How To Clean Outdoor Rugs

VB-11 from Venice Beach by Loloi

An outdoor rug is a perfect accessory for any outdoor living set. It brings much-needed comfort and color to your backyard oasis. While outdoor rugs are made to resist fading, water, dirt, or any basic wear and tear, they aren’t invincible. Just like anything else, an outdoor rug requires proper care and maintenance.

Rugs tend to be a focal point, so a dirty rug is an eyesore. You want to make sure you get your money’s worth and your outdoor rug looks it’s absolute best for many years to come.

Maintaining Your Outdoor Rug

Balfour from Belize by Jaipur

Although outdoor rugs are typically made with synthetic fiber that lasts through normal wear and tear, they still need maintenance. Outdoor rugs are notorious for being easy to clean, so it doesn’t typically take that much work. Similar to indoor rugs, outdoor rugs need consistent vacuuming to keep clean. If anything, it’s more important to vacuum outdoor rugs to protect it from any dirt that may settle below its fibers and building up over time.

If you don’t feel like vacuuming, you can also get away with occasionally shaking the rug, again just make sure it is done regularly to prevent dirt from settling within the rug. Flipping your rug from time to time is a great way to get the most use out of your rug.

Spot Cleaning

VB-08 from Venice Beach by Loloi

The most important piece of advice when it comes to cleaning fresh stains off of an outdoor rug is to do it immediately and blot, never rub. For acidic stains like tomato sauce or red wine, put some club soda on the stain to neutralize it and remove as much of the stain as possible. If necessary, put natural detergent directly on the stain and let it sit for a few minutes before washing off.

When blotting stains, never push the stain deeper into the rug. Most stains will stay on top of the rug, but rubbing it in will increase the chances of creating a more permanent stain. Gently blotting the stain is all you need to do.

Cleaning The Rug

VB-11 from Venice Beach by Loloi

All anyone needs to clean an outdoor rug is a hose, soft brush, water, and natural detergent. To clean the rug, mount your rug on an outdoor surface. It’s best to mount it on a sloped surface so the water and soap can easily run off. Mix a small amount of detergent with about a gallon of water for more thicker rugs (for lighter rugs a good rinse on both sides with a hose is all you need).

If you’ve previously spot cleaned the rug, scrub those areas first to treat the stains accordingly. Brush the stains gently followed by the rest of the rug and rinse it with a hose. It’s a good idea to do this from time to time even if the rug doesn’t seem all that dirty. You don’t necessarily need to scrub it every time, an occasional rinse will do the job. It’s just part of making sure that your rug always looks it best.

Pet Accidents

NF474B from Natural Fibers 400 by Safavieh

Pet stains require a bit more sanitation and TLC than others. Like any stain on an outdoor rug, it requires immediate attention so there is no permanent discoloration or smell. Make sure to gently blot the stain, don’t rub.

To soak up any liquid, put down some salt or baking soda, vacuum or sweep it up, and pat it with a paper towel to remove any remaining moisture. To neutralize any odor, mix one part of white vinegar to one part of water and blot it on the stain. Follow up with the steps to spot clean stains above; club soda would be the best option on fresh stains and natural detergent if the stain has set in. Immediately rinse with a hose and let dry.

Keeping It Dry

Hand Hooked Marine Indoor Outdoor Area Rug from Air Libre by NuLoom

After washing your rug, it’s important to dry it in the sun to ensure that no mold starts growing underneath. This doesn’t just go for after washing the rug. Make sure to put it out in the sun after rain or snow. Any dirt or moisture that settles in the bottom of the rug will help mold start growing, so putting it out in the sun will ensure none begins to grow.

When you’re not using the rug, store it in a dry safe space so it doesn’t collect any unnecessary moisture, dirt, or stains. This will ensure that it lasts for years to come and always look its best.

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