How to clean an outdoor rug before the end of the season
Anyone lucky enough to live somewhere with an outdoor space – whether it’s a compact patio, a sprawling deck, or a small balcony – has had a distinct advantage throughout the pandemic: having a place to sit that is not inside his house. Even those who had never taken advantage of these areas before bought outdoor furniture and created some kind of outdoor living space.
An outdoor rug is a key part of these seating areas, making a few chairs and a small table a separate room. But at the end of the summer season, you might want to consider tucking your rug inside for the winter.
And before you roll it up and put it in the garage, basement, or storage area, you might want to clean it up. Here is how to proceed, thanks to Shay Tilander at Family Handyman.
How to clean an outdoor rug
It turns out that cleaning an outdoor carpet is quite similar to cleaning an indoor carpet, Tilander explains. Start by shaking the mat, alone or with an assistant. For particularly large rugs, it may be easier to find a sturdy clothesline, low tree branch, or exterior railing and beat it with some sort of stick (like a broomstick). You may want to put on a face mask for this part – a lot of dust and debris will come out of this carpet, even if you vacuum it regularly.
Which brings us to the next step: Carefully vacuum the front and back of the carpet. (Of course, if you’re using a regular indoor vacuum, make sure the carpet is completely dry before trying to vacuum.)
Now is the time to take out the pipe. Place the mat on a non-dirty concrete / wood / brick / surface (ideally on a slope, if possible) and spray it with a hose until the water flowing is clean.
Check the manufacturer’s washing instructions, if you haven’t already, and see if they say soap. Otherwise, Tilander says only putting mild dish soap in a bucket of lukewarm water will do.
Then use a soft bristle brush and the soapy mixture to scrub the rug from end to end. If you are having stains that don’t move, he recommends making a paste of baking soda and peroxide and using it as a spot treatment.
Now the hose comes out again, because it is time to rinse. And again, water the carpet until the water that runs out is clear (and this time, not soapy).
How to dry and store an outdoor rug
While draping the carpet on a railing to dry might seem like a good idea, Tilander says to avoid doing it, as it can cause the carpet to lose its shape.
Instead, he suggests laying it flat in a very sunny area. Once one side is dry, turn it over and pat the other side dry. “Once dry, the carpet can feel stiff and uncomfortable” Tilander writes. âGive him a little time. It will soften. “
Finally, it’s time to roll up the rug and put it away for the winter. And while it might seem like a good idea to roll it up so that the carpet side is inside (and therefore protected), Tilander recommends do the opposite.
âThat way, when you unroll it, it will coil down,â he explains. âIf you roll it the other way, it will curl up and create a tripping hazard. After a while, the mat will be flat again.