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The Ins And Outs Of Washable Kitchen Rugs

Choosing rugs for your kitchen, or any room in your home for that matter, can be a big task. Whether you're selecting an area rug for your dining area, a runner for the kitchen, or a touch of lush comfort and style, we've answered some common questions to get you started.

How do I choose a kitchen rug?

Selecting kitchen rugs can be overwhelming. Kitchens are high traffic areas and not only that, they're a very functional place within the home.

Wool Rugs

When deciding on the perfect rug for you, it's important to carefully consider your kitchen's layout and where you think you'll want your rug to sit. This will help determine the size, shape and material, and whether you'll want a non skid option to help prevent slips, or even something that can be machine washed.

Perhaps a kitchen runner will be the finishing touch in your galley style, small kitchen. Maybe your kitchen island needs a rug, or perhaps you prefer a luxurious sheepskin below the sink.

If you're going to be standing for long periods prepping food and the like, then an anti fatigue mat might be your thing. Decide what your kitchen rug's main purpose will be and the style, size and shape you think will best work for your space, then move forward from there.

Is a kitchen rug a good idea?

At Wilson and Dorset, we believe rugs are wonderful additions to any and every room in your home!

Wool Rugs

Your kitchen is a high traffic area and although it might not seem the most practical place for a rug, these handy items can add visual interest and luxury while being incredibly functional to boot.

However, a low pile and washable rug (not necessarily machine washable, just something that can be cleaned) is a good option for a kitchen room. All rugs are washable in some fashion.

Can I use a bath mat as a kitchen rug?

If you find a rug that you like and it happens to be in the bathroom section of the shop, or labeled as such, there's no reason you can't use it as a kitchen mat.

In general bathroom mats are easily washable and this is an important consideration when purchasing kitchen rugs. Bath mats might be the perfect option for smaller spaces.

Where should I place a kitchen rug?

The placement of any rug is really down to personal preference. The layout of your kitchen may be the determining factor in where you place a rug. We've put together a short list of ideas to get you started.

  1. In front of the kitchen sink - this location makes standing a little more comfortable and soft underfoot when washing dishes.
  2. Alongside a kitchen island if you have one - it might be the area of your kitchen where you do all of your meal preparation.
  3. A runner for a galley kitchen, or a longer, narrower kitchen.
  4. A large kitchen with an eat in dining table might warrant a rug underneath the table. If you go this route, be sure to find an area rug that large enough for the space. Ideally you'll want the chairs to remain on the rug once they've been pulled away from the table.

Is a wool rug good for a kitchen and is it washable?

Yes, absolutely. Your bare feet will thank you for the luxurious softness, when you're making your morning coffee!

Wool Rugs

The great thing about wool is that it's durable, sustainable, natural and its qualities are like no other material. Wool is wonderfully soft to the touch, is 100% biodegradable, non-allergenic, stain resistant and flame resistant.

So, when it comes to kitchens, this wonder fabric in the form of a sheepskin wool rug, will last a lifetime, with the right care. You'll want to select a shorter wool for a kitchen since it'll be easier to maintain and clean, but there is no reason that a wool rug can't be a feature on your kitchen floor.

How do you wash a wool rug?

Wool rugs are surprisingly easy to take care of. A regular and vigorous shake will liven it up and keep it free of every day dirt and kitchen debris. Wool can be vacuumed, although be sure to use a suction vacuum and not a rotator head.

Spills and small stains can be spot cleaned with water or simple wiped up. Wool has a thin waxy coating that repels moisture and dirt. However, sometimes a rug might need more than a spot clean.

At Wilson and Dorset we offer 5 golden rules for sheepskin wool rug care:

  1. Avoid direct sunlight where possible. This prevents UV damage or fading of darker shades. If sunlight regularly hits the area that your rug is in, choose a lighter wool colour.
  2. Tend to spills and stains as soon as they happen. Don't rub the wool pile.
  3. Give your rug a good shake on a regular basis to loosen debris and dirt.
  4. Vacuum often with a plain suction unit (no rotator or turbo/ revolving units).
  5. Sheepskin is not machine washable. Please don't be tempted to throw your sheepskin investment in the washing machine. You can learn more about how to clean and wash sheepskin here.

There are many styles and sizes of wool rug to choose from. We advise doing some decent research before diving into making a purchase.

How can you tell if a rug is washable?

Many synthetic and cotton style rugs are machine washable. That said, it's important to always check manufacturers instructions before throwing something into the machine. Not all rugs are made equal!

Most rugs will be cleanable, not necessarily with the help of a washing machine. Those with a water resistant non slip backing might simply need a spot clean and a vacuum or regular shake. The same can be said for sheepskin and most wool products as previously mentioned.

Are machine washable kitchen rugs easy to dry?

Because we're all about wool and sheepskin here at Wilson and Dorset, we'd suggest that you never place a rug in a tumble dryer. Some kitchen rugs are likely dryer friendly. But not all machine washable rugs can handle a dryer. Something with a water resistant backing may also be somewhat resistant to the heat of a dryer.

We would recommend hanging your freshly washed rugs outside and in the shade to get them dry. Natural air drying may take several days depending on the type of rug you have, but it's a safer option.

Check manufacturers directions before jumping to conclusions about what you think is best.

What are the best washable rugs made from?

We like wool. You simply can't make a bad choice with a wool rug. As we've noted, any rug or mat can be cleaned in some way. Just not all of them can be thrown into a machine.

With all of the natural qualities and advantages of wool, you can only make a good decision. A sheepskin needs a good shake and regular vacuum. If you tend to any spills and stains quickly by simply blotting up the problem, you'll rarely need to do much else when it comes to keeping it clean and well maintained.

Cotton, recycled polyester and most synthetics are also great options for kitchens if you're not ready to invest in wool or sheepskin. They're all able to be washed or cleaned easily.

Should you choose a non slip backing for a kitchen rug?

To prevent slipping, especially in a kitchen, a non slip backing or a rug pad is a great idea. Some rugs will come with a non slip rubber backing as part of the rug. Others won't need one at all.

Do you need a rug pad and are they machine washable?

A rug pad can do many helpful things. Whether you need one or not depends on the type of rug you choose and where you place it.

A rug pad can:

  • Protect hardwood floors
  • Offer cushioning for your feet and anti fatigue assistance if you're standing for long periods of time
  • Provide skid resistance and prevent your rug from slipping
  • Be a super absorbent underlay for your rug below a sink or prep area

All in all a rug pad is pretty helpful for certain materials and areas. That said, some rugs don't actually need them.

A Wilson and Dorset sheepskin rug is ideal for use on hard flooring. Add some texture and practical, luxurious visual interest with natural wool.

What is a good stain resistant material for a kitchen mat?

With quick attention to spills and other mishaps, kitchen rugs can be easily maintained. We've already talked about wool and its stain resistant qualities - so that is worth remembering when shopping for kitchen rugs.

Once again, we suggest wool or sheepskin to make your space sing. Rugs in general are a wonderful addition to any space.


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