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Disappointing Truth Behind Washable Rugs That Ads Never Tell You

Washable Rugs have been the recent trend in the rug market. In fact, all rugs are washable: what sets these newcomers apart is that they are billed as machine-washable. Their ads claim that you can simply put them in the washing machine and save yourself the trouble of cleaning by hand or asking a professional to do it.

It would be an ideal, can’t-resist deal – if it were true! If so, the whole rug industry would have dropped all other rugs and moved entirely to washable rugs by now – but they haven’t!. Take the mobile industry, for example, and how it shifted toward smartphones because they really were smart.

The idea of a rug that you can easily wash in the machine sounds like a perfect customer magnet! That machine-washable rug would please customers’ two instincts for comfort and desire for beauty. But in real life, it’s not as pretty as it’s made out to be. This article gives you a straight story on washable rugs that you’ll never see in the ads or sponsored YouTube reviews.

What Is A Rug?

Let’s start extremely basic and look at the dictionary to find out what a rug actually is. Merriam-Webster defines a rug as “a piece of thick heavy fabric that usually has a nap or pile and is used as a floor covering.”

Area rugs, whether made by hand or machine, come in various materials and countless creative designs. Still, they all have one thing in common: They have a thick, plush texture. A rug’s purpose is to provide a warm, soft environment on the floor that feels comfortable to walk on. In contrast, the inventors of washable rugs have totally dropped this essential feature so the whole thing will fit in the washing machine!

How Do Washable Rugs Look And Feel?

Washing machines are suitable for cleaning small, thin pieces of cloth like a summer T-shirt or a pair of socks, but typical rugs won’t fit in there. A washable rug consists of a thin cover that attaches to a pad underneath. In order to fit in the washing machine, the cover is made much thinner than traditional rugs. In most cases, the material is synthetic: you can hardly find a washable area rug made of cotton or wool.

Because they’re so thin, washable area rugs feel more like a blanket under your feet., These rugs are more expensive than synthetic machine-made rugs but cheaper than Oriental ones.

Too Thin To Be A Rug!

The top layer of washable rugs – the part you see and walk on -is thin as a piece of cloth. A rug pad underneath is supposed to compensate for the thinness. But it doesn’t feel like a genuine rug at all because there’s no delicate, thick pile to give that feel.

Machine washable area rugs miss this critical feature of rugs, but they might still resemble elegant Oriental rugs in appearance. So consider them for areas of your home with very low or zero foot traffic because however much they might please the eye, they will disappoint your feet.

Curled Edges

This is a pain in the neck that all washable area rug owners complain about. The edges and corners are always curled because the texture is too thin, and the corners do not correctly attach to the rug pad.

No Texture, No Fringe, Just An Imitation Look

Unlike Oriental rugs, these rugs have no rug binding and rug fringes to strengthen and shape them. Washable rugs are more of a blanket with an imitation design, backed by velcro. You could try ironing the corners and edges, but they’ll lift back up after a few hours.

Designs Are Limited And Proportional

Softness and warmth are not the only things sacrificed for washability. The rug’s designs are also quite limited because there’s no texture and fringe for designers to work with for patterns.

The imitation designs are not proportional. Instead of being resized and rebalanced, they are mostly just stretched out to fit larger rug sizes, which might disappoint you.

Washable Rugs Are Hard To Install

It’s quite a challenge to install the top layer on the velcro-like pad. The pad instantly attaches itself to the rug cover above, so you have to line it up perfectly on the first try to avoid headaches. Plus, you have to go through this tiring process each time you want to wash the rug.

Not That Washable

These rugs are billed as “stain-resistant” and “easy-to-wash,” but experience has shown that you can’t entirely rely on those labels. To wipe off strong stains like dog urine or mustard, you’ll need to put the rug through two or more cycles. You’ll also have to use chemical laundry detergents that cause colors to fade in the long run.

Are Washable Rugs Worth It?

Washable rugs don’t feel like a genuine rug because they miss a big part of the puzzle: the thick, cushy texture that feels soft and warm under your feet. The corners and edges are always curled, and you’ll have quite a challenge getting it in place each time.

Washable rugs can imitate the outward appearance of Oriental rugs well. Just like plastic fruits on a table, you can use them for areas where appearance is most important: areas with little foot traffic or walls. Here, they can give you the rug-like look you want. 

Oriental rugs are fine works of art that give a remarkable character to your house. When you get an Oriental rug, you’re actually investing your money in it instead of spending it. That is because they’re fine works of art and appreciate value over time. 

If you’re looking for a budget-friendly option, regular machine-made rugs are better than washable rugs. Their prices are lower, and they give you a plush feel and texture that washable area rugs can’t.

Area Rugs need Professional Rug Cleaning at least every year to preserve their original look and value. Carpet cleaners and DIY YouTube methods might severely ruin your valuable rug with incorrect methods and chemical solutions. Khazai Rug Cleaning has been proudly providing expert Area Rug Cleaning in DMV, and its surrounding areas.

Please don’t put your area rugs in the washing machine. Instead, give us a call today to take good care of your area rugs!

Picture of Author: David Khazai
Author: David Khazai

David Khazai is a 5th-generation rug proficient and certified rug appraiser. As an omniscient author, he explores components and symbolism, making him an exceptional expert in the rug cleaning & repair industry

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