How to Keep Your Outdoor Rugs Clean

There likely is not a day when dirt, dust, and mould spores cease their operations, and apparently, outdoor rugs are usually their favourite target.

Contrary to popular belief, outdoor rugs are not as difficult to clean as people think. Rugs like polypropylene, for instance, are usually water-proof and fade-resistant, so washing them is not a hassle.

But just because they are easy to maintain does not mean there is no proper way of going about it. Cleaning without much tact and consideration is an absolute no-go for outdoor rugs. After all, it is always great to have rugs that look and feel brand-new all year round.

Here, we give you a thorough guide on how to take care of them. 

Clean them regularly

This is the most obvious way to keep your rugs in tip-top shape. Cleaning your rugs regularly means you would have to include them in your daily routine. This is not to say that you need to wash it with water and soap every single day. This is just a reminder that you at least sweep off or vacuum the visible dirt from them, so it does not stay there for an unwanted period of time. You may shake it off twice a month as well.

See to it that you also clean the dirt under the rug. Keep in mind that it might sneak in and get through the fibers of your rug, which could then cause a much bigger cleaning problem later on.

Use dish soap

Dish soap is very effective when it comes to taking off dirt, but do not forget to wash it off completely afterward. Using a brush, scrub both sides of the rug with a solution of dish soap and water. Then, rinse it off and let it dry. Leaving it soaked in moisture will eventually encourage mould spores to grow in so make sure that you dry it out thoroughly. 

Do not scrub stains

While scrubbing is good for removing dirt, it is not ideal for wiping off stains. Doing so will just make them spread even more, which usually leaves a much larger and irritating sight. So how do you remove stains? The general rule of thumb is to just dab and blot with a stain remover.

There are many stain removers out there in the market, but try to avoid the ones that have a strong solution as they have a tendency to dampen your rugs’ fibers. Aside from that, these stain removers might affect the true colours of your rugs, making it dull in the long run so choose your stain removers carefully.

Try bleach only when it’s safe and necessary

In a way, you may treat bleach as both your foe as well as your friend. On one hand, bleach is usually not recommended for regular rug maintenance as it can ruin the colour of your rug.  On the flip side, however, it is a strong solution against deep-seated dirt or mould. This is why you have to be careful when using it. And as much as possible, bleach should be your last resort or the longest of your long shots.

Typically, using bleach with synthetic fiber rugs is okay, but to avoid any sort of damage, try to spot test a tiny area first. If it does not, in any radical way, change the colour of your rug, you are good to go. With this, you can make sure that you are not doing something that you would regret in the future. 

Apply baking soda

If there’s one natural home remedy for dirt and bad smell that truly works, it is baking soda. Not only is it tough against bacteria, it is also good for the environment! Besides, we’re sure pet parents would want to keep chemical products at bay from their fluffy best friends.

To apply, just use an ample amount on your rugs and leave it overnight. Then, scrub it with a nylon brush and hose it down entirely.

Hang it dry under the sun

As has been already established, mould spores thrive in damp and humid environments, so washing your rug and using it right after is really futile and pointless. This is why you need to make sure that both sides of the rug are completely dry before you put it back in its place.

Hanging it out in the open will make drying fast. And more than that, the UV rays of sunlight will kill mould spores quickly so they do not spread or grow throughout your whole rug. 

Store them properly

Winter is probably the season when you might want to skip lounging out on the patio for too long, so it makes sense that you want to keep your rugs properly stored during these times. Roll it over and keep it inside a well-ventilated room. You may choose to cover it with plastic to avoid attracting insects or rodents looking for a place to stay in.