How to Wash Rugs with Rubber Backing?

Rugs are not just embellishments in your house. They are much more than that. They handle the dirt and don’t let the dirt and dust come past the entrance. They protect the floors and help avoid moisture from spreading on the floorings. All in all, they do much more crucial work along with making the bedrooms cozy and kitchens and bathrooms safer and neater.

Rugs with Rubber Backing


Though there are varied types of rugs, rugs with rubber backing are the most used when it comes to high traffic areas, kitchens, and bathrooms. They wouldn’t skid, neither the moisture on the floor will ruin the rug materials due to the rubber backing. However, rugs with rubber backing need a thorough but careful wash than rugs, which are all the same from both sides. There are a few ways which we will share on this topic. The tools and products will be different, but all will be safe for the rubber backing.

Process to Wash Rugs with Rubber Backing

How to Wash Rugs with Rubber Backing
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Thorough Dusting of the Rugs

No matter how you are washing your rugs, the first and foremost thing you need to do is thoroughly dusting these. There must be no loose dirt on them. Use a vacuum cleaning machines for better area rug cleaning of the stuck-on dirt and grit from the deeper of fabrics. If you do not have a vacuum cleaner, just shake the rugs vigorously, not inside the house, of course. Do it outside. Then use a carpet brush and brush it well and once again shake the rugs thoroughly. The dirt and dust will be well-removed that way.

Machine Wash

  • Before we get into the challenging part, let’s talk about the easy wash in a washing machine. For that, you will have to make sure that your washing machine is a top-loading one.
  • Also, do not wash multiple rugs at a time. Two or three at max should be enough for washing per day, and with that, you will need to load the machine with a few towels for balancing the load in the machine.
  • The rugs need space in the machine to get thoroughly cleaned, but if you insert only two rugs in the machine, the constant high-speed spin will damage the rubber backing, and it will eventually crumble and flake off.
  • That highlights the unmentioned part of washing the delicate rugs with rubber backing in high-spin mode.
  • Also, make sure you are using half the detergent that you would use in regular laundry. By half, we mean quantity. First, you have only a couple of rugs to clean; the towels are not for thorough washing. Secondly, the rug material doesn’t require strenuous cleaning with detergents.
  • The detergent you are using must be of the type that is used for cleaning delicate materials like wool or other soft fabrics. That will ensure that the rug material will be on the safer side, and you will clean the rubber backing thoroughly.

Spot Cleaning Before Machine Wash

If you want to minimize the machine work, you can do spot cleaning beforehand. Spot cleaning will be manual. Hence we will talk about that just below in our handwashing of rugs discussion.

Air Drying the Rugs

  • After rinsing the rugs, make sure you air dry them. You can use a dryer instead. But we actually prefer natural drying by hanging them outdoors.
  • Make sure to flip and dry both sides. Rubber backing is not very safe for your machines. Washing machines are, to an extent, handled through towels and few washable rugs. But do not want to do tricky stuff with the dryer. And a dryer is anyway not among common household machinery.
  • If you direly need to, you will have to use the drying portion of the washing machine, which you must conveniently skip and air dry the rugs.
  • Thoroughly squeeze out all the water from the rugs. It will not be easy with the firm backing but try. And then hang it outside to air dry.
  • Make sure they are directly not under the sunrays. Direct sunlight will burn and fade the original color.


Instead of a washing machine, you can manually wash your rugs with rubber backing. It’s a better option for both your rugs and the washing machine.

Oxygenated Bleach

  • To clean the rubber backing, we prefer oxygenated bleach instead of regular bleach and vinegar. Regular bleach is way too toxic, which the oxygenated bleach is not. It will clean the rugs, disinfect and sanitize them, brighten them up but all without too much toxicity.
  • In a bucket, take enough cold water and a regular quantity of not-too-harsh detergent. Then add two caps full of oxygenated bleach and a cup of sodium borate, aka borax.
  • Now soak the rugs in that for half an hour. In between, keep on checking the rugs whether they show any unusual signs of taking them out of that mixture.
  • If they are, then thoroughly rinse the rugs immediately. And if not, then keep them soaking in the cleaning agents for thorough cleaning and disinfecting.

Scrubbing The Rubber Backing

  • Take the rugs out of the bucket after half an hour. The upper portion will be pretty much clean, so your primary target will be scrubbing the rubber backing as those parts will be full of filth.
  • Still, take a soft brush, scrub the upper portion a few times, and rinse it with water. No need to be through as of now.
  • Then flip the rug and start scrubbing the rubber backing with full force but not too harshly too. The cleaning agents have already done their work, so you will not have to work too hard to clean the rubber backing actually.
  • After the brush has scrubbed the rubber backing well and cleaned it, time to rinse the rugs well in cold water, both sides, to be precise.
  • Make sure there remains no soapy residue or suds. Otherwise, the rugs will deteriorate in no time.

Baking Soda and Vinegar

  • You can also make a baking soda and vinegar paste and apply it to the rubber backing. The nasty stains need the thick paste more.
  • Keep the paste no more than 5-10 minutes. The purpose is always to have a little moisture in the drying baking soda and vinegar paste. It will make sure that it comes off easily with the dirt with a slight scrubbing.
  • If the baking soda is kept for too long to set and dry, it will start damaging the rubber material rather than cleaning it.
  • After scrubbing, rinse the rugs well with cold water, and you already know how to dry them, of course, from both sides.

To prolong the lifespan of your rugs, make sure to keep those clean. And the best way to keep those clean is to dust them every alternative day and wash them twice a month. In the machine or hand wash, it’s all your decision. If the rugs look too filthy, wash them once a week. But make sure your rugs with rubber backing are all clean and disinfected.

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