Cleaning carpets can be the most tedious task on planet earth, and we are trying to find new ways to clean them effectively without much effort. So, what about washing machines? Can you put a carpet in the washing machine?
You can put most carpets inside the washing machine, but not all of them. Some carpet fabrics may shrink or deteriorate inside the machine. Therefore, it’s always imperative to check the manufacturing label to determine the type of cleaning your carpet requires.
Clearly, we all need some help understanding this dusty situation. Therefore, in this article, we’ll talk about carpets, how to clean them effectively, how to properly wash them in a washing machine, and what other techniques you can do to prevent them from getting so dirty.
This post contains affiliate links. This means Household Blogger may earn a commission should you make a purchase using any of our links. Please refer to our full affiliate disclosure policy for full details.
Here’s a Quick Pro Tip!
Cleaning carpets or rugs can be a heavy task, which is why it’s often neglected, even though it shouldn’t be. Washing them inside a washing machine can be the easiest way to do it, but even then, you’d have to make sure to handle it correctly.
Nevertheless, we think these products will help you in your carpet-cleaning journey:
1. Biokleen Carpet Stain Remover – Remove stains and funny smells without compromising your health with harsh chemicals.
2. Heavy Duty Carpet Steam Cleaner – Remove germs with hot steam.
3. Carpet Cleaner + Shampoo – Your carpet’s best buddies.
How to Wash a Carpet
Before we get into the details about carpets and all that comes with them, it’s important to know what’s allowed and what’s not allowed when we are determined to clean them.
So, let’s find out these details below!
Can I Wash a Carpet in the Washing Machine?
You can wash your carpet in the washing machine, but you have to ensure that your carpet won’t get ruined inside. To determine this, you have to check the carpet’s label, whether its color can bleed or not, and the type of fabric it’s made from.
Some carpet fabrics can easily get ruined inside a washing machine. Therefore, you should be careful when considering this cleaning method.
If you find that your carpet has a chance to get ruined inside your washer, try searching for another way to clean it.
Moreover, if your carpet has a strong color that is prone to “bleed”, throwing it in a washing machine won’t be convenient for you.
Additionally, you can determine if your carpet is machine-washable by looking at its manufacturing label.
Can a Rug Ruin a Washing Machine?
Your rug can ruin a washing machine if you don’t make efforts to vacuum or broom it first. The dirt from the rug could be damaging to the washer, which is why it’s recommended to dry clean it before throwing it in the washing machine.
Our rugs are the main items inside our homes that gets easily dirty. Therefore, we have to clean them either by vacuuming or brooming them.
If we don’t, we risk having a nasty-looking rug that won’t feel satisfying to our feet’s touch.
If we throw our rugs inside the washing machine without vacuuming them, we risk leaving behind dirt particles that’ll likely damage the interior of our washers.
Therefore, you should always broom or vacuum your rug before washing it to prevent damage from happening.
Moreover, another thing that can be harmful to your washer is washing the rug alone.
For example, if you plan to clean a small rug inside the washer, you have to make sure to level it so that it doesn’t get wobbly or anything similar.
If your rug is too heavy for your washing machine, it’ll likely harm its overall function. It will cause your washing machine to get wobbly and start making “hitting” sounds.
This means that the strength it needs isn’t enough, and this can be hazardous to your house.
How Do I Clean My Carpet in the Washing Machine?
To wash your carpet in the washing machine, you have to throw it along with two towels or another rug of similar color. That way, your washing machine will be leveled, and it won’t get damaged while washing your rug.
Here are crucial steps to follow to wash your carpet in the washing machine:
- Determine how many rugs you will wash. If you’re looking to wash more than 3 rugs, try to separate them for each load. Your washer shouldn’t have more than two rugs per cycle.
- Before throwing in the washing machine, broom or vacuum your carpet. You’ll need to fetch any remaining particles or debris. If you don’t, your washer may get damaged.
- Address your rug’s stains first. Use your favorite detergent and apply them to the stains you want to eliminate the most. Let it sit for, at least, 15 to 20 minutes approximately.
- After you go through the abovementioned steps, throw your rug in the washer.
- Make sure to balance your washing machine by putting two towels alongside your rug, or a second rug with identical color. Remember that they can be prone to bleed! So don’t wash dark-colored rugs in the same cycle as light-colored items.
What’s the Best Way to Clean a Carpet?
The best way to clean a carpet is by determining exactly what type of cleaning your specific carpet needs. Some carpets may need to use a hot water extraction method, while others may need a shampooing method.
If you are sensitive to most chemicals found in detergents, you can use hot water extraction.
This method is applied with a high-pressure wand, and the hot water works to dissolve unbearable dirt and other types of nuances. It’s also a good germ killer, so go for it.
On a side note, if you’re not scared of chemicals, you can try to shampoo your carpet with special detergents. To shampoo your carpet, you need rotating brushes.
In addition, you need to wash off the detergents meticulously to avoid them contacting your skin, your children, or pets.
You can also dry clean your carpets. Dry cleaning is used for office buildings and other similar establishments.
Additionally, this method involves using powder detergents and little water. Plus, it’s applied with a rotating brush that helps push down the powder and erase germs.
If your carpet looks like a battleground, then you may need to use foam cleaning.
The foam used in this type of cleaning expands throughout the carpet and catches every nasty thing and brings them to the surface. So, this one seems more convenient for harder jobs.
How Do I Deep Clean My Carpet?
For you to deep clean your carpet, you must first prepare the area that you’ll clean. After, you vacuum your carpet. Then, you’ll use your carpet shampooer on the carpet and get every spot carefully. Let the carpet dry. And, when it does, vacuum it.
Before you decide to clean your carpet, you have to find a carpet shampooer that you can use. They are not hard to find.
Surely, you’ll find one online or at a home improvement store.
Read the manufacturer’s manual to make sure that you understand your shampooer. If you don’t read them, you risk not using them correctly and ruining your carpet.
Ensure to test it in a non-visible area before cleaning the whole carpet to ensure you’re using the right setting.
After the abovementioned steps, make sure that the area you’ll shampoo is free from furniture.
If there are bookshelves along the way, try to protect them with aluminum or any other protector that won’t get compromised by the carpet shampooer.
Then, start cleaning the carpet with the shampooer. Be strategic as to where you begin cleaning so that the process is easy-going.
For example, you’ll want to avoid starting at entry areas. Otherwise, you’ll need to step on a wet carpet, which is uncomfortable.
Repeat the cleaning as it seems fit. After, you’ll need to use clear water to remove the remaining detergents or shampoos that you used.
To do this, use the shampooer again without any detergents involved.
Additionally, opening windows, doors, or any other breathable spaces will help you ventilate the room of the carpeted area and allow it to dry.
After it dries, you’ll finish by vacuuming again to catch any dirt or debris left behind.
How Often Should I Clean My Carpet?
You should clean your carpet every 3, 6, or 12 months. The frequency of times you’ll need to clean it will depend on many factors, such as the number of people in your household, your home’s overall environment, and the type of cleaning you’ll apply.
For example, if you’re just looking to vacuum your carpet, doing it once a week (or every two weeks) is enough, depending on your overall house environment and the number of dirt that builds up.
But, if you’re looking to deep-clean your rugs, you can do so every three or six months. Of course, it will depend on how frequently your carpet gets dirty.
For any other cleaning method, you can so every 6 or 12 months. Try to keep a regular and solid cleaning schedule so cleaning your carpet does not become hard.
How to Properly Clean Rugs
Now that you know how to clean carpets in a washing machine and what other cleaning methods are there, it’s time to understand a bit more about rugs.
So, let’s disclose this topic below.
Can You Put a Fluffy Rug in the Washing Machine?
You can put your fluffy or shaggy rug in the washing machine so long as it does not have a rubber back. If you throw a fluffy rug with rubber back inside the washing machine, it can tear and get ruined inside the washer.
Shaggy rugs are often fragile due to the material its made with, so you’d have to wash them in a delicate setting and under cold water.
Even though it’s still possible to wash them with a washing machine, a more safe method would be hand cleaning or steam cleaning them.
You might also enjoy our post on If You Can Vacuum a Wet Carpet
What Types of Rugs Are Machine Washable?
Machine washable rugs include cotton, nylon, and olefin. In total, there are at least five types of rugs that you can wash in the washing machine. Although, some of them may be safer to wash through other methods such as hand cleaning.
Here are some types of rugs that you can safely wash in the washer:
- Polypropylene rugs. Commonly used in halls and other common areas. They are machine-washable but also tolerate a hand-wash. Additionally, you can’t put them in the dryer. Otherwise, it could melt!
- Nylon rugs. Although it doesn’t last as much as other types of rugs, they can still handle a machine wash. However, you have to use them in a gentle setting and in cold water. Don’t put them in the dryer.
- Olefin rugs. An affordable, attractive, and good-looking synthetic fiber. You can use it outdoors or indoors. You can wash them safely in the washer without ruining them.
- Polyester rugs. You have to wash them alone in the washing machine. But, if you want to combine it with other items, make sure that those items are a similar color. Otherwise, you risk them getting ruined due to color bleeding.
- Viscose rugs. Considered natural and synthetic fiber, you can machine wash them if necessary. Although, it’s safer to wash them by hand.
- Cotton rugs. While cotton is a natural, soft, and refreshing fabric, it’s still safe to wash by using a washing machine. It’s best to wash them in a cold setting and dry them on the clothesline. If you put them in the drying machine, you risk shrinking them.
Is It Hygienic to Wash Rugs in Washing Machines?
Washing rugs in a washing machine will be hygienic if you follow the correct preparation steps to clean them. For example, if you throw the carpet inside the washer without brooming or vacuuming it first, the dirt is likely to stay inside the washer.
In short words, your washing machine will be as hygienic as you keep it.
If you wash a rug without preparing it for the washing machine, chances are that it will ruin it or leave unnecessary dirt inside, which will affect future washing loads.
Moreover, washing your rugs inside the washer isn’t harmful to the overall house hygiene. In fact, it keeps them more sanitary, as long as you’re constant with your cleaning schedule.
So, there’s no need to worry about it. Just make sure to read their label and avoid issues.
Other Cleaning Options to Consider
So now that we know all about the washing machine, let’s discuss other ways that you can clean your dirty carpet.
How Can I Clean My Carpet Without a Vacuum?
You can clean a carpet without a vacuum by using a broom, a carpet sweeper, a rug beater, or simply shaking your carpet. Additionally, you can also machine-wash your carpet after brooming it for better cleansing.
So, if you need to get rid of the dirt on your carpet but have no idea how to do it without a vacuum, you don’t have to worry.
A simple broom and a dustpan will suffice. But, you can also use a manual carpet sweeper, which is super easy to use.
You can also hang your carpet on a clothesline and beat it with a rug beater. This will allow the dirt to get out of it easily.
The same thing occurs with shaking, although the latter will require you more force.
But, you can machine-wash them after removing the dust from them. Just make sure to get all the dirt particles out so that it doesn’t hurt your machine washer.
Additionally, make sure to read the label to ensure that your rug is suitable for the washer.
Can You Put a Carpet Through the Washer and Dryer?
You can put a carpet through the washer, but not on a dryer. Most synthetic and natural fibers can tolerate being washed in a washing machine, but many advise strongly against drying them in the washing machine because your rug could either shrink or melt.
While some fibers resist machine washing perfectly, keep in mind that others may need hand-wash or dry-cleaning.
To determine which cleaning method is appropriate for your rug or carpet, read the manufacturing label.
And, under no circumstances put your rug or carpet inside the dryer. Most fabrics won’t resist the heat and will shrink, just like cotton does.
Others may simply melt because they’re often plastic-based. So, generally, it’s not a good option to use. Simple air-drying is a must!
You might also enjoy our post on If You Can Put a Carpet in the Dryer
How Can I Clean the Carpet Cheaply?
To cheap-clean your carpet, you have to use home remedies alongside common home cleaning tools. Some home remedies include solutions based on baking soda, vinegar, or salt. Additionally, you have to use old towels, stiff and soft brushes, and warm water.
For example, you can use salt to get rid of wine stains on your carpet. You just have to make sure to vacuum it once you see that the salt took a color similar to the wine.
But, you can also use baking powder. Apply it to the stain and then pour warm water on it. For best effectiveness, leave overnight. Repeat if necessary.
You can use vinegar to accelerate the process. But, be careful of using it for dark-colored carpets!
Besides baking powder, you can also use baking soda. Just brush your carpet with a stiff brush to get rid of the dust particle, then add the baking soda to the stains on your carpet.
After, use a soft brush to scrub them and add warm water. Let them dry, then finish with vacuuming.
On a side note, even though these methods can help you resolve staining issues, keep in mind that your carpet may need steam cleaning once a year.
So, while cheap cleaning methods work, it’s best to invest in your carpet for better results.
Can You Wash a Rug at the Laundromat?
You can wash your rug at the laundromat. In fact, it’s highly recommended since laundromats have better machines that can tolerate your rug’s weight. Just make sure to get rid of dirt particles before sending them there.
Laundromats are especially recommended for larger rugs because they are more resistant to their weight, unlike conventional home-washing machines.
So, your best bet is to take your rug or carpet to your local laundromat.
Good Washing Practices
After learning how to clean carpets and rugs using multiple methods, we now need to learn about the good cleaning practices we should live by. So, let’s talk about it below.
Can You Clean the Carpet With Just Hot Water?
You can clean your carpet with just hot water. Actually, it’s recommended to use, especially for the hot-water extraction method used for cleaning carpets. Plus, hot water is especially effective at getting rid of dust particles.
Additionally, using hot water to clean your carpet is effective at cleaning off germs and other types of bacteria.
So, if you’re the type of person to be cautious with these, you can safely clean your carpet with hot water.
Do I Need to Rinse the Carpet After Shampooing?
You don’t only need to rinse the carpet after shampooing, but it’s also essential. If you don’t, the chemicals left by the detergents or carpet shampoos that you used may have the chance of harming you, your kids, or your pets.
Besides, if you leave detergents behind, chances are that your carpets may get nastier in the future.
This means that they would have higher chances of becoming more unsanitary than usual. So, make a huge effort to rinse your carpet after shampooing.
You might also enjoy our post on If You Can Put Furniture on Wet Carpet
Can You Wash the Carpet With Soap and Water?
You can wash your carpet with dish soap and water if you feel like this is a more affordable option. All you have to do is mix dish soap with warm water, pour the solution into your carpet or stain, and you’re good to go.
You have to mix the dish soap and the warm water in a bucket. Then, you have to pour the mix into the stain and let it sit for 10 minutes approximately.
After, you have to scrub the stain until it’s fully clean. You may repeat this process as you’d seem fit.
Should You Hand Wash Rugs?
It’s recommended to hand wash rugs that are made of fibers such as viscose, as it can be a safer cleaning method for them. What you need to do is to check your rug’s manufacturing label to determine the correct way to clean your rug.
While hand washing your rug is safer and more effective (in some cases), you have to make sure you check the label before trying anything.
That way, you’ll avoid ruining your carpet. Additionally, you have to be careful as some rugs could only be washed through dry cleaning.
Can You Put a Carpet in the Dryer?
It’s not recommended that you put your carpet inside the dryer. Most carpets are made with fabrics that can get ruined because of the heat, such as propylene and cotton. Therefore, you should avoid putting your carpet in the drying machine.
The best method to dry your carpet is by hanging them on a clothesline located in a dry area. You should never put them in a drying machine, as it could easily ruin them or shrink them.
The latter is a common occurrence with cotton-based materials.
Can You Put Rugs in the Dryer?
Due to the nature of carpet fabrics, you can’t put rugs in the dryer. If you do, you risk ruining your rug, especially if they have a rubber backing. In such a case, the rubber could melt, or the fabric of the rug can ruin itself altogether.
So, make sure to avoid putting your rugs inside the dryer. Allow them to dry on a clothesline or even on top of some dry furniture under the sun.
Not only it will be safer, but it will leave your rug feeling fresh and neat.
How Can I Get My Carpet to Dry Faster?
To get your carpet to dry faster, you should start by searching for methods that help ventilate your room. This can include increasing the temperature of your house or using a dehumidifier to accelerate the drying process.
Dehumidifiers are great for getting rid of the humidity in an environment. So, getting one for the space where you are drying your carpets is convenient because it can help accelerate the process.
Additionally, you can increase the temperature of the room you’re using to dry your carpets. Since the heat will be there, there is a higher chance that it will dry faster.
On a side note, to avoid having the stress of needing a carpet to dry quicker, make sure to wash your carpets on days where you know you won’t receive guests or on days where you know you won’t have many things to do throughout the day.
You can put your rug or carpet inside your washing machine, as long as you make sure to read the manufacturing label first. That way, you’ll avoid ruining your carpet.
Although cleaning carpets can be a hard task, there’s no denying that the finishing product is very satisfying.
Having the pleasure of stepping onto your rug knowing that it’s clean and germ-free is truly a good sensation.
But, just the overall good sensation of a clean carpet shouldn’t be our only motivator to clean them. Generally, carpets trap the harshest dirt and debris from your house’s environment.
So, it’s best to clean them diligently.