Washable Kitchen Rugs

Michelle Radcliff
Washable cotton rug
Washable cotton rug

High traffic areas like the kitchen require area rugs that are durable and easy to clean. Fortunately, you can find washable rugs that still deliver stylish patterns and colors to your kitchen floor. According to the rug resource guide at Crate and Barrel, two types of rugs make good choices for the kitchen: synthetic fiber and cotton rugs.

Cotton Rugs

Rugs made from 100% all natural cotton are inexpensive and easy to find in a variety of bold colors and patterns to match your decorating style. Their affordability makes them a good choice for seasonal décor and you can often find new patterns and colors with each season.

In addition to low cost, the biggest selling point of cotton rugs is that they are machine washable. Reversible flat-weave rugs can be displayed on either side. When one side starts to look dingy, flip the rug over to reduce washings. If you have an unexpected spill, use a clean white cloth to blot-up as much of the spill as possible, then toss the rug in the washing machine with a mild detergent.

On the downside, cotton rugs are not stain resistant unless they've been treated and eventually start to fade with repeated washings over time. Although some rugs are safe to tumble dry in a dryer, only do so if the care label suggests it. Never lay a cotton rug out to dry in direct sunlight as it will surely fade the color.

Rug Studio

Rug Studio carries the Couristan Bar Harbor collection of machine washable kitchen rugs made from 100% cotton. These rectangular rugs are reversible and feature striped patterns in coordinating color groups of greens, blues and greens, pinks and greens, blue and white and blue and brown, giving them a coastal vibe. The flat weave and heavy-weight craftsmanship ensures the rug lies flat and does not curl at the ends. A rug pad is recommended to keep the rug from slipping.

Sizes and Prices

  • 2 ft. by 3 ft. - $19
  • 3 ft. by 5 ft. - $39
  • 5 ft. by 8 ft. - $99
  • 8 ft. by 10 ft. - $199

Improvements

Improvements is an online home and garden catalog focused toward the do-it-yourself home improvement market. At Improvements, you'll find the Harrison Weave Washable Area Rugs. These fluffy rugs are made from 100% cotton but also have an anti-slip latex backing so you don't need a rug pad underneath.

Available in 10 solid colors, the rugs have a basket weave pattern that adds texture. These rugs also come in a variety of shapes including square, rectangular, round, half round, oval and octagon. You can machine wash the rug on cold and tumble dry but do not use bleach.

Sizes and Prices

  • 2 ft. by 2 ft. square - $14.99
  • 2 ft. by 3 ft. rectangle - $19.99
  • 2 ft. by 4 ft. oval - $29.99
  • 48 in. by 48 in. octagon - $59.99
  • 36 in. round - $39.99
  • Half round - $24.99

Synthetic Rugs

Rugs made from synthetic fibers such as polypropylene, also known as Olefin or DuraCord, polyester, acrylic, and nylon, along with blends of these fibers, are extremely durable and offer the following advantages:

  • Nonporous fibers make them stain resistant.
  • Solution dyed polypropylene fibers are extruded with pigmented color, meaning the color is part of the fiber, producing colorfast rugs that won't stain or fade.
  • Polypropylene rugs hold their shape and size after washing and are resistant to mold and mildew.

Many indoor/outdoor rugs are made from polypropylene and can be cleaned up by hosing them off. Tougher stains can be removed with a mild soap and water solution and a scrub brush. The soft, cotton like feel makes them suitable for indoor use and ideal for high traffic areas like kitchens.

Ballard Designs

Ballard Designs offers a contemporary selection of indoor/outdoor rugs made from polypropylene. Many have a sisal-like weave and feature patterns such as honeycombs, geometric trellises, medallions, chevrons, and striped latticework. The rectangular rugs come in a range of subdued, earth tone colors. The recommended cleaning consists of hand-washing with mild soap and water and rinsing with a hose.

Sizes and Prices

Prices and sizes vary greatly from one rug to the next. Examples of sizing and pricing for one of the more affordable patterns -- chevron -- follow:

  • 2 ft. by 3.7 ft. - $19
  • 2.7 ft. by 4.11 ft. - $39
  • 4 ft. by 5.7 ft. - $49
  • 5.3 ft. by 7.7 ft. - $99

Bed, Bath and Beyond

Bed, Bath and Beyond has a large selection of kitchen rugs made from olefin, polyester and memory foam for ultimate comfort while standing near the sink or stove. A variety of shapes includes slice rugs, which are straight on one side and have rounded corners on the other, perfect for placing in front of the sink, a kitchen island or the stove. Small rectangular rugs serve a similar purpose. These rugs come in a plethora of bright, vivid colors depicting scenes such as garden vegetables, wine and grapes, coffee, floral and coastal designs.

These rugs have skid-resistant backing and do not require a rug pad. They can be machine washed and dried but the memory foam rugs may require some stretching and reshaping.

Sizes and Prices

Sizes and prices vary but some examples include:

  • 20 in. by 55 in. - $39.99
  • 18 in. by 29.5 in. - $29.99
  • 22 in. by 35 in. - $19.99
  • 20 in. by 34 in. - $34.99

Eco-Friendly Cotton Rugs

Although rugs that contain 100% cotton are often touted as eco-friendly because the material is biodegradable, those who live a green lifestyle may be looking for something even more wholesome, organic, and earth-friendly. Two good choices include recycled cotton rugs and environmentally-friendly cotton rugs made without dyes or chemicals.

Hook & Loom

While the vast majority of washable kitchen rugs are made from either synthetic fibers or cotton, one company has found an environmentally friendly way to combine them. Hook & Loom is a trailblazing company that produces rugs made from 100% recycled cotton yarn. True recycled cotton made from donated garments has small amounts of polyester and other synthetic fibers mixed in. This blended yarn is hand woven into durable rugs that won't bleed or fade for years after repeated washings.

The rectangular rugs feature colorful stripes, zigzags, lattice, herringbone, houndstooth, and geometrical diamond patterns. Their eco-friendly manufacturing process is unique.

Sizes and Prices

  • 2 ft. by 3 ft. - $28
  • 3 ft. by 5 ft. - $64
  • 5 ft. by 8 ft. - $165
  • 8 ½ ft. by 11 ft. - $385

Eco Choices

Eco Choices offers machine washable environmentally-friendly cotton rugs in in the natural colors of the cotton. The colors range from off-white to darker tones of light brown and light gray. The off-white rugs come in solid and one pattern. The darker rugs have an off-white pattern and all rugs are rectangular in shape. Eco Choices is Green America certified.

Sizes and Prices

  • 23 in. by 23 in. and 20 in. by 31 in. - $109
  • 23 in. by 39 in. - $169 (for solid off-white, patterns are slightly less)
  • 27 in. by 47 in. - $219

What to Expect When Shopping

Whether you're looking for affordability, ease of care, durability or an eco-friendly kitchen rug, a little more insight can help you decide which material is the best fit for your lifestyle. Expect the following when looking for a washable kitchen rug:

  • Affordability - Cotton and synthetic rugs cost about the same, between $20 and $40 for a small rug and $50 to $200 for larger rugs. Rugs with a non-slip, latex backing can save you the cost of buying a rug pad.
  • Durability - Synthetic rugs are more durable and hold their color and shape (with the exception of memory foam) longer after washing.
  • Ease-of-care - Machine washable rugs are easier to care for than those that need hand scrubbing and hosing off.
  • Eco-friendly - Rugs made from recycled materials and natural cotton cost more due to their specialized manufacturing but those who live a green lifestyle are usually willing to pay more for sustainable products.

Versatile Washable Kitchen Rugs

Perhaps the best thing about washable rugs is their versatility. There is a rug for every kitchen.

Washable Kitchen Rugs