How to Clean a Cotton Rag Rug

Melynda Sorrels

Cotton rag rugs are made from strips of cotton that are sewn together into a decorative pattern. These rugs are both traditional and modern in the country home and are easy to maintain and clean. Hundreds of years ago, these rugs were handmade from scraps of cotton fabric torn from blankets and clothing. Cotton rag rugs boast both durability and versatility, and with proper cleaning and care, they can last for many years.

Clean a Cotton Rag Rug
  1. Shake the rug outside to free it of any loose dirt or debris.

  2. Wash the rug on the gentle cycle in the washing machine in cold water. Use a mild detergent with no bleach.

  3. Pour a cup of vinegar in the washing machine and use no detergent if this the first time you're washing your rag rug. This will help to set in the dyes.

  4. Hang the rag rug to dry.

Alternative Method

  1. Shake off the rug and use a vacuum cleaner attachment to remove any dirt.

  2. Set the rug outside after a fresh snow has fallen and is still powdery. Do not set the rug in the snow.

  3. Allow the rug to sit outside for about 15 minutes to bring its temperature down to match that of the outside air.

  4. Set the rug on the fresh snow and press it down with your feet.

  5. Flip the rug over and press on it again.

  6. Continue flipping the rug over and pressing down on it until no more dirt appears on the snow.