Land of Rugs™

How to Clean Outdoor Rugs | The Comprehensive Guide

Outdoor rugs have transitioned over the past few years from trend to a must-have. It seems you cannot walk two streets without at least one of the homes on that street having a beautiful outdoor rug on display in their garden area.

One of the issues with placing a rug outdoors, however, is cleaning them. Naturally, they’re going to need cleaning more than rugs that are placed inside the home.

So how do you go about this?

In this article, we will take you through a full guide to cleaning outdoor rugs. We will list all the things you need, exactly how to clean outdoor rugs in a step-by-step format and we will also answer some FAQs we have had from past customers too.

Without further delay, let’s get into it. Shall we?

Cleaning an Outdoor Rug - Things You’ll Need:

Whilst it can seem daunting at the beginning, you really do not need any special items to clean an outdoor rug. Most of the items you need can already be found within your home.

Here’s the full list of what you’ll need to clean your outdoor rug:

Clean, Flat Outdoor Space

Naturally, you are going to need an outdoor space that is relatively clean, open and flat so you can place your outdoor rug on the ground to clean.

Having access to a space like this is going to make the task of cleaning your outdoor rug so, so much quicker than it could be if you did not have access to this space.


Used to brush off excess dirt and water, and already found in your home.


Didn’t think you need to vacuum an outdoor rug? Think again! A vacuum is a great way to pick up any excess dirt before you get to the ‘nitty gritty’ part of the cleaning process.

Pressure Washer (Or Hose)

You do not need a pressure washer to be able to effectively clean your outdoor rug, but you will need access to a hose.

This is vital.

We will explain how these items are used during the cleaning process a little later on within the article.

Liquid Dish Soap

You are going to find this incredibly useful for getting rid of those hard to clean stains.

Soft-Bristled Brush

Much like the dish soap above, this is going to incredibly useful to get rid of dirt that is pressed into your beautiful outdoor rug.

How to Clean an Outdoor Rug

In this section, we are going to take you through a step-by-step guide on how to clean your outdoor rug to make it beautiful again.

Shake (Or Beat) Your Outdoor Rug

First things first, you need to get rid of any loose dust and dirt that you can.

To do this, simply give your rug a hearty shake in a large space to help dislodge any dust and dirt that hasn’t become tightly bound to the fibres of the outdoor rug.

If you have an extra large outdoor rug, you can hang this over a washing line and beat the rug (with a rug beater or even a cricket bat) to remove this easy to dislodge dust and dirt.

Vacuum the Outdoor Rug

As a next step, you need to get rid of some of the harder to remove dust and dirt. To do this, place the rug flat on the ground (preferably outside, but inside will do) and vacuum over the rug a few times.

The suction from the vacuum will help dislodge some of the dust and dirt that has become trapped in the outdoor rug’s fibres since it was last cleaned.

Remember to remove your vacuum’s beater bar attachment if it has one.

Add Some Dish Soap

Once you have vacuumed your rug, it is now time to give it a deep clean.

To do this, simply add some washing up liquid or another light soap of your choice to a bowl of hot water, dip your soft-bristled brush into your cleaning solution and give your outdoor rug a good scrub.

This is going to remove all the dirt and grime that your vacuum could not reach.

Rinse the Outdoor Rug

Once you have finished vacuuming, it is now time to rinse the rug. This can be done with either a garden hose, a pressure washer or even a watering can if you do not have access to outdoor running water!

Please note that you should always ensure that your outdoor rug is suitable to be hosed down, as this depends a lot on the material the rug is made from. You can do this by checking the information on the manufacturer’s website or checking the label on the rug itself.

Leave your Outdoor Rug to Dry

Once all the cleaning of the outdoor rug has been completed, the final step is to leave the rug to dry completely. You can do this outside by laying the rug flat on the ground and letting the sun evaporate the water, but this is weather-dependent and will take a while.

Most people will do perfectly fine hanging the rug over a washing line and letting the combination of the sun and any wind dry the rug.


Naturally, there is a lot of nuance when it comes to cleaning outdoor rugs due to the number of different materials and manufacturing processes used. Not all outdoor rugs clean the same, so it’s important to know 100% what you are dealing with.

In this section, we will take you through some questions we are asked frequently from customers and potential customers around cleaning outdoor rugs.

Can you clean an outdoor rug with vinegar?

In most cases, it is absolutely possible to clean areas of an outdoor rug with vinegar.

Please just make sure that you dilute the vinegar with water first as not doing this could cause damage to the rug.

Some outdoor rugs are not suitable to be cleaned with vinegar solutions, so also make sure you look at the manufacturer’s care instructions before doing this.

How do you clean an outdoor rug covered in mildew?

You will be pleased to know that, in most cases, rugs that are covered in mould and mildew can be cleaned with a combination of baking soda and white vinegar.

Simply sprinkle baking soda over the impacted area and then spray this with white vinegar. Leave around 5 minutes for the baking soda to react with the vinegar and then simply rinse the rug with a hose. This will remove the mildew, mould and the combination of white vinegar and baking soda.

Can you wash outdoor rugs in the washing machine?

Yes, in most cases, you can wash an outdoor rug in a washing machine. Just be sure to put it on the delicate cycle and use a very mild detergent.

Depending on the material or manufacturing process used, some outdoor rugs are not suitable to be washed in a washing machine. This will be noted within the manufacturer’s care instructions.

How to clean an outdoor rug with a pressure washer?

Yes, in most cases, you can wash an outdoor rug with a pressure washer. It is important to make sure that you use a low pressure setting, however, so you do not damage the fibres of the rug.

  • Posted On: 9 November 2022

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