To extend the interior style of your home, and add visual impact to your outdoor space, why not add an outdoor rug?
A rug can help you create a welcoming outdoor space, however, you want it to stand up against weather and outdoor conditions. An outdoor rug can sometimes be neglected, but knowing how to care for your outdoor rug will help extend its lifespan, and prevent any hygiene issues from occurring.
You may be wondering how exactly you keep it clean, but lucky for you, we have some tips to help.
Specifically designed for outdoor use, outdoor rugs can maintain their quality finish even when exposed to external elements.
Outdoor rugs can be made from a range of materials including jute, sisal, polyester, and polypropylene. Durability is a key component of an outdoor rug, so make sure to check the durability of different rug materials to determine what will work best for your outdoor space.
While made to withstand the natural elements, you still need to clean and look after your outdoor rug to improve its appearance and longevity. Cleaning will help keep it hygienic and prevent the build-up of anything that may be harmful to you and your family.
Give it a sweep
Sweeping is a quick and easy way to look after your rug. You can do it a few times a week, and as well as the rug’s surface, make sure to sweep away any debris that has collected underneath the rug.
Regular sweeping will help remove any debris that has blown onto your rug, however, it won’t remove everything, so you should also vacuum every few weeks to remove surface dirt and debris as well as any that has been pushed further into the fibres.
Shake it out
Giving your outdoor rug a shake now and then will help dislodge loose dirt and debris from the fibres.
Shake the rug vigorously until debris stops falling. If the rug is too heavy for you to shake out, hang it over a fence and give it a whack to loosen up the dirt and dust.
Shaking it out at least once a month will prevent too much dirt and dust from accumulating.
Store it away when not in use
Depending on where you live and how your outdoor space is designed, during the colder months you’re likely to spend less time outside. Packing away your rug during this period can help avoid it getting damaged by the rain. Also, when you’re not spending as much time outside, you’re more likely to forget to clean your rug regularly.
Before storing your outdoor rug away make sure it’s clean and dry. If you store a damp rug it will collect mould and mildew and may be ruined by the time you get it back out.
When storing your rug, roll it up, never fold as this can cause permanent damage.
Rugs can attract a lot of dirt, so if using one outside you need to be aware it will likely require more regular cleaning than one used inside the home. Luckily, many outdoor rugs are machine-washable and easy to clean.
Different materials require different cleaning and maintenance. When buying a rug for outdoors, make sure to check if the material is suitable for outdoor use. Some outdoor rugs are made with moisture-resistant fibres and are quick drying. Check the material of your outdoor rug for appropriate cleaning products that can be used and make sure to follow the washing instructions.
Spot cleaning can be done to remove wet and dry stains from your outdoor rug. Blot away any liquid to remove excess moisture, and use the edge of a utensil to remove any dried debris. Use water and a small amount of soap or mild detergent to blot the area (never rub) until the stain is gone, then rinse with clean water and dry out your rug.
Remove mould and mildew
When cleaning your outdoor rug, or if it has gotten wet from rain or garden sprinklers, ensure you completely dry out the rug. Leaving it damp will ruin the fibres, and may lead to mould or mildew developing.
As many outdoor rugs are generally made from synthetic materials, they are not usually prone to mould or mildew, however, some materials can be more prone to water absorption which can lead to mould or mildew over time. Also, if you live in a humid area you may need to regularly check it for mould and mildew.
Mould and mildew can be removed using bleach or other natural cleaners. Sweep, vacuum or shake out the rug to remove loose debris first. Spray a mixture of bleach and water and then thoroughly rinse and leave in the sun to dry.
Another option is to use vinegar and baking soda. Sprinkle baking soda over the rug then spray with vinegar. Leave to soak for a few minutes, then rinse thoroughly and dry out your rug before placing it back.
A rug is a perfect addition to make your outdoor space feel cosier, but to keep your outdoor rug looking good season after season, it requires proper cleaning and maintenance.