How to Care for Your Outdoor Rug

Outdoor rugs are made to withstand the weather, but a build-up of dirt and pollen can make them look dull and dingy. Keep yours looking fresh and clean with a few easy maintenance steps. Here’s how to care for an outdoor rug:

How to care for an outdoor rug
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Use a Rug Pad

Be sure to use a rug pad to provide extra cushioning. A rug pad helps keep a rug in place instead of letting it slip or slide. Rug pads also allow air to circulate beneath the rug, preventing mold growth and rot.

Shake It Out

Shake out your outdoor rugs frequently to remove the dirt and debris that can be blown about outside and get trapped and cause damage. You can also vacuum or use a leaf blower on your outdoor rug when it’s dry. Vacuuming a wet rug can damage it.

Wash It Once a Month

Use your hose to rinse your rug at least once a month. Be sure to clean both sides as dirt can get trapped inside and beneath. If your rug needs something stronger than water, consult the manufacturer recommendations for suitable detergents. Let your rug completely dry in the sun before returning the furnishings. It helps if you can hang it so both sides dry evenly.

Store It During the Off Season

At the end of the season, wash it thoroughly and store it indoors, if possible. Leaving it exposed to the elements all winter will reduce its life and luster. Roll instead of folding it will help it last longer.

If you know how to care for an outdoor rug, you can help it last more than a single season.

How to Care For Your Wicker Furniture

If you love the look of outdoor wicker furniture but thought it was too high maintenance, you need to learn about today’s resin wicker furniture. Offering the beauty of the old-fashioned material with the advancements of modern technology, modern wicker is designed to hold up to the elements without fading, peeling, chipping or splintering. Today’s wicker turns your patio into a wonderful gathering spot, and the best part is that it requires minimal maintenance. These steps will show you how to care for wicker to keep it looking fresh and new:

How to care for wicker
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Spot clean spills

Drinks or tree sap can quickly become sticky and attract dirt, so use water or a mixture of mild soap and water to clean it. Simply sponge clean or use a soft-bristled brush, then rinse with water, and dry with a cotton or microfiber cloth.

Vacuum the cushion covers

Dust and dirt can become problematic if left to build up. For spots, use water or mild soap and a sponge. Then rinse with water and allow to air dry for at least an hour before using.

How to care for wicker
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Do a thorough cleaning biweekly to monthly

If your furniture is exposed to the elements it will need regular care. Use a garden hose to remove dust, dirt and grime. You can also use a bucket of water with a mild detergent. A ratio is ¼ cup of mild dish soap to one gallon of warm water is a good solution for how to care for wicker.

Remove debris

Next, use a soft-bristle brush, making sure you get into the weave of the wicker. You’d be surprised how much dust can collect, so use a wide brush with long bristles to help get the job done quickly.

How to care for wicker
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Once you clean the furniture, spray again with the garden hose or a bucket of clean water until the soap residue is gone. Then let it air dry for two to three hours before returning the cushions.

Garden Tips: Getting Your Yard Ready for Spring

The weather has finally turned and that means not only can you enjoy the outdoors, it’s time to get your yard ready for spring planting and backyard barbecue season. Here are three projects to tackle this weekend:

1. Prune roses

Prune your roses before new growth emerges, to shape the plant and encourage new growth that can produce lots of buds. Here are instructions that will keep you in bloom.

2. Divide perennials

Plants like irises and hostas can spread like wildflower, but they are healthier when they have space. Anything that’s grown to be two to three times its size needs to be dug up and divided. Here’s what you need to know.

3. Get a handle on weeds

Weeds can make all of your hard work in the garden look messy. Pull weeds when they’re small to avoid having them go to seed, creating more weeds. A good layer of mulch will also help. Experts say a two-inch spread will hold moisture and discourage weeds.

Garden Tips: What to Plant and When


It’s time to add color and depth to your yard. If you’re headed out to your local nursery, here are plants that are ready to take root:

Trees and shrubs

The Farmer’s Almanac predicts a mild and dry spring for Midwest planting, and trees and shrubs love cool conditions. Make sure you give them plenty of water for the first few weeks to keep them healthy and happy.


Add quick color with annuals. Plant them in beds or containers on your porch and patio for instant beauty.


Perennials are great because they come back year after year, lessening your workload. Here are 12 that do well in the Midwest, according to Midwest Living magazine: Coneflowers, butterfly weed, Lenten rose, Virginia bluebells, hardy geraniums, black-eyed Susans, allium, panicle hydrangeas, sedums, Russian sage, goldenrod, and aromatic aster.

Spring Cleaning Tips

You’re probably ready for spring – but is your home? Spring cleaning wakes up your rooms and get them ready to shine in the sun. Here are three tasks to put on your to-do list this week:

1. Dust your drapes

Window treatments can collect lots of dirt and dust from the air. Put them in your dryer with a wet towel, and turn on the air-fluff cycle for 15 minutes. Hang them back in the windows immediately.

2. Clean your ceiling fan

This, too, can collect lots of dust on the blades. Using your favorite furniture polish, wipe them down and lightly buff.

3. Air out your linens

If you have a backyard clothesline, shake then out and let them hang in the sun for a few hours. Sunlight is a natural germ killer.