Cleaning Throw Rugs

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Cleaning your throw rugs will depend on size, fabric content, and manufacturer's recommendations. Many throw rugs, unless labeled otherwise, can be washed. This is a page about cleaning throw rugs.


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On a whim I thought I'd try to comb my little rug carpets using my pet brushes. One is the "Furminator" pet brush and another just a cheap little wire pet comb/brush. Both worked great!

I placed the rugs outside on a flat surface and just combed it. Lots of hair I didn't even see came out and the rug's nap came up nicely too! I didn't pull out any rug fiber either!

I never thought to do before, but will definitely do again!

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I found out by accident the best way to clean my old throw rugs. I washed them and hung them on the clothesline outside. Then it rained, and rained and rained. To my surprise, they were cleaner then when I first hung them out.


No more machine washing of rugs for me, now I just hang them out on the line when I hear it's going to rain.

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Ask a QuestionHere are the questions asked by community members. Read on to see the answers provided by the ThriftyFun community or ask a new question.

July 26, 2004

I have washed bathroom rugs in my washer, but I am scared to dry them in dryer. Is it safe to dry it in dryer? It takes days together to dry completely if dried in the sun. I really need some help. Does anyone know about this?


By Paulette (Guest Post)
July 26, 20041 found this helpful

If the mat has a rubber backing, I wash it in the washer in my first load. I lay it on top of the dryer while all loads are drying, and find it dries very well.


Lay it rubber side up, as the coating can get brittle and flake if it gets too much heat.

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By Mom (Guest Post)
July 26, 20040 found this helpful

I always dry mine in the dryer on low. However they should have a label telling you how to wash and dry. If they say no dryer than I wouldn't.

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By Tawnda (Guest Post)
July 30, 20041 found this helpful

I wash mine in washer and then hang on door of laundry room or on shower curtain in laundry room. Heat from dryer drying other loads helps.

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May 19, 20050 found this helpful

I have a wooden clothes drying rack for things like rugs and other items that can't be dryer dried. When the weather is not good for line drying, the items go on the rack.


They'll be dried by the next morning. I don't like drying rugs in my dryer. It breaks down the backing too much. Hope this helps.

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By MELISA (Guest Post)
November 10, 20080 found this helpful

Help I dried a rubber backed rug in my 1 day old brand new Whirlpool dryer. There are rubber crumbs down inside where the lint trap goes. Should I vaccum it out ? How can I tell if the crumbs went anywhere else?

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August 29, 20160 found this helpful

I have dried them in the dryer but the back of them does deteriorate after several dryings. Now I just hang them in the laundry room over the top of the washer

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December 17, 2012

Can a 6x8 foot throw rug go in a front load washer?

By Becki


December 18, 20120 found this helpful

That isn't a throw rug, it is an area rug. I really don't think it will fit, because of the nature of the rug.


What I would do is get some of that foam type rug cleaner and clean it with that.

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December 24, 20120 found this helpful

I have a crochet rag rug that I made and it is 6 ft by 8 ft. I believe I could get my rug in a very large commercial front load machine ... at least I sure hope so. It will be needing to be cleaned soon, but I don't think a firm backed area rug would work in the big washers.

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November 1, 2010

How do I clean the white on a small rug? The dirt is from normal walking on it.

By jean from Vancouver, BC


November 2, 20100 found this helpful

Use shaving cream and a scrub brush to do spot cleaning.

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ThriftyFun is one of the longest running frugal living communities on the Internet. These are archives of older discussions.

November 1, 2010

I was wondering if anyone could tell me how I can clean a throw rug so the rubber backing doesn't come off?


Wendy from West Allis, WI



Cleaning Throw Rugs

I have found that the dryer is what ruins the backing. If you can wash the rug (2 small ones will keep your washer balanced) and lay it out on a driveway or over a deck railing to dry, they should be fine.


By Jana, WI

Cleaning Throw Rugs

I only have one in the bathroom, kitchen and two in the entry way. I beat the tar out of them to shake any dirt/crumbs, and then vacuum up dog hair with the floor attachment on my cleaner. If something spills or they are tracked, I will wash them on warm water with detergent, then air dry overnight. The kitchen and entryway I do once a week, and the bathroom one is as needed, since it doesn't see "much action". They are all inexpensive Wal-mart types, and the kitchen/bath have lasted me one year, with no wear yet. (05/28/2006)

By Kelly

Cleaning Throw Rugs

Rugs, attached to the clothes line, have been beaten to remove dirt long before modern-day washers were invented. Good advice, camo. Try a cold water wash on delicate cycle w/detergent, Woolite or shampoo w/ softener added to the rinse cycle. You can add 1/2 cup white vinegar to either the wash and/or rinse cycle. It works great :o) (05/28/2006)

By gator

Cleaning Throw Rugs

I have had my large throw rugs more than 10 years and the secret to making them last this long is to "never" put them in the dryer. The heat of the dryer is what degrades the rubber backing. The rubber backing on mine is beginning to break down and the rugs will have to be replaced soon, but 10-years-plus for this type of rug, I think, is pretty good. I wish some of my major appliances lasted that long! (05/30/2006)

By Ronsan

Cleaning Throw Rugs

You can take them to the car wash and use the clips to hold them up to wash. You could also use a pressure washer at home if you have one. Then just air dry. (05/31/2006)

By Sandy

Cleaning Throw Rugs

I agree with everyone's comments about the dryer, it is a killer. But I wanted to add that I lay my rug over my ironing board with the rubber backing side up. It usually drys over night.


By Tricia

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