Patio Maintenance


A person's hand as they manually scrub a rug with a thick-bristled brush and soapy water.

Outdoor carpets have become increasingly popular for their ability to enhance the design and ambiance of outdoor spaces. 

These versatile rugs can add a touch of style and provide comfort and functionality, complementing the other high-quality furniture in your space. Despite being weather-resistant, cleaning them periodically is essential to maintain their appearance and durability.

You can clean an outdoor rug by scrubbing it with soapy water to remove built-up debris while being mindful of the manufacturer’s specific care instructions. 

Proper care can help your outdoor carpet or rug maintain its beauty as a lasting addition to your outdoor living area.


Before you begin the cleaning process, gathering all the necessary supplies is essential for a smooth and efficient experience. 

Here’s a list of items you’ll need to clean your outdoor rug:

  • Broom
  • Vacuum
  • Soft Bristle brush
  • Dish soap
  • Warm water
  • Bucket
  • Baking soda and vinegar (optional)

With these supplies, you can be prepared to give your outdoor rug the thorough cleaning it deserves.

An infographic displaying the 7 steps to properly cleaning an outdoor rug, including shake off debris, vacuum, rinse, scrub, rinse again, dry, and store.


At the start of the cleaning process, it’s crucial to remove as much loose debris from your outdoor rug as possible. 

First, wear a dust mask to protect yourself from inhaling dust and debris while shaking the rug. With the mask on, grab one end of the rug and shake it well. This can help dislodge loose dirt and debris. If you’re dealing with a larger carpet, having a partner assist you with this task can help make it easier and more efficient.

After shaking the rug, find a suitable railing or fence to drape it over. With the rug securely draped over the railing or fence, use a broom to hit it firmly. This can help knock off any remaining stuck debris that shaking alone couldn’t remove.


For small rugs, a battery-powered handheld vacuum works well. These compact devices can be easy to maneuver, making them perfect for quickly and efficiently vacuuming smaller outdoor carpets.

Consider using a shop vac instead if you’re dealing with a large rug. Shop vacs are typically more powerful and better suited for handling larger surfaces and effectively removing any lingering debris from your carpet.

You may need an indoor vacuum cleaner with brush attachments for stubborn debris. The brush attachments can help dislodge remaining dirt particles to provide a deeper clean.


An initial rinse can help remove any remaining dirt and debris before you start scrubbing.

To rinse your rug, find an area that allows water to run off easily, such as a sloped driveway or stone stairs. Drape or lay it flat in this location to help keep the surface clean and avoid transferring dirt back onto the carpet.

Next, use a garden hose to rinse both sides of the rug thoroughly. For large rugs, draping it over a railing or fence may be more convenient if there isn’t another suitable area.


Before using any cleaning products, check your rug’s tag or online manufacturer instructions.

To begin cleaning your rug, add a few drops of dish soap to a bucket of warm water to create a soapy solution. Using a very soft bristle brush, gently scrub the rug with soapy water, working in sections to ensure thorough coverage. 

For stubborn stains, consider using baking soda and vinegar in conservative amounts. If you’re dealing with acidic stains, such as wine, club soda can work well to neutralize and remove the stains.

Rugs hanging on outdoor wooden drying racks set up over a lawn.


To rinse the rug, use a garden hose or a high-pressure sprayer to wash away all the soapy water. Spray both sides to remove any remaining soap residue.

When drying, lay the rug flat on a clean surface, such as a driveway or patio, or pin it to a strong clothesline. Avoid hanging the rug over furniture or other objects, as this can cause it to lose shape and potentially pick up colour from whatever it’s draped over. 

If you’re laying the carpet flat, let both sides dry completely before placing it back in its designated outdoor space.


Whether you’re storing the rug for the winter months or simply putting it away temporarily, these tips can help keep it in great shape:

  • Let it dry completely: If you’re storing it immediately after cleaning it, let it dry thoroughly. Storing a rug while it’s damp can lead to mold and mildew growth.
  • Roll it up: Roll it up with the visible side facing out. When the rug is unrolled later, this will help it curl downward initially rather than upward, minimizing the risk of tripping hazards. Over time, it should return to its normal shape.
  • Secure it: Use flexible cords or rope to secure the rolled-up rug, preventing it from unravelling during storage. 
  • Protect it from the elements: Rugs should be stored out of the elements during the winter season.

Proper care and storage are vital for extending the life of your carpet and allowing you to enjoy its effect on your beautiful outdoor living space for years to come.


Outdoor rugs can dramatically enhance the look and feel of your outdoor living space. Many people change carpets periodically throughout the year, allowing them to refresh their outdoor space’s appearance while keeping their rugs pristine.

Regularly cleaning and maintaining your outdoor rugs can help them remain undamaged and ready for use when they’re brought out of storage. 

Visit us at Patioline when you want to update your outdoor space with a new rug or learn more about outdoor furniture care. With a large selection of outdoor rugs and a knowledgeable team, we can help you find what you need to create a stunning outdoor living area that’s both stylish and functional.

Reading next

A fire table surrounded by patio furniture to add warmth to the space
A close up of orange and yellow patterned throw pillows on an outdoor bench with a blue, striped cushion underneath the pillows.

Leave a comment

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.