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How to Clean a Rubber-Backed Throw Rug

S.R. Becker
Wash rubber-backed rugs infrequently to protect its backing.

Rubber-backed throw rugs work best in high-traffic areas such as bathrooms and kitchens. The rubber backing keeps the rug in place on slick floors, helping protect you and your family from dangerous slips and falls. But with time, the rubber backing may deteriorate when you wash the rug too often. Cleaning your rubber-backed rugs correctly and washing them only when absolutely necessary is critical to extending their use. Keep your rubber-backed throw rugs looking good for years to come with proper care.

Step 1

Take the rug outside every few days and shake it out. This removes most dirt and food particles trapped in the fibers.

Step 2

Sprinkle the rug with baking soda before vacuuming. Allow the baking soda to sit for 5 to 10 minutes to help absorb odors.

Step 3

Vacuum the rug with an upholstery or brush attachment to keep from sucking the rug up into the vacuum.

Step 4

Wash the rug in the washing machine with mild detergent once every month or two. Add a couple of dirty towels to balance the load. Use only cold water and set the machine for the gentle cycle.

Step 5

Allow the rug to air-dry outdoors. Do not use the dryer, as this quickly deteriorates the rug's rubber backing.


If vacuuming your rug keeps it sufficiently clean, extend the time between machine washings to preserve its rubber backing.


Avoid using a rubber-backed rug on no-wax floors as it can cause the floor to discolor.