Unless they have a tag stating that they are dry clean only, most throw rugs can be washed. This includes cotton rugs and those with a rubber backing. Since many rugs don't include specific fabric content and may be inexpensively made, each rug should be washed separately the first time to be sure they are color stable.
With any type of rug, use cold water and a basic liquid detergent. Never use chlorine bleach if you have a rubber backing. The bleach will cause the rubber to flake off. Do not overload the washer but try to balance the drum so that your washer won't become off-balance. If I don't have enough rugs, I wash tennis shoes or rags to balance.
Always air dry. High heat can shrink the rug or cause the rubber backing to deteriorate. If the rug is terribly wrinkled, tumble in the dryer on air only. NO HEAT!
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