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How to Clean An Outdoor Rug Fast

Keep your outdoor rug looking its best with these easy cleaning tips.
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Updated on May 11, 2023 9:49 AM
Patio, Lawn & Garden

Outdoor rugs are a great way to add color and texture to your patio or deck and welcome family and friends. But they can also be a magnet for dirt and grime. 

Our experts prepared this guide on how to clean an outdoor rug so you tackle it without any hassle and in no time. From what tools and materials you need to the simple cleaning steps and pro tips, everything you need to get your rug looking spotless. So let's get started.


Supplies for Cleaning Outdoor Rugs

When it comes to cleaning outdoor rugs, there are a few supplies you'll need to get the job done effectively. Here's a list of the basics tools, equipment, and materials that you should prepare: 

  • Broom or vacuum cleaner - For removing loose debris from your outdoor rug before you start cleaning it.

  • Soft-bristled brush or sponge - For scrubbing the rug and removing dirt and stains.

  • Bucket - You'll need a bucket to mix your cleaning solution.
  • Cleaning solution - You can use a mild detergent or carpet cleaner to clean your outdoor rug. Or you can make your own cleaning solution by mixing warm water and vinegar.

  • Hose - A garden hose will come in handy for rinsing the rug after you've finished cleaning it.

  • Clothesline or railing - You'll need a place to hang your rug to dry after you've cleaned it.

  • Fan or hairdryer - If you're in a hurry, you can use a fan or hairdryer to speed up the drying process.

Here’s how to clean an outdoor rug    

After gathering all the suppliers, now, you are ready for starting to clean your outdoor rug in just a few simple steps:

  • Ditch the Dirt: First, remove any loose dirt and debris from your outdoor rug by shaking it off and using a broom.

  • Vacuum Outdoor Rug: Use a vacuum cleaner to remove any remaining dirt, dust, or debris. You have to make sure you use a vacuum attachment suitable for area rugs to avoid damaging the rug's fibers.

  • Rinse Rug: Hose down the rug with water to loosen any dirt that may have stuck to the fibers. Be sure to rinse both sides of the rug thoroughly.

  • Lather and Gently Scrub: In a bucket of warm water, mix a small amount of dish soap and baking soda to create a cleaning solution. 
    Dip a scrub brush in the solution and gently scrub the rug, focusing on any tough stains or heavily soiled areas. Be careful not to scrub too hard as this can damage the rug's fibers.

  • Rinse Again: Once you have scrubbed the rug, rinse it thoroughly with water, making sure to remove all the soap and baking soda.

  • Air Dry: Hang your rug over a railing or clothesline to dry. Do not put it in the dryer or place it in direct sunlight, as this can damage the rug's fibers.

How To Store Your Indoor Outdoor Rug

When it comes to storing your indoor outdoor rug, you need to take proper care to ensure its longevity. Here are some steps to follow:

  • Clean the rug: Before storing your rug, you need to clean it thoroughly. You can vacuum or sweep the rug to remove any dirt or debris. If there are any stains, use a mild detergent and warm water to spot-clean the rug. Allow the rug to dry completely before storing it.

  • Roll the rug: Rolling the rug is the best way to store it, as it will prevent any creases or wrinkles from forming. To roll the rug, start at one end and roll it tightly to the other end. Use a piece of twine or rope to tie the rug securely.

  • Choose the right storage location: Where you store your rug is important. Avoid storing it in a damp or humid area, as this can promote mold growth. Choose a dry and well-ventilated area, such as a closet or basement. If you are storing the rug in an outdoor shed or garage, make sure it is elevated from the ground to prevent moisture buildup.

  • Protect the rug: To protect the rug from dust and dirt, wrap it in a sheet or breathable fabric. This will also prevent any insects or pests from damaging the rug. Avoid using plastic wrap, as it can trap moisture and cause mold growth.

  • Store the rug horizontally: When storing the rug, lay it horizontally rather than vertically. This will prevent any creases or wrinkles from forming. If you are storing multiple rugs, stack them horizontally on top of each other with a layer of fabric or paper between each rug.

Can You Wash An Outdoor Rug?

Yes, washing your outdoor rug is possible but what's tricky is how you wash it. It all comes down to the rug material and the manufacturer's instructions. Here are some pro tips for washing your outdoor rug:

  • Check the manufacturer's instructions: Before getting started, read the manufacturer's instructions to ensure your rug can be washed and how it's recommended to clean it. Some outdoor rugs are made from materials that cannot be washed, while others require specific cleaning processes and products.

  • Vacuum or shake the rug: Before washing the rug, remove any loose dirt or debris by vacuuming or shaking it outside. It will prevent any dirt from becoming embedded in the fibers during washing.

  • Spot-clean any stains: If there are any stains on the rug, spot-clean them with mild detergent and warm water. Avoid using harsh chemicals or bleach, as they can damage the rug's fibers.

  • Hand wash or use a gentle cycle: If the rug can be washed, either hand wash it or use a gentle cycle in the washing machine. Use cold water and mild detergent, and avoid using fabric softeners or bleach.

  • Air dry the rug: After washing, hang the rug to dry in a well-ventilated area, preferably outside. Don't use a dryer, and don't place the rug in direct sunlight, as this can cause the fibers to shrink or fade.

  • Brush the rug: Once the rug is dry, use a soft brush or a broom to fluff up the fibers and restore their appearance.

How To Clean An Outdoor Rug With Mold?

Cleaning an outdoor rug with mold requires you to take specific steps to ensure your rug is fully cleaned, and the mold doesn't return. Here are the steps to follow:

  • Take the rug outside: The first step is to take the rug outside and lay it on a flat surface in the sun. The sun's UV rays can kill mold spores and help to dry out the rug, making it easier to clean.

  • Vacuum the rug: Use a vacuum cleaner with a brush attachment to remove any loose dirt, debris, and mold spores. Ensure to dispose of the vacuum bag immediately to prevent the mold spores from spreading.

  • Mix a cleaning solution: Combine one cup of white vinegar and one cup of water in a spray bottle. White vinegar is a natural disinfectant that kills mold spores and removes musty odors.

  • Spray the cleaning solution: Spray the cleaning solution over the rug, and cover all the moldy areas. Allow the solution to sit on the rug for 10-15 minutes to kill the mold.

  • Scrub the rug: Use a stiff-bristled brush to scrub the rug, focusing on the moldy areas. Apply firm pressure, but be careful not to damage the rug's fibers.

  • Rinse the rug: Rinse the rug thoroughly with a hose or bucket of water and remove all the cleaning solution and mold spores.

  • Dry the rug: Hang the rug in the sun to dry completely. Ensure the rug is fully dry before storing it to prevent mold growth.

  • Repeat if necessary: If the mold is persistent, you may need to repeat the cleaning process or use a commercial mold remover.

You can also try deep cleaning or a pressure washer to clean an outdoor rug with mold. Simply attach a low-pressure nozzle and use a cleaning solution suitable for pressure washing. 

Be sure to follow the manufacturer's instructions and test a small area of the rug before pressure washing the entire rug. Pressure washing can help remove deeply embedded mold spores and dirt.

How To Dry An Indoor Outdoor Rug

How to dry an indoor outdoor rug You should dry your indoor-outdoor rug properly to ensure its longevity and prevent any mold or mildew growth.  Here are the steps to do it right:

  • Remove excess water: If the rug is wet, use a dry towel to absorb any excess water and remove as much water as possible to speed up the drying process.

  • Hang the rug: Hang the rug in a well-ventilated area, ideally outside in the sun. Use a sturdy clothesline or hanger that can support the rug's weight.

  • Flip the rug: After a few hours, flip the rug over to ensure both sides dry evenly. It will also prevent moisture from trapping between the rug and the surface it's drying on.

  • Use a fan: If it's a cloudy day or the air is humid, use a fan to speed up the drying process. Position the fan to blow directly on the rug, but avoid placing it too close, which can damage the rug's fibers.

  • Roll the rug: Once the rug is dry, roll it up tightly as possible to prevent any creases or wrinkles from forming. Use a piece of twine or rope to tie the rug securely.

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FAQs
Conclusion

In conclusion, cleaning an outdoor rug is an essential task to maintain its appearance and prolong its lifespan. 

Our experts hope you find this guide useful in giving a little bit of effort and attention so you can enjoy a clean and beautiful outdoor rug all year long and over time.