I’m a cleaning pro – keep your outdoor rugs and welcome mats spotless with my easy tips | The Sun
CLEANING rugs can seem like a monumental task, especially when it comes to the outdoor mats on your porch or patio.
But the experts know how to get an outdoor rug clean in just five steps – and the last one is so simple, you can walk away while it happens.
The team at Gardening Etc. spoke to outdoor living experts who detailed a five-step process to clear dirt and dust from your rug or welcome mat.
According to rug expert Daniel Prendergast, the first step is clearing away any large debris – and doing so by following the instructions on the care label.
Double-check the notes on the tag to see if your rug needs any special care. Then, give the rug a good shake to free any loose debris or chunks of dirt from the fibers.
"Many outdoor rugs can also be vacuumed," Prendergast said. "Make sure they’re dry and shake off the worst of the dirt first before you do so."
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Then, as long as the care instructions permit it, you can hose your rug down.
Cleaning expert Joyce French said a sunny day with no wind is the ideal weather for this, but you'll want to make sure you pick the right location, too.
"Washing your rug on the grass could damage both the lawn and surrounding plants," French warned.
The best place to rinse your rug is right on the patio. Cleaning expert Reilly Gray said you can also hang the rug on a chair or fence, which will allow excess water to drain away while you spray it.
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You can use the nozzle on your normal garden hose, but if you have a power washer on hand, this is a perfect time to break it out, Gray added.
"Power washers can be used to speed up the process as well as for thorough rinsing afterwards," French added.
"Sweep the rug gently from one side to the other after setting the nozzle to the fan setting."
For step three, bring out a bucket and a gentle detergent.
Again, this is an area where you'll want to refer to the care tag for guidance.
You can use a specialist detergent made just for rugs, or you can add some dish soap to your bucket of water. If you're worried about fading the rug's color, do a patch test, French advised.
"Test the soap combination in a small corner of the rug," French instructed.
"After letting the soap settle for a while, thoroughly rinse it off. You can safely clean the whole rug if the color hasn't faded or bled.'"
Then, apply the mixture to the rug with a sponge or soft brush, being careful not to scrub – that could damage the fibers.
Instead, if there are stains, blot them with a sponge or a rag.
Allow the soap to sit for a few minutes, and then it will be time to rinse.
Rinse until the water runs clear and make sure there's no soap buildup left over.
Finally, it's time to dry your rug – and this is the easy part!
To drain off excess water, you can roll the rug up and leave it standing for a few minutes.
Then, unfurl the rug again and put it in a position where it can get totally dry.
Be forewarned: leftover wet spots will invite mildew. You can lay it flat to dry, or hang it from the line, as you would any other laundry.
Now, just let nature run its course. A full area rug will take longer to dry, while a smaller rug or a welcome mat can dry very quickly on a sunny day.
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