I often mention my Ruggable rugs and how much I love them, but I still get quite a few questions about the actual process for washing them. So today I’m going to talk about how to wash a Ruggable.
I love our Ruggable rugs and it’s clear that a lot of other people do too. We see them all the time in the homes we shoot, although we don’t often realize that they’re Ruggables at first because they really do just look like regular rugs. If you have a messy home filled with kids and pets, these rugs are like magic because you can actually just toss them into the washing machine. They look and feel like a typical area-rug, but unlike a traditional wool rug, they’re fully machine washable, but not everyone is sure of how to wash a Ruggable.
You can read my full review of our Ruggable rugs here. Of course, if you haven’t tried one of these rugs yet, you’re probably pretty skeptical about how this whole washable rug thing is actually possible, so today I thought I’d just walk you through the whole process and show you how we wash our rugs, as well as give you a few little tips to make the whole process for cleaning even easier. Here’s how to wash a Ruggable.
Also read this if you’re doing your research before buying your first Ruggable: 5 Things to Know Before You Buy a Ruggable
How the Ruggable System Works
Your Ruggable is made up of two parts:
- The rug pad base layer, which doesn’t need to be cleaned
- The cloth rug cover, which is the visible, decorative part of the rug and can be washed in all regular washing machines.
There are several options now for different rug pads and rug covers including a cushioned rug pad, fluffy plush rug covers, and even rug covers that look like jute. Both of the Ruggables that we own so far just have the classic rug pad and the traditional covers, but I’m intrigued by some of the new options for sure. 🙂
Ruggable Washing Instructions
First of all, I have to mention that you probably won’t actually need to wash your Ruggable all that frequently. How often you do your rug laundering will be a matter of personal preference and how often you run washes in your house, but I’ve been surprised how long we can reasonably go without needing to throw our rugs in the washer.
In fact, I often think it’s time to run the Ruggable in our mudroom through a wash-cycle, because it gets caked in dirt and salt during the winter months, but then I find it usually looks as good as new after a quick vacuuming. The other great thing is that Ruggables respond super well to spot cleaning. So if you have a spill or a spot of dirt, you can quickly scrub and wipe it off by hand with a soapy towel, sponge, or rag in most circumstances.
Ruggable Laundry Process: How to Wash a Ruggable
If you do decide that it’s time for a full washing, it’s super simple and actually kind of fun. Here’s how to clean your Ruggable.
The rug cover is held on to the pad with Ruggable’s “Cling Effect” which is basically like a gentler Velcro. So you just peel the rug cover off of the pad, ball it up loosely, and stuff it into your washing machine. Run your rug through the machine on a regular cycle with mild detergent and no fabric softener in the wash. Use a cold-water rinse to wash away the laundry detergent if possible and a regular spin cycle to wring the water out. You want to be a bit gentle on your beautiful rug, but there’s no need to hand-wash.
To dry your rug, throw it in the dryer and tumble dry on low-heat. I’ve dried my rugs on higher heat in the past and have not experienced any shrinkage, but gentler is always best when it comes to keeping your favorite things laundered. You can also line dry your rug and let the sunlight do a little extra deodorizing for you, if you have that option available. If you use the dryer, you may find that your rug is still a bit damp after drying, so you can run it again, or you can just put it back in place and let it air dry.
We’re able to wash our 8×10 without issue in our regular front load machine and I’d have no hesitation getting the larger 9×12 size even. If your machine isn’t front-loading and has an agitator, that will work just fine as well, and you’ll have the added benefit of being able to soak your rug easily first if you have a rug soiled some big stains.
Rug Color Preferences for the Easiest Cleaning
I usually prefer the rugs with a bit of a more saturated color (like our mudroom runner), because I find that the really white rugs tend to look a little dingy around the edges if you have pets and don’t wash your rugs super frequently, but if you do go with a lighter rug, a bit of a spray with some stain remover before you peel your rug cover off will help your rug come out looking super fresh. Other than that, you can just wash your rug with your regular detergent and dry it in your dryer as usual.
I should note that it’s usually best to wash your clothes separately to make sure the rug gets as clean as possible and to avoid any color bleeding onto your beautiful rug if you have any brightly-colored fabrics in any garments and a lighter rug.
Some people recommend giving a Ruggable a thorough vacuuming before washing, but honestly, I usually don’t. 🙂 I find the dryer does a pretty great job of tumbling all of the pet fur off of it, so why add another step to the process if it’s not necessary?
I will note that sometimes with our largest Ruggable, it doesn’t get fully dry after its first cycle through the dryer and I need to either take it out and make sure it isn’t too balled up, then put it back in for another 10-20 minutes, or just put it back in place and allow it to air dry, which doesn’t take long at all.
Looking to learn about other washable rug brands as well? Read about my picks for which ones are the best: 10 Best Washable Rugs for 2023
How to Reassemble a Ruggable After Washing
There are a few different ways that you can go about putting your Ruggable cover back on the rug pad when you’re done washing it and none of them are wrong. Basically, as long as you end up with the rug cover completely covering the rug pad, without any lumps or bumps, then you’ve done a good job.
I like to start by lining up two corners of the cover with two corners of the pad on one side and then I work my way out from there, smoothing out any wrinkles or bumps with my hands as I go. The cover sticks to the pad pretty easily with light contact, but it doesn’t stick so firmly that you can’t easily just pull up a little section and lay it back down if it’s not quite straight.
Chris has a little trick that I thought was so smart. He uses the vacuum to smooth the rug out as he reattaches it, and that seems to make the smoothing and straightening process a little quicker, almost like ironing the rug. I would say overall that the process of putting the rug cover back on takes anywhere from about two to ten minutes, depending on how big of a rug you’re working with. Once your rug cover is smooth and in the right position, slip the corners of the rug pad into the little corner pockets of the cover, just for extra holding power.
That’s really all there is to it! There’s just so much to love with these rugs. At this point in our lives, with the messes that can happen around our house, I can’t see myself buying too many “regular” rugs any time soon now that I’ve experienced how great it is to be able to have fresh clean rugs.
Here are a few of my favorite styles of Ruggable if you’re thinking these might be a good option for your home:
The first rug is our blue living room Ruggable that we had for over two years in our living room. It was still in good shape and the color was beautiful, but I was ready for a change, so I switched it out for a more neutral cover. The Hendesi Heriz Abalone is another one that I absolutely love with its mostly-neutral colors and a few subtle pops of blue. The Kamran Ivory Opal is similar, but even softer, but still has a lot of movement in the pattern to hide all your real-life stains 🙂 This is one we currently have in our living room and I get so many compliments on it. You need to check out the close-up view of the Maral Border Hazel! I’m always so impressed with how Ruggable does such a good job of replicating the look of a real vintage rug. So lovely.
I’m not really big on red tones these days, but for some reason the Kamran Coral runner has been catching my eye for years. I’ve seen it in person and somehow the red in it is almost a neutral. I love that it gives you the look of a traditional red Persian rug, but just very muted. This Almana Cobalt runner is the one we have in our mudroom, pictured above. This Victoria Taupe runner is another great choice that gives you a cozy, traditional look, but in a modern neutral color palette.
Sources From Our Mudroom and Living Room (Pictured In This Post)
As mentioned a moment ago, this is the rug we used in the room. The console table is no longer available, which is sad because it’s just the perfect demi-lune table, in my opinion, but this is a good, similar option. The gold mirror can be found here, but it seems to sell out really frequently. This mirror is another option that I love. I’ve had that basket for about 15 years, but this one is very similar. Also love this mirror for a more affordable, gold mirror option. The blue and white umbrella stand is one of my favorite additions to the room. I’ve always wanted one of those. 🙂
This is our current living room ruggable, and I love the soft colors in it. It’s just one of those designs that works in just about any space. I bought our coffee table a few years ago and I still love it. It’s just a simple, classic piece and the best part is that it’s much more inexpensive now than when I bought it. I’ve used these same white velvet curtains in several rooms and I keep thinking of one more place I’d like to use them. I think I’ll eventually end up having them on all our windows. 🙂 Here are the brass lights over the shelves, and the black block print pillows on the sofa as well.
So now you know how to wash a ruggable! Do you already own a washable rug like these, or are you just doing your research before making your purchase?
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Courtenay Hartford is the author of creeklinehouse.com, a blog based on her adventures renovating a 120-year-old farmhouse in rural Ontario, Canada. On her blog, Courtenay shares interior design tips based on her own farmhouse and her work as founder and stylist of the interior photography firm Art & Spaces. She also writes about her farmhouse garden, plant-based recipes, family travel, and homekeeping best practices. Courtenay is the author of the book The Cleaning Ninja and has been featured in numerous magazines including Country Sampler Farmhouse Style, Better Homes and Gardens, Parents Magazine, Real Simple, and Our Homes.