The issue of outdoor rugs and their cleaning is a relatively new phenomenon over the past 10 to 15 years. Families have been trying to increase usable living space wherever they can by bringing tables, chairs, recliners and even LED TVs outside to the deck, patio, porch, etc. Now we have fire pits for the cold and gazebos, porticoes and awnings for the sunny, hot weather.
I am Mark Case, owner operator of GM Carpet Care for over 45 years, certified master cleaner and senior textile inspector. Here are some best practices when it comes to cleaning and maintaining your outdoor area rugs.
What Makes a Rug an Outdoor Area Rug?
Area rugs are defined as portable, easily rolled up pieces of carpeting – not installed. Outdoor area rugs will be mostly made of olefin polypropylene.
Today they come in a wide range of colors and designs, not just the off white High/Low Berber carpets your parents had. With all this outdoor living, cooking and of course, weather we all know everything ends up on the floor and on these area rugs.
Outdoor area rugs will need regular cleaning far more than any other outdoor furnishings. The materials used to make these outdoor area rugs are some of the greatest materials for wear and cleanability ever found by mankind. As a certified carpet and rug cleaner, of course, I’m going to recommend professional truck mounted hot water cleaning.
This will be the highest cost but require the least amount of time involved in the cleaning process and give you many many years of useful life to the new outdoor area rugs. Other methods out there will not be as safe and allow you to maintain the useful enjoyment.
Whatever you do… do not, do not pressure wash these area rugs. That is great for siding, plastic, bricks, concrete etc., but not woven textile goods! Would you pressure wash your outdoor cushion textile furniture? No. You will wear out the usefulness of these rugs in one season.
DIY Methods For Cleaning Outdoor Area Rugs
For do-it-yourselfers two or three labor intensive ways are safe.
Rent a portable steam cleaner and clean the same as interior rugs. Do not soak or flood these rugs! Beyond normal dirt, sand and outdoor spills, the biggest and most destructive culprit to outdoor area rugs is mold and algae. Over-wetting only increases the damage done by these villains.
Another way to clean your outdoor area rug is to put the area rug over a heavy duty clothesline. Shampoo thoroughly and rinse with a hose (not a pressure washer) and allow it to dry.
Keeping the outdoor area rugs dry is the number one rule to keeping long useful life on outdoor area rugs.
Benefits of Professional Outdoor Area Rug Cleaning
While DIY cleaning methods for outdoor area rugs can be effective in removing superficial dirt and stains, they may not be enough to thoroughly clean and sanitize these rugs. Professional cleaning offers a deeper clean that can remove deeply embedded dirt, allergens, and other contaminants that DIY methods may not be able to address.
In addition to providing a deeper clean, professional outdoor area rug cleaning can also help extend the life of these rugs. Over time, dirt, mold, and other contaminants can accumulate and damage the fibers of outdoor area rugs, causing them to deteriorate more quickly. Professional cleaning can remove these contaminants and help protect the integrity of the rug’s fibers, resulting in a longer lifespan for the rug.
A carpet cleaning expert can explain the benefits of professional outdoor area rug cleaning and provide a cost-benefit analysis to help homeowners make informed decisions. While professional cleaning may come with a higher price tag than DIY methods, it can ultimately save homeowners money in the long run by extending the life of their outdoor area rugs and reducing the need for replacement.
Furthermore, professional cleaners have access to specialized equipment and cleaning solutions that are designed to effectively clean outdoor area rugs without causing damage to the fibers. This ensures that the rug is cleaned thoroughly and safely, without risking any damage to the rug’s appearance or structural integrity.
While DIY methods for cleaning outdoor area rugs may be a good temporary solution, professional cleaning offers a more thorough and effective solution that can help homeowners protect their investment and extend the life of their outdoor area rugs. A carpet cleaning expert can offer advice and guidance on the best cleaning methods and frequency to help keep outdoor area rugs looking and feeling their best.
How to Store Outdoor Area Rugs
As outdoor living spaces become increasingly popular, homeowners are investing in high-quality outdoor area rugs to enhance the comfort and style of their decks, patios, and porches. However, once the outdoor season comes to a close, it’s crucial to properly store these area rugs to prevent damage and ensure their longevity.
The first step in storing outdoor area rugs is to thoroughly clean and dry them. This will prevent mold, mildew, and other types of moisture damage during storage.
Once the rug is clean and dry, roll it up tightly and secure it with straps or ties. Avoid folding the rug, as this can cause creases that may be difficult to remove. Store the rolled rug in a cool, dry place, away from direct sunlight, moisture, and pests.
If possible, consider storing the rug in a breathable storage bag or wrapping it in a clean sheet or drop cloth. This will protect the rug from dust and dirt while allowing air to circulate.
These storage tips help homeowners protect their outdoor area rugs and ensure that they remain in good condition for many outdoor seasons to come.
Keep Your Outdoor Area Rugs Looking Great with Proper Cleaning and Maintenance
Outdoor area rugs can add style and comfort to any outdoor living space, but they also require regular cleaning and maintenance to keep them looking and feeling their best. Whether you choose to tackle the cleaning yourself or seek the help of a professional carpet cleaning expert like GM Carpet Care, it’s important to follow proper cleaning techniques and avoid damaging the rug’s fibers.
Regular cleaning can help prevent the buildup of dirt, mold, and other contaminants that can damage the rug over time. Storing the rug properly during the off-season can also help protect it from damage and extend its lifespan.
By following these tips and recommendations, homeowners can enjoy their outdoor area rugs for many years to come. Whether you’re relaxing on your patio, entertaining guests on your deck, or simply enjoying some fresh air on your porch, a clean and well-maintained outdoor area rug can add both style and comfort to your outdoor living space.