Are Rugs Recyclable? (And 11 Uses For Old Rugs)

Entering a home in America without seeing rugs is not likely. Many people have come to like the feel of gentleness produced under their feet when they walk on rugs. This explains why rugs are in great use. Due to this popular use, a renewed concern has been raised about rugs. Many people are wondering if these rugs have any effect at all on the environment.

To help provide answers to all these, this post addresses the issues between rugs and the environment. It also considers some areas about the implication of rugs on our health. As you can see, there is a lot to gain from this post. So, why not sit back, and watch us take you through the full details line by line.

Can You Recycle Rugs?

It is possible to recycle rugs. The reason for this is because of the materials they have been made of. Many of these rugs are made with highly recyclable materials like wool, plastics, etc.

However, not many companies have started accepting rugs for recycling. The problem this is so may not be unconnected with the difficulty of recycling these materials. However, this is not to say that there are no stations that would accept your rags for recycling. The problem is just that you have to search before you can get one.

In all, if you want to recycle your rugs, you shouldn’t drop them in the regular recycling bin. When you find a recycling station that would take them, you can arrange for a drop-off or pick up. Alternatively, you can just put the rugs in the Household Waste Recycling Centre. You can also take them back to the manufacturers if there are no other options for their recycling.

Are Rugs And Carpets The Same?

People often juggle the meaning of carpets and rugs in both private and public conversations. The reason for this may be because both items seem to serve the same purpose. Nonetheless, they are different. Let’s quickly look at what makes them different.

  • While rugs are woven fabrics used to cover specific areas, carpets are either fixed to the ground or extended from wall to wall.
  • While rugs are smaller and are usually between four feet and six feet, carpets are way larger, mostly covering the whole floor of the room.
  • While rugs are moveable, carpets are mostly not moveable because they have been installed on the floor.
  • While rugs are mostly woven without a second layer, carpets are always woven with second layers to improve their thickness.
  • Rugs are usually lighter, slimmer, and smaller than carpets.
  • Rugs may not be able to maintain the floor’s shape because they are not thick enough to cover the rough edges. Carpets, however, are thick and wide enough to maintain the shape of the floor and cover all rough edges.

With all the above, you should be able to tell the difference between rugs and carpets with ease when the next such conversation comes up.

Are Rugs Bad For Your Health?

Let’s face it; there is almost everything to love about rugs. But then, we still need to find out if these rugs are in a way bad for our health. If you are in for some surprises, let’s get to it.

Yes, rugs may be bad for your health. Let’s consider the factors that make this so.

First, because they are made of wools and other hairy materials, your rugs can trap many pollutants such as cockroach allergens, pet dander, dust mites, pesticides, dirt, and many more pollutants. There might also be some toxic gases that have settled on the rugs. All these pollutants and chemicals may become airborne during some activities on the rug. For instance, when vacuuming, you may not be able to escape this thing.

Aside from this, if your rugs have accumulated much of these pollutants, they might not be safe for your children. Children naturally are carefree. During their play, they are likely to touch the rug and put that hand in their mouth.

Lastly, if your rugs have accumulated dust, this might cause sneezing and wheezing for you, especially for your kids.

What you should do is to ensure the cleaning of your rugs more often. This will eliminate all the particles and pollutants that could cause health issues.

Are Rugs Easy To Clean?

There is no doubt that your rugs would get dirty at some time, and cleaning them would be inevitable. But then, do you think cleaning them would be as easy as you have expected? Let’s find out.

Cleaning your rugs may be difficult. Though rugs are relatively softer than carpets, getting the dirt off them may still be a difficult thing. However, some rugs are easy to clean. This is because of the materials they have been made with. These rugs include;

  • Wool
  • Polypropylene
  • Seagrass
  • Jute
  • Nylon
  • Cotton

If you have any of these rugs, you can be sure that they would be relatively easy to clean.

Can You Donate Old Rugs For Money?

In the real sense of it, donating something means giving such things out for free. Expecting to get money from donating things may not be the right way. With rugs, what you can get from donating them is a tax deduction.

However, before this is possible, you must ensure that the rugs are in great condition and being able to be used by others. This is what will qualify you for tax deduction due to charitable contributions.

Lastly, when donating your rugs for a tax deduction benefit, ensure that you have receipts that reflect the charity organization’s name.

What To Do With Old Rugs?

If you look carefully, there are many things to do with your old possession. Most time, what is required is your time and a little bit of creativity. With old rugs, of course, there are plenty of things to do with them, and that’s what we are going to explore in this segment. If you are ready, let’s get going.

1. Paint Them

Art is a very dynamic thing, and the good thing about it is that it looks beautiful mostly on odd things. You can incorporate some arts on your rugs to give them that elegant effect. If you have the time, you can make some strokes on that boring rugs. This way, you can reuse it in other places or even sell it.

2. Make A Tapestry

Tapestries are beautiful but cost some money. How about we tell you that you can get a tapestry for yourself without paying a dime. This idea works well for throw rugs. You have to wash and dry the rugs and then creatively sew some ropes and flowers to make a tapestry.

3. Turn Into A Cover

Your rugs would be handy if you look for an effective way to use them to cover a surface. You can turn your rugs into the cover for your shelf top or even your windscreen during the snow.

4. Make A Tote Bag

You can also decide to explore another angle with your old rugs by making a tote bag. Please note that what you will need for this are those soft or throw rugs. This is to give room for ease of sewing. All you have to do is cut the rugs is different parts and sew the parts together in the shape of a bag. Don’t forget to cut out the piece for that tiny but long handle.

5. Make A Pillow Cover

This might sound awkward, but relax; we are not asking you to use one of those hard rugs. Some rugs are silk, comfy and soft. These rugs would make nice pillow covers only if you can take the trouble to sew them. What you have to do is cut out the pieces that would be large enough for your pillow. After this, you can begin to sow, leaving only one opening for your pillow. You can also stuff some old clothes in it and sow the cut-out rug pieces to make a pillow.

6. Make A Cleaner

Here, not much effort is required of you. All you have to do is cut out some pieces of rugs and turn them into cleaning materials. This would be handy on days you are doing your general cleaning. You can use this to clean windows and furniture surfaces.

7. Make A Car Floor Mat

You can also make a floor mat for your car from your old rugs. You have to take out the old floor mat in your car and use it to trace out the rugs you have with you. After this, you need to cut out the traced parts, and that’s it. You now have a new floor mat. You may want to sew the rugs’ angles with some threads and a tiny piece of cloth. The reason for this is because most rugs are wooly, and if you don’t sew the angles, they may shed the wool too quickly.

8. Make A Welcome Doormat

Everyone hates visitors coming into one’s house with stained legs. Instead of complaining all day, why not just make a welcome doormat out of your old rugs? All you need to do is cut out different sizes of rugs and place them at strategic doorposts in your home.

All the above are the creative things you can do. But, if you don’t have the time for all these, and you just want to dispose of those old rugs, there are things you can do. Let’s briefly walk you through some of them.

9. Donate Them

This is an easy way to dispose of your old rugs. You can simply donate them to the different organizations that are ready to take them. Often, these charity organizations refurbish your old rugs and redistribute them for those who need them. If there is no one, they can refurbish the old rugs, sell them, and use the money for other projects to help the needy.

Before donating, kindly ensure that your rugs are in good condition. This is important so that others can make use of the rugs. Please, don’t donate infested or worn-out rugs. As much as possible, make your donation count by donating only useable rugs.

10. Sell Them

You can also sell your rugs to make some extra cash. There are many online platforms where you can upload and sell used stuff. If you don’t want to go online, you can look around you for those thrift shops. One of them might be willing to offer you some dollars for these old rugs.

11. Recycle Them

As we mentioned above, you can always recycle your rugs. So, if you have old rugs and need to dispose of them, you can put a call through to the recycling stations for their collection policy on recyclable rugs.


Rugs are one of the common household items in America. This is why special attention must be paid to how they are handled because of the environment. As you have seen above, use your rugs and dispose of them in a way that helps the environment.


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About Rinkesh

A true environmentalist by heart ❤️. Founded Conserve Energy Future with the sole motto of providing helpful information related to our rapidly depleting environment. Unless you strongly believe in Elon Musk‘s idea of making Mars as another habitable planet, do remember that there really is no 'Planet B' in this whole universe.