Outdoor area rugs are a simple and effective way of tying a patio space together. When spills and accidents happen, it’s important to apply the proper care to your rug to keep it vibrant and durable for years to come.
Don’t: Use bleach
Bleach is often the go-to solution for mold removal, but it’s best to keep it away from your outdoor rug. Along with being unfriendly to the environment, bleach can strip colors from your rug and damage its fibers, shortening its lifespan.
Do: Use vinegar
Vinegar is a very powerful and natural way to get rid of that unwanted mold in your rug without the harmful side effects. Apply distilled white vinegar to your rug at full strength and leave to soak in for an hour. Afterwards, dilute 1 cup of vinegar with 2 and a half gallons of water and use in a steam cleaning machine, or simply hose off the rugs with water and hang to dry. Try to keep the rug as dry as possible to avoid mold growth in the future.
If an accident happens on your rug, clean it up right away to avoid a permanent stain or smell.
Do: Have the vinegar handy
As soon as you notice the accident, blot the spot with a clean towel, working from the outside in to soak up as much as possible. For solid spills, scrape up as much as you can with a dull knife or other hard edge. Then, apply a solution of ¼ cup white vinegar and ¼ cup water to kill germs and neutralize any odors. For extra protection, sprinkle a layer of baking soda on the area and leave for at least two hours. Follow with a steam cleaner or thoroughly hose off the rug on both sides and hang to dry.
Spills & Spot Cleaning
It may be tempting to rub and scrub a spot when you see it, but in many cases this could embed the stain deeper into the fibers of your rug.
Blotting with a clean sponge or towel gently lifts stains away without rubbing them deeper into the carpet. To prevent spreading, start from the outside of the spill or stain and work your way inwards towards the center.
Don't: Use a rug beater
A rug beater is fine for most indoor carpeting, but you want to avoid using them with outdoor rugs. These rugs are made with fibers and materials that repel or wick away moisture, but they are also less able to take a beating (literally) without cracking or tearing.
Do: Vacuum & sweep regularly
Whether or not there is visible dirt, it’s a good idea to regularly sweep and vacuum your rug to remove any potential soil build-up. When vacuuming, to avoid damage to the binding, move the vacuum in the direction in which the binding is sewn as to not pull it up from the rug.
*Pro Tip: Rugs curling up at the edges? Place a damp towel over the area, apply an even weight on top and leave overnight. Doing this once or twice should flatten the edges or corners and make your rug look good as new!