How to Clean Outdoor Rugs to Get Rid of Dirt, Dust and Mildew

June 16, 2022

Keeping rugs outdoor is a cost-efficient and low-maintenance way to beautify and protect our living spaces. Outdoor rugs trap most of the dust and dirt from entering our homes. We mostly wipe the chairs and tables while hosting a party in our backyard, but often forget to give our rugs a good cleaning. Outdoor rugs can become a pain when they accumulate grime with time, so it is better to clean them to keep doing the job effectively. Most outdoor rugs are designed to withstand damage and easy buildup, but you still have to do the job when it is time to clean them. Here is how to clean outdoor rugs to get rid of dirt, dust and mildew.

Step-by-step Guide on How to Clean Outdoor Rugs 

If you have no clue regarding how and when you cleaned your outdoor rugs at home, follow these simple steps to get started. All you will require to clean include a broom, vacuum cleaner, hose, a soft and bristle brush, baking soda, vinegar, and liquid dish soap. 

Step 1: Clean the Dirt from the Rugs 

Before you start cleaning, grab a dust mask and gloves and give your rugs a good shake. Take the mats and hold them over an open space where it is okay for the dust and dirt to fall and settle. You can shake the rugs a few times to release the dirt if their size allows you to do so. Drape the tightly-bound large rugs that are hard to hold over a fence or railing. Beat the surface dust and dirt using your hands or by sweeping with a broom or soft brush. 

Step 2: Vacuum the Rugs 

A fine layer of dust will always be present no matter how hard you shake the rugs. You can use a vacuum cleaner to clean both sides of the mats. Use a vacuum with good suction to catch deep stains and dust that are locked in. You can prefer to use a wet/dry vacuum to deep clean the mats depending on the material. You can take the indoor vacuum outside and use its turbo brushes and handheld rods to clean pet dander and stains. 

Step 3: Hose Down and Rinse the Rugs 

Check the care label instructions on the mats and see if they are washable. In case they are washable, you can use a hose to clean the mats, especially those that are made of plastic. Rinse the mats after this and make sure that you do the cleaning by keeping the mats on an inclined surface to allow the water to drain soon. 

Step 4: Lather and Scrub the Mats Smoothly

Outdoor rugs can benefit if you give them a good scrub - just make sure to check the label instructions to know the soaps won’t damage the material. Always check the manufacturer’s instructions before cleaning the mats. You can find them online if you find that the tag is missing, so do not hesitate to check and confirm. 

You can now proceed to clean the rugs using a DIY cleaning solution of your choice. The solutions made of white vinegar, diluted dish soap or baking soda are great picks to clean outdoor rugs. The most common choice would be a cleaning solution prepared by mixing a few drops of dish soap in warm water. You can also use baking soda and white vinegar on the rugs if they have mold or mildew. Just make sure that you do not overdo it as you can diminish the original colour of the mats if you do so. 

Another popular cleaner is club soda as it helps absorb acidic stains that usually happen from red wines. You can also spot treat greasy messes and tough stains using a paste made using baking soda and hydrogen peroxide. There are also several eco-friendly commercial rug cleaners in the market if you like to consider using them to remove such stains without wanting to make cleaning solutions all by yourself. 

Use a soft and bristle brush to lather and scrub the rugs gently, either fully or just on the spots. 

Step 5: Rinse and Dry the Rugs 

Rinse the mats using clean water to wash away the cleaning agents you use on them and lay the rugs flat or hang them on a clothesline to dry. Do not drape them over outdoor rails as there is a chance for them to lose shape and dry, some rugs might also transfer the colour from the railings. Turn the rugs over once one side is dry. You can always choose to dry them in sunlight if they are colourfast. Make sure that the rugs are completely dry before you put them back. 

Step 6: Store or Place the Rugs 

It is a good thing to change outdoor rugs with the seasons. You can take the rugs inside if you are expecting heavy rain and storms as this will prolong the life of your rugs. Secure big rugs in a roll using ropes and keep them under a tarp if you are storing them inside a deck. You can store the small rugs somewhere inside your home and get them later when you need to put them back.

You can now read about how to clean outdoor furniture effectively at your home if you are in a hurry to host a party by cleaning everything you have outdoors along with the rugs. Get in touch with the Sendhelper to do all of your deep cleaning needs for your home in Singapore if you lack the time - we are just a booking away!

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