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Can You Wash A Rug Pad In The Washer

Unlike a rug, a rug pad requires a bit more thought when you need to clean it – but can you wash a rug pad in the washer?

Unfortunately, the majority of rug pads are not suitable to be washed in a washer due to the material that they are made from. You should instead hand wash or spot clean your rug pad using washing up liquid.

Keep reading to see what materials rug pads are made from exactly, as well as the other factors that make rug pads unsuitable to machine washing.

Why Rug Pads Aren’t Suitable For Washers

Material isn’t the only factor that plays a role in why rug pads aren’t suitable to be machine washed.

Let’s take a look at not only the materials used but also the other factors in play.


Rug pads tend to be quite large, especially if you use one for an area rug, and this can make it difficult to even fit the pad inside your washing machine – especially if you have a smaller washing machine.

As we’ll later see, the material plays the most important role in making a rug pad unsuitable for a washing machine, but the chances are you would struggle to fit it inside in the first place.


Rug pads are made from certain materials that are designed to be highly durable, but it depends on what type of rug pad you have.

Rug pads suitable for hardwood floors, for example, are made commonly from natural materials such as felt whereas rug pads designed for multi-use surfaces are made from either rubber or plastic.

Rubber and plastic tend to not wash well in a washing machine, and materials such as felt would likely break down in a washing machine. This is the main reason why washing your rug pad in a washing machine is a bad idea and will likely cause damage to it rather than clean it.

What About A Gentle Cycle?

There is a common misconception that you can put a rug pad in a washing machine on a low-temperature gentle cycle.

Whilst this may work in some cases, it’s not worth the risk most of the time, especially with new rug pads. There is a reason why almost every rug pad manufacturer recommends to hand wash their products, and we believe in sticking to their guidelines.

This is especially true for felt rug pads because if the machine wash doesn’t go to plan your rug pad will no longer be useable.

How To Correctly Wash A Rug Pad

So, if you can’t put your rug pad in a washing machine how on earth are you supposed to wash it?

Outdoor Rug Pads

Outdoor rug pads are super hardy and will almost always be made from rubber. Since outdoor rug pads are likely to get dirty anyway the best way to clean them is simply to hose them down with water to remove any build-up of dirt or debris.

You can also spot clean outdoor rug pads using a solution of warm water and washing up liquid. Simply take a clean, dry cloth and apply the washing up liquid solution to the pad in affected areas and rinse through.

When it comes to cleaning outdoor rug pads they’re probably the easiest to clean of all.

Indoor Rug Pads

Indoor rug pads can also be made from rubber and would be cleaned in the same way as above, but what about plastic or fibre materials?

Well, plastic can be hand washed using washing up liquid the same as rubber. Since no liquid will seep into the material this is the easiest way to quickly give it a clean.

If you have a felt material, commonly found for hardwood floor rug pads, you need to take a few extra steps.

Cleaning Felt Rug Pads

Felt rug pads need to be hand-washed, because of the high likelihood that they will disintegrate if you decide to machine wash them.

To do this you’ll need warm water and a gentle detergent in a bowl. After you’ve made this solution put the felt rug pad into the bowl and wash it gently with your hands, working into the areas that need the most attention.

Be extra cautious and don’t twist the material at all as this can cause damage. When it comes to drying you’ll need to gently press the liquid out of it, making sure to not apply too much force.

After you’ve got as much water out as possible then let it air dry, do not put your felt rug pad in the dryer as this will cause damage.

Final Thoughts

Thanks for taking the time to read this article. If you have any other questions relating to washing rug pads then please let us know here.

And don’t forget, you should never wash your rug pad in a washing machine unless you’re absolutely certain it won’t cause damage!