Outdoor rugs can add a lot of personality to your home’s decor. They are also used in homes that have porches and decks, and that has a lot of traffic from the family to protect the flooring. Because they are made specifically for outdoor use, they’re more durable than their indoor counterparts—but that doesn’t mean you can throw them under the hose and go on with your day. Treating your rugs with care will help them last longer, so you can enjoy them for years to come. Most people don’t know how to properly care for their outdoor rugs, so many of those rugs end up getting beat up pretty quickly. Cleaning an outdoor rug or carpet is similar to cleaning an indoor rug, but you do need to be careful; it needs to be cleaned regularly and taken care of well.
There are steps below through which you can easily clean these rugs in your home within an hour or two.
- Remove Dirt Often so It Doesn’t Settle
If you don’t remove dirt, it will settle in the rug, and then you won’t be able to get it out. One of the easiest things you can do is shake out your outdoor rug as soon as you see some dirt settling in. Give your rug a good shake or two to remove any loose debris. If you don’t have something big enough to shake it on, flip the rug over and beat it with a broom to remove dirt without damaging the fibers. And if there’s a breeze outside, that’s even better! The breeze will help blow away any dust or other particles that may have settled on top of the rug.
- Remove Stains Immediately
It’s important to remove stains as soon as they happen by using a clean cloth to blot the stain. If you don’t, it might set in and become permanent!
You can use a store-bought stain remover or try one of these DIY concoctions:
- 1 part vinegar and 2 parts water
- 1 part hydrogen peroxide and 3 parts water
- 2 tablespoons of ammonia in 1 cup of water
Using a spray bottle, mix the solution and apply it immediately on the stain. After that, use a moist cloth to clean it up.
- Vacuum Regularly
You might be surprised to learn that you can use a vacuum cleaner on your outdoor rug. Just make sure it has a wide-bristle attachment and set the power level on low. Then, just go over the surface with the vacuum cleaner just as you would with carpeting inside your home. If your outdoor rug is exceptionally dirty, consider vacuuming one area at a time so you can get rid of as much dirt and debris as possible.
- Wash the Rug with a Garden Hose and a Mild Detergent
Just as you would wash your curtains, you can also wash your outdoor rugs by giving them a good rinse and scrub with a garden hose and mild detergent. Start from the top of the rug and work your way down. After hosing, mix a mild detergent with warm water in a bucket, then soak your brush in the mix and start scrubbing away at any stains or caked-on muck on the rug’s surface. For tougher spots, use some elbow grease (and maybe let the detergent sit for a little longer).
- Let the Rug Air Dry
Rinse with more water from your garden hose until all soap residue is gone, then hang up somewhere safe to dry out of direct sunlight like patio, balcony, or deck. The sunlight will help kill any bacteria that is growing on the rug and the fresh air will help get rid of any mildew or musty odors. It may take a little longer than using a machine, but the results are just as good—and much quieter!
How to Clean an Outdoor Rug with Mold, Mildew, or Moss
If your outdoor rug has been sitting out in the rain, it might start to grow mold. It could also have begun to collect moss. Fortunately, cleaning an outdoor rug is simple and easy.
Follow these instructions to clean an outdoor rug with mold, mildew, or moss.
- Assess the damage.
If the rug is only slightly dirty, you can probably get away with a little vacuuming and a few spot treatments. You also want to check for any mold or mildew that might require you to use bleach. If it’s especially bad and there are lots of stains, you might need to send it out for professional cleaning.
- Vacuum the surface of the rug.
This will help loosen dirt and debris so that the cleaner can penetrate deeper into the fibers when you scrub it down. Use a standard vacuum for in-home use, or a heavy-duty industrial vac if you are working on an extra-large rug or carpet that’s in a public area like an office building or school hallway.
- Spray on the cleaner, then scrub with a mop or brush.
Once you have applied your cleaning solution it will be easier to remove all of those nasty stains from spills and pets!
How to Care For Your Outdoor Rug
- Vacuum clean your rug regularly. Rugs can get dirty pretty quickly when exposed to the elements, so vacuum them often (once every couple of weeks). You’ll also want to use a specialty outdoor vacuum cleaner to get out all those pesky bits of dirt and debris that might collect in the fibers.
- Keep your pets off the rug! Pets are known for getting into trouble, and this is no different for an outdoor rug. If you have pets, we recommend keeping them off the rug as much as possible, especially if it rains often where you live. This way, it’ll stay nice and clean longer!
- Be careful if using a carpet cleaner or soap while washing outdoors! Some soaps and cleaning products can discolor or damage outdoor rugs, so make sure that what you use won’t hurt your rug before applying any cleaning techniques!
- Don’t leave your outdoor rug in direct sunlight for long periods. It will fade, crackle, and generally get pretty sad and unhappy-looking over time.
- If you can’t avoid leaving your outdoor rug in direct sunlight, be sure to rotate it so that it doesn’t get sunburned in one part while the other parts stay shaded.
- Before putting your outdoor rug back down on the ground, hang it up in a place where it can air out after being outside—preferably on a clothesline or anywhere else where it can thoroughly dry.
- When you’re ready to bring your outdoor rug back inside, be sure to give it a good shake out to remove any dirt or dust that may have gathered on it while it was outside—you don’t want to bring those particles inside with you!
Can I leave my outdoor rug outside?
Yes, you can leave your outdoor rug outside. However, there are a few factors to keep in mind.
First, be sure that your outdoor rug is made for the outdoors. If your rug isn’t made for the outdoors, you could end up with some moisture and dirt buildup on your floor if you leave it outside.
Before you do anything else, check the care label to see what the manufacturer recommends. If there is no care label, take a look at the rug itself. Is there a pile height? Is there a certain weave type? Does the backing feel like wool? All of these things can give you clues as to whether or not the rug can handle being outdoors.
If your rug can handle being left outside, make sure that it is completely dry before putting it back inside.
Can you use a Carpet Cleaner on an Outdoor Rug?
We all know that rugs make our living spaces cozier and more beautiful, but what about outdoor rugs? Whether it’s just a small space or an entire patio, an outdoor rug can be used to create a warm and welcoming atmosphere in your outdoor living spaces.
If you want to add an outdoor rug to your patio or deck, the first thing you’ll need to consider is whether you can use a carpet cleaner on it. The answer will depend on what kind of rug you’re buying, how it’s made, and how it’s going to be used.
When you’re choosing an outdoor rug, look for one that’s made from materials like linen or cotton that naturally repel stains. You should also look for a rug that has been specially treated with a protective layer of finish to keep it safe from things like moisture and sunlight—making it a good choice even if you plan to use your rug indoors once in a while!
Carpet cleaners have chemicals that can damage outdoor rugs, such as the glue that holds them together, the colors of the dye, and the material itself. These chemicals can strip away some of the natural protection that an outdoor rug has, making it easily damaged by things like rain, wind, and pollen.