How to clean Ruggable rugs – 4 simple steps to follow

This is how I look after my Ruggable rugs to keep them clean, fresh and always looking their best

A ruggable rug in a living room with childrens toys
(Image credit: Ruggable)

Washable rugs are a godsend. They look great, warm up a space, and have the added benefit of being low-maintenance and super simple to clean. This is why I have Ruggable rugs in high-traffic spots like my dining room and kitchen. 

While they are relatively low maintenance, my washable rugs do occasionally need to be washed to keep them fresh (especially when I accidentally spill something when making dinner). Luckily, they are much easier to manage than cleaning an area rug generally. I have even got the process down to four easy steps. 

This is how I clean my flat woven and plush Ruggable rugs in only four steps with minimal effort. 

How to clean Ruggable rugs

Unlike cleaning a carpet without a machine, Ruggable rugs don't require any scrubbing on your hands and knees. They can be easily tossed in the washing machine and cleaned as you would your regular laundry – with only a few caveats. 

1. Remove the rug cover

A ruggable runner rug in a kitchen

Verena Sapphire Rug

(Image credit: Ruggable)

Ruggable rugs are made up of two parts – the rug pad (the more structured section that sits on the floor) and the rug cover (the pretty bit that sticks on top). When washing my Ruggable rugs, I wash one at a time, starting with vacuuming gently without the beater brush to remove any loose debris before removing the cover and bunching it in the washing machine so the design is on the outside. As this is the bit that comes in contact with dirt, putting it on the outside ensures it is the first to come into contact with my laundry detergent. 

However, the experts at Ruggable add that it is important to check your washing machine's load limit before washing your rug. While many rugs fit in a standard machine, very large rugs may exceed the weight limit when wet, so it is important to read the manual and check your rug care label first to avoid this common washing machine mistake

2. Wash with a gentle detergent – but skip the softener

A green ruggable rug in a green living room

Terali Ivy Green Rug

(Image credit: Ruggable)

I am always careful to avoid using fabric softener on my Ruggable rug and for several reasons. Fabric softener can leave behind a sticky residue that may affect the look or feel of your rug or even make it more likely to pick up dirt and stains. Usually, a mild detergent is enough to remove marks and freshen up the scent. Use around the same amount you would when doing laundry normally – I discovered that you don't need extra just because it is an item that goes on the floor. 

That said, you can also clean with white vinegar, adding half a cup to your washing machine detergent drawer or using a mixture of equal parts white vinegar and warm water to spot treat stains on a Ruggable rug before it goes in the washing machine. This is especially good for dealing with pet odors.

3. Dry naturally

A ruggable rug in a bedroom

Alessia Dark Wood Rug

(Image credit: Ruggable)

There are several benefits to air-drying laundry, but this step is especially important when it comes to Ruggable rugs. While the instructions state that you can dry a Ruggable rug in a tumble dryer on low heat, I find that it is best to leave it to dry naturally to prolong its lifespan. 

Drying naturally puts less stress on the fibers, ensuring that the rug keeps its shape and design – it also helps improve the scent too. 

4. Clean the rug pad by hand

A light ruggable runner rug in a galley kitchen

Isabel Vintage Copper Rug

(Image credit: Ruggable)

The rug pad is the only section of Ruggable rugs that cannot go in a washing machine. Luckily, I find them very easy to clean by hand or with the help of a broom. 

To clean my rug pad, I start by vacuuming on the lowest suction setting and without the beater brush to collect dust and loose debris, then anything left stuck behind is gently scrubbed off with a stiff-bristled broom. In summer, I find it helpful to do this outside on my patio, helping to air the rug pad out and dispel any odors. 

If there are any stubborn marks or stains on the rug pad, I use a similar approach to cleaning stains on the cover – mixing equal parts white vinegar and warm water before washing it down with a clean cloth or microfiber mop. Then, I hang it on my washing line or clothes horse to dry naturally in a well-ventilated space or with the help of my dehumidifier, before putting my dried rug cover back on.  


How often should you wash a Ruggable rug?

Ruggable rugs are low-maintenance and only need washing when they become dirty, or you want to freshen up the space. As a general rule of thumb, you should wash them at least twice a year, vacuuming regularly, and spot-treat them in between as needed.  

Is a Ruggable rug hard to vacuum?

If your Ruggable rug is held down by furniture, then it is as easy to vacuum as any other rug or carpet. That being said, I have found that my Ruggable runner, which runs down the center of my kitchen, lifts when I try to vacuum it as it is lightweight and my vacuum suction is so strong. I usually beat the rug out instead and then vacuum up the debris to get around this. 

While I use these washing instructions on my flatwoven and plush Ruggable rugs, they can also be used to wash other Ruggable variants, including bath and entry mats, shag and tufted rugs, faux hide rugs, and Re-Jute rugs, the experts assure.   

Chiana Dickson

Chiana has been at Homes & Gardens for a year, having started her journey in interior journalism as part of the graduate program. She spends most of her time producing content for the Solved section of the website, helping readers get the most out of their homes through clever decluttering, cleaning, and tidying tips – many of which she tests and reviews herself in her home in Lancaster to ensure they will consistently deliver for her readers and dabbles in the latest design trends. She also has a first-class degree in Literature from Lancaster University.