How To Clean Large Rubber Backed Rugs – 5 Powerful Tips That Work

Rubber-backed rugs are essential in almost any household. The floor always feels soft and comfortable underfoot with area rugs. 

However, as you accidentally spill coffee all over the rubber-backed rug and leave stains on it, it is going to be tough to remove. Cleaning cotton fiber mats or rubber-backed rugs, significantly large ones, is such a challenge due to the differences in size and material. 

Thus, Clairoliviawayman would like to show you some simple steps on how to wash your rubber backed rugs, with a deep-clean process that you can easily carry out at home. 


Cleaning Large Rugs – The Basics (559)

We need to review some important notes that can completely change your way of thinking about cleaning rubber backed mats. It is necessary to get access to the core tips to maintain your rugs longer. First, we are heading to those tips through some frequently asked questions below:

How Often Should We Wash Rubber Backed Rugs? 

Answer: It depends. It usually takes more time to sanitize large rugs than the smaller ones, so we tend to wash them less frequently. However, to expand the lifespan of your rugs, you should bring it to the local laundry for specific treatment once every 2 months. This can help preserve the color and fiber for plenty of years to come.

If any specific marks spoil your rubber-backed rugs like pet odors or food stains, you might want to do the laundry every week.

For stains that are stubborn to eliminate, we have to clean up as soon as possible. If you let the dark spots last longer, it is going to be difficult to handle later on.  

What Do We Need to Wash Large Rubber Backed Rugs?

Answer: Dust, stains or other particles stuck and sometimes being unable to remove. That’s why preparing yourself a cleaning tool kit is always in need. The tools listed below are handy items that can be found anywhere in your house:

  • Soap. Lanolin-free soap is the best choice for rubber-backed rugs although it can reduce the slip resistance of the rubber backing, so be careful with it. Gentle detergent is also recommended. 
  • Old toothbrush. You can replace it with a sponge for a gentle scrub.
  • Microfiber rag, for both dry clean and wet clean. Microfiber cloths can remove excess dirt easier than a regular rag.
  • A vacuum.
  • Baking soda.
  • Vinegar. You can also use lemon. 

As you can see, it is not hard to get your rugs cleaned. The remaining thing is to pray that you do not skip washing these intentionally.

Is There Any Specific Treatment? 

Answer: Yes, absolutely.  

The reason for this is because rugs with rubber backing are usually made of specific materials, and cannot be handled in the usual method. The products we use to wash carpets can devastate materials, or fade if the carpet is not made of stable fiber.

So if you spoil the mats, use soap and cold water you have in your home to remove the stain. If stains persist, seek assistance from a carpet cleaning specialist.

Any Safety Rules for Your Rubber Backed Rugs?

Answer: It is crucial to know what you can and what you cannot do to preserve your large rugs. 

First, some of those mats need hand wash because they differ in fiber and backing material. That’s when you need to follow up on the cleaning instructions for the best result.

Second, classify what kinds of stains they are to seek the best treatment. The stain is not likely to be removed if we leave it untreated. Removable spots can turn into permanent stains if we do not wash them quickly.

The next thing is to check the laundry symbols on the tag. Some kinds of rug labels with delicate fabric indicate dry clean only, which means you have to contact professionals to manage. 

While some rugs require a temperature setting to clean, others show symbols that you cannot use regular soap, so remember to double-check the tag.

How To Clean Large Rubber Backed Rugs

Once you are informed of the basis to treat rubber-backed mats, let’s move on to the step-by-step cleaning process.

#1. Clean Up With Vacuum Cleaner

When we are not in a good mood to do the laundry work, the vacuum is our best partner. It is getting easier to find a lightweight and versatile vacuum cleaner on the market nowadays.

Image by Michael Aulia

We use the vacuum instead of shaking the rugs to brush off the dust. For the comfort and convenience of the vacuum cleaner, we recommend you vacuuming the mats every week and using neutral soap to remove dirt from the carpet manually.  

How to do: Concentrate the suction head into one narrow area, and the vacuum will pull out small particles easily. Flip the rug and repeat the cleaning process.

#2. Clean Rubber Backed Rug Spots 

Since big rubber backed rugs are often exposed to open spaces like the living room or corridor in your house, there is no doubt that they will quickly get dirty. 

Therefore, it is necessary to give proper sanitization, and luckily there is a wide range of chemical detergents available on the market that meets your needs and suits your pocket.

As far as I am concerned, there are 2 kinds of bleaches that are most efficient:

DIY Clean

If you cannot afford to buy expensive soap, you can always come up with a do-it-yourself cleaning mixture using only the ingredients that I mentioned above.

Here is how to make it:

  • Combine lukewarm water + 3 spoons of baking soda + 1 spoon of vinegar and shake it well. 
  • Spray the mixture only on dark spots of the rugs and let it sit for a couple of minutes. 
  • Scrub the stain with a rag in circular motions or brush in the vertical direction.
  • Rinse the rug in the tub or shower. 
  • Let it dry under the direct sun.


Our advice is to use lanolin-free soap due to its ability to maintain the fabric and color. Bleach with chlorine is a No-No as it can destroy the shape of the rubber, so remember not to add it in.

Rub gently until we completely get rid of the stains from the mats and then just follow the same steps as above.

If you keep up with the steps and the stain is still visible after cleaning, repeat the process before drying, then we are ready to proceed to the next step.

#3. Clean The Rubber Backing

Rubber backing has its longevity that we have to treat it in another way. It can crumble as being soaked in water for too long, so you can wash on the surface as much as you want, but be careful with the backing. 

Another thing to notice is that rubber is sensitive to strong acetic acid like vinegar, so you can only use it on the fabric surface and go for another option to sanitize the rubber backing.

In this case, we can go back to soap and a soft brush to clean. In this step, lanolin-free soap is unnecessary because lanolin can damage the skidding ability of the backing. 

How to do: Dip a soft, clean cloth in the mixture and begin dabbing the rug to loosen the dirt.

Dip a toothbrush within the water bucket and scrub stained areas on the underside of the rug. Hang the carpets outside to air dry.

Brush the underneath surface as much as you want to, as the rubber backing is penetrable.

#4. Drain The Rubber Backed Rug Completely

No matter what cleaning methods you are adopting, it is crucial to let your rugs completely dry before using them. The backing is made of rubber, which can deteriorate while being soaked with water for too long.

The best way to dry is to expose your rugs to direct sunlight or hang it in front of the fan to speed up the dehydrating process.

How to do: Set them high and let them stay outside until either side of the rugs feels completely dry. Depending on the rugs’ size and thickness, it usually takes 2-3 hours for the sun to evaporate the moisture. 

If you have an air dryer or specific dehumidifier, add it to hasten the whole process.

One thing to notice is that you should never use the heat over synthetic fibers or rubber-backed mats because it is likely to cause the rubber to deform. You might consider air-drying as a safety method, though you can provide it with a quick tumble in the dryer without heat if needed.

#5. Repeat Vacuum  

Cleaning is not ending at drying your mats. Leftover dust and fabrics stay still on the surface of the rugs, therefore we recommend hanging them on the outdoor clothesline for the second time cleaning. In this way, you can be sure that you get rid of all the dirt.

How to do: Start your vacuum over your rubber backed rug to loosen up the fibers, as they might stiffen during the drying process. You can send your rug back to the area and use it as usual. 


Those tips above are taken into consideration to bring your filthy rubber backed rugs at home back to their spotless original look most efficiently and practically. Washing frequently allows them to last longer, as well as maintain the color and shape of your rubber backed rugs.

Dealing with large rugs with rubber backing is not as hard as you thought it might be. As long as you put a little effort into cleaning it, I believe that you will be surprised by the result!

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