Each spring, you venture outside and make plans to improve your porch, deck, and other areas of your outdoor space. From outdoor seating areas to shaded dining tables, you want to make your outdoor living area beautiful and welcoming as your indoor space, while holding up to the sun, rain and mold. Adding outdoor rugs helps you create an outdoor space as inviting as your home. Here are some top things to consider:
What Is an Outdoor Rug?
An outdoor rug is a rug specifically designed and constructed to stand up to rain, sunshine, and the elements while maintaining its gorgeous finish. From the backing to the materials used to treat the product, manufacturers produce these rugs to be durable and sustainable while being left outside for the seasons.
You already know it isn’t a good idea to move the rug you have in the kitchen into your outdoor space, unless it’s an indoor-outdoor rug. It will do in a pinch, but not as a long-term choice. There are certain materials that stand up to outdoor elements better than others. You also might find better outdoor rug choices depending on whether you’ll be using it as a just-right deck rug, a spot-on patio rug, a hand-picked porch rug, or more, depending on the space (or several spaces!) outside your home where you and friends will be congregating.
What Are the Most Common Types of Outdoor Rugs?
Most outdoor rugs receive a protective coating to stave off the effects of fading from the sun and damage from getting wet. Some protective coatings can help minimize the growth of mold. However, you need to clean your outdoor rugs to keep them mold-free and looking their best. Outdoor rugs feature a variety of materials, including:
Polypropylene and olefin are synthetic fibers that are most popular in outdoor rugs. Resistant to UV rays, polypropylene also resists stains and offers you a low maintenance option. Jute is a natural fiber that you can use as an outdoor rug; however, it doesn’t fare well in a humid area, and you don’t want it to get wet. It’s a great option for a covered deck or porch area.
It’s a good idea to decide where you want to place an outdoor rug before choosing a material. The material might not be suitable for long periods in the rain. Also, if you’re placing a rug on a wooden deck without a cover, you need to move the rug and furniture from time to time. This helps with the natural fading of the wood and can help avoid rotting, mold, and other water issues on wood.
How Do You Clean an Outdoor Rug?
Yes, dirt and bugs are a natural part of the outdoors; however, you still need to clean your outdoor furniture and rugs. This cleaning not only keeps the area more hygienic but also helps to extend the lifespan of your outdoor furnishings and decor. Here are some ways to clean your outdoor rug:
- Shake it: Holding one corner, shake the rug vigorously to chase away dirt and debris. Sometimes, a rug is too large to hold up by one corner, so you need to hang it over a fence and strike it with a broom handle or some other type of stick-like object.
- Vacuum: Every few weeks, it’s a good idea to run a vacuum cleaner over the top and underside of outdoor rugs. This removes the surface dirt and debris and loosens any packed dirt. After vacuuming, you can shake it out before placing it back on the floor.
- Sweep: Your vacuum cleaner might not have a cord long enough, so you can always swiftly and aggressively sweep it. You want to sweep both sides and shake it after your done to remove any remaining debris that you knocked loose.
- Spot clean wet stains: If you spill wine or some other type of liquid on your rug, use a dry cloth and blot the liquid until it’s absorbed.
- Spot clean dry stains: Using a sponge or cloth, dip it into a mixture of water and a mild detergent. Gently clean the area with a sponge or cloth. Rinse the sponge out frequently and keep gently blotting until the stain is gone. Rinse all the detergent away with water and allow the rug to dry.
- Wash the rug: Yes, you can wash the entire outdoor rug. Here’s how:
- It’s best to do this on a sunny, breezy day.
- Vacuum, sweep, or shake off any loose dirt and debris.
- Using a hose or bucket, wet the rug.
- Mix water and a rug cleaner or mild detergent.
- With a soft brush, scrub the soap mixture into the rug.
- Let the soap mixture sit for around 10 minutes.
- Rinse the rug clean, making sure that the rinse water runs clear.
- The rug should lie flat while drying.
- Remove mold and mildew: If you find mold or mildew on your rug, there are two methods available:
- Bleach method: Sweep, vacuum, or shake the rug to remove loose dirt and debris. On your driveway, spray the rug with a mixture of bleach and water, and then rinse it thoroughly. Leave it in the sun to dry.
- Vinegar and baking soda method: If the rug isn’t safe for bleach, you can use baking soda and vinegar. After clearing the dirt and debris, sprinkle the area with baking soda. Next, fill a spray bottle with vinegar and spray the affected area. Leave it to soak for a few minutes. You may notice it bubbling, and this is fine. Afterward, rinse it thoroughly and leave it in the sun to dry.
Outdoor rugs are easy to keep clean with minimal maintenance. Here are a couple of pro-tips:
- Use a power washer to get the deep-down dirt when washing your rug.
- If your rug is sopping wet, roll it up tightly to squeeze out extra moisture.
- Always test a small spot on your rug before placing any type of cleaner on the entire thing, including baking soda and vinegar.
You can add a large outdoor rug to your deck or porch for a pop of color, unique pattern, or to pull a look together. With a minimum of care, your outdoor rug looks elegant for years. Styles and available materials make it easy to complement the furnishings and decor you already have in your outdoor space.