How To Clean Outdoor Rug

How to Clean outdoor rug

Rugs are one of those items that can really tie a room together – they can be used to define spaces, soften hard flooring, and make a room look more inviting. But rugs don’t just do it on their own – you have to maintain them if you want them to keep your living space looking as beautiful as possible. Unlike indoor rugs, outdoor rugs are made to withstand the harsh treatment that comes with being outdoors. Outdoor rugs, on the other hand, require special care. So, let’s take a look at how to clean an outdoor rug.

How to Clean outdoor rug

What is an outdoor rug

There are two main kinds of outdoor rugs, depending upon the material they are made of. One is made of cotton and the other one is of synthetic fibers. Usually they have a rubber backing, creating a slip resistant surface. Thus, they can be used in an area where it is important to avoid wearing shoes. Such as near outside fountains, or where there is a lot of water around the house, and you don’t want people to get their feet wet and dirty. Outdoor rugs will naturally move about on an uneven surface, and if there’s any risk of the backing touching soil or sand, you don’t want to choose a rug with cotton backing. Outdoor rugs come in different styles, textures, and colors so that you can pick one that fits your taste. Here are some examples of outdoor rugs:

  • Polypropylene
  • Nylon
  • Polyester
  • Olefin

Most outdoor rugs are made of synthetic fibers, like olefin and polypropylene. Olefin is a type of polyolefin (polymer) that has similar properties to polypropylene. Both are resistant to stains and are low-maintenance options for outdoor spaces.

Supplies you may need

Anyone with an indoor or outdoor rug knows they can often be quite difficult to clean. Even if you’ve taken preventative measures, accidents can happen leaving behind stains and spots which can be difficult to get rid of. One of the best things you can do for your rugs is to regularly clean them using the right supplies. Below is a list of items you should have in your cleaning arsenal including products and tools.

  • Pressure Washer
  • Cleaning solution
  • Soft bristle brush
  • Vacuum
  • Baking soda
  • Vinegar
  • Hose
  • Bucket


Battling mold and mildew

No matter how clean you keep your outdoor rugs, there’s a chance that mold or mildew will still grow on them. This is especially true if you live in areas with particularly high humidity. In this case, it’s best to clean the affected area before these unsightly spores spread even further. While most synthetic rugs are designed to resist mold and mildew, you may still find that it crops up occasionally in humid environments. Depending on your needs, bring out your baking soda and vinegar as your outdoor rug mold cleaner. The trick is to combine baking soda and standard white vinegar into a paste and gently apply it to your rugs. The mixture will hold off any mold or mildew trying to take up residence on your rug. Even better, the combination of vinegar and baking soda is perfect for removing skunk odors!

How to clean an outdoor rug

Using a pressure washer

Have you ever wondered whether or not you can use a pressure washer on an outdoor carpet? The short answer is yes. A pressure washer will clean out any gunk from the crevices and make cleaning it a piece of cake. Make sure, though, not to over-spray your rug. The first thing you will want to do is shake your rug to get all the dirt and debris out of it and lay it out on a clean surface. When selecting a pressure washer to clean a rug, there are very few criteria. It is all about selecting the right tip and setting the machine to a lower PSI rating.  As mentioned previously, make sure that you have a clean surface outside where you can lay the rug. Lay the rug flat out and just start working on the larger stains. You want to start with those that might take a little more elbow grease to get out of the fibers. Go ahead and hook up your power washer to your water source and get it powered up. Start out with a really low-level tip until you find one that works for you. As soon as you turn those jets on and start pushing them into the fibers of your rug, make sure you don’t let it sit there for too long. We like to use back and forth motions so that we are pressing the dirt out of the fibers deep in my rugs. You also want to flip your rug over every once in a while, so you can see if there is any dirt or stains that need attention on the backside as well. When choosing a detergent for cleaning your rugs, you must check the tags on the product first. These tags will tell you what chemicals should be used for a particular rug. Flip the rug to the right side up, you can try to put on a more powerful tip and give it another wash. This will help get the remaining dirt out of the rug. Make sure to keep your distance at first to not damage the fibers. Now that the carpet is clean, turn off and put away your pressure washer. Putting it away correctly will make it easier to use again in the future. It is important to keep your rug laid out flat as it dries so it doesn’t create a crease. Give it plenty of time to dry before moving the carpet back. Try to find a sunny place for final drying. For those hard to get stains you will want to take a soft bristle brush and scrub those stains out and spray the rug until all the soap is out.

Maintaining your outdoor rug

Whether you put it on your deck, in your front porch, or near the mailbox, a rug is a practical accessory to any outdoor area. Not only will your rug add color and style to your outdoor space, but it will provide a comfortable surface to stand on and help keep dirt off of your floor. If you have outdoor area rugs that are beginning to look worn and dirty, then don’t worry. We created some helpful tips for maintaining the appearance of one for years to come.

Storing your rug

  • Storing your rug when it’s not in use is just as important as caring for it when it’s in use. When your rug is stored away it can still pick-up dirt and debris. You will want to wrap it up in plastic and make sure it is dry and clean before storing.

Check the tag

  • While most area rugs are crafted with long-lasting quality, there can be situation-specific care instructions that affect their durability. The maintenance tag on your outdoor rug will contain information about recommendations for floor protection, spot removal and safe cleaning methods. To find the correct way to clean and care for your outdoor rug, simply check the tag on the back of your rug.

Reduce build up

  • While it’s still a good idea to wash your area rug before storing it for the season, regular vacuuming and sweeping does wonders for removing dust, preventing odors, and prolonging the life of your rug. In addition to regular vacuuming, you don’t want to forget about sweeping the area clean in front of the rug, using a soft-bristle brush or broom.

These are the best tips to help you clean your rug. With these steps, you can make sure that you use the right products and do so in the right way. Furthermore, you can avoid making some of the mistakes that many people make when they’re washing an area rug. If you guard against the do’s and don’ts, washing a rug with a pressure washer can be done in just minutes. When you see how great your rug looks afterward, you’ll be amazed at how little effort it took. After all, every little bit of help makes a difference, and these steps will help to keep your rug looking new and clean for years to come



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