Can You Dry Rugs with Rubber Backing?

It’s always a good idea to check the label on your rug to see whether or not it has a rubber backing. If it does have a rubber backing, that’s great! It means the rug is waterproof and can be washed, but you should still take a few precautions.

Take care to avoid using too much detergent when washing the rug—a little bit goes a long way, because detergent can cause the rubber to deteriorate prematurely. The hotter the water you use, the faster the rubber will break down, so try to keep it at room temperature.

What is Rubber backing?

Rubber backing on outdoor rugs is a polyvinyl chloride (PVC) compound that’s made to withstand harsh elements. It helps keep your rug in place and helps protect it from moisture damage.

Rubber backing is a popular choice for outdoor rugs. Rubber backing on outdoor rugs is important because it makes them grippy, meaning they won’t slip and slide around when the wind blows. Rubber backing also protects your outdoor rugs from water seeping in and ruining the rug. It also grips the floor underneath it, which helps your rug stay in place, preventing curling and bunching.

This makes rubber backing a great choice for high-traffic areas like hallways and entryways, as well as places where spills are likely to occur, like kitchens and dining rooms.

How to dry rugs with rubber backing

You can dry rugs with rubber backing.

To do it, follow these steps:

  • Place a towel on the floor under the rug to avoid damaging your floors.
  • Use a brush or hand-held vacuum to remove loose dirt from the rug. If you have a carpet cleaner, use it here.
  • If you have stains on your rug, treat them before washing it. If not, move on to the next one.
  • Rotate the rug and push it against the wall so water can run off the sides and drip onto the towel instead of soaking into the floor.
  • Wash using cool water and mild detergent in a bucket or sink or outside with a hose. Scrub thoroughly with a scrub brush and rinse well with cool water. Avoid getting your rug too wet because it will be heavy to lift and carry when wet. Make sure all soap is rinsed out of the rug or it may leave a soapy residue on the floor when you lay it down later.
  • Press excess water out of your rug by rolling up both ends towards each other like a scroll. Squeeze as much water out as possible without wringing too hard or twisting the rug as this may warp its shape over. Proper drying will eliminate mildew and mold growth, which are the enemies of any area rug collection. You will have to do this method several times before it dries completely as once sun dried it needs to be completely thoroughly aired out indoors away from sources of moisture. 
  • After it has been completely dried in this manner, I would suggest putting it in the dryer on medium heat for a short period of time.
  • Remove from the dryer, shake out the wrinkles with your hands, and hang it up until completely dry. Keep an eye on the rug to make sure that the backing isn’t shrinking or becoming stiff.

Is it safe to use a rubber backing on a deck?

It’s safe to use a rubber backing on a deck. The rubber backing will not damage the deck. However, it is important to make sure that the deck’s surface is clean before putting the rug down. You should clean it with soap and water, then let it air dry before putting down any outdoor rugs.

You might also want to consider putting a water-resistant backing underneath your rug to ensure that if any water does get under there, it won’t leak through onto your decking material. Your deck will be perfectly safe with a rug in place.

A few things to consider:

  • It’s not advisable when the mat comes into contact with a hot surface or open flame. If you’re using a grill on your deck, for example, make sure the backing is rubber-free.
  • Consider whether the rubber will be in direct contact with the wood. If it is, that could increase the chance of damage to your deck over time. It might be better to get a rubber-backed mat that has a plastic/nonstick bottom—that way, if any moisture gets under the mat, it’ll just sit on top of the plastic layer and not seep into the wood.

In general, most mats and rugs with rubber backing do not have to be hung to dry. It’s safe to lay them flat on a surface or hang them from a shower rod as long as they are completely dry.