by Amanda Mears
Outdoor rugs generally require little maintenance. They are made to dry quickly, resist fading, and clean easily. To get the most life out of your outdoor area rug, however, it doesn't hurt to do some regular maintenance. Here are some tips on keeping your rug looking like new.
Store the rug when it is not in use. If your backyard is going to be covered in snow for months at a time, roll up your rug and store it inside instead. If you lack storage space for a large rug, roll it up, cover it with a plastic painting tarp, and secure it with bungee cords. You can prop it up in the corner of a yard or deck without worrying about damage.
Clean it monthly. Area rugs attract a lot of dirt, especially if they are outside. To clean yours easily, mix a solution of dish soap and water in a bucket. Then, scrub the rug using a large nylon brush. Make sure to clean both sides of the rug to get all the dirt off. After you've scrubbed it, rinse the rug with a hose. It's best to rinse the rug on a sloped surface, like your driveway, so the water can drain away.
Dry the rug in sunlight to prevent mold. To ensure that your area rug stays free of mold growth after washing, hang it over a porch railing in the sunlight. If you don't have a railing, lay the rug out in the sun to dry and flip it over to make sure both sides dry thoroughly.
Remove moss regularly. Synthetic rugs are typically resistant to mold, but they can still grow moss or algae if left to dry in damp, humid weather. Bleach is a quick solution for killing growth on outdoor rugs, but it's not the most environmentally friendly option and can remove color. If you have children who play on the carpet or pets, stick to using a diluted vinegar-and-water mixture and scrubbing thoroughly with a brush. Press a dry towel on the spot to soak up extra moisture and let the spot air-dry before using the rug.