where the breeze can help to dry them. The sun can also dry a rug more quickly, but be sure that the sun won’t damage or bleach the rug’s fabric.
If your rug is made of delicate materials or has a rubber or other type of non-slip backing, never put it in the dryer. Always hang these rugs instead.
What do I do if the rug doesn’t fit in the washing machine?
If your rug is too dirty to vacuum but doesn’t fit in your washing machine, you have a few options. First, you can take it to a dry cleaner.
Dry cleaners have much larger commercial washing machines, so they can easily fit a rug. Because they deal with many materials, dry cleaners also know how to wash a rug without damaging it.
Another option is to bring your rug to a laundromat. Laundromats often offer much larger washers than what you might have at home.
You can also clean your rug yourself by hosing it down. You can use a gentle soap on any particularly dirty areas. Rinse the rug thoroughly to make sure all the soap is gone.