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 Choose an Outdoor Rug

One of the best ways to turn your patio or deck into an inviting and cozy outdoor room is to add an outdoor rug. A rug brings color, texture and a sense of cohesion to a group of furnishings. It also helps to protect the deck wood or patio pavers.

When you shop for an outdoor rug, prepare to be pleasantly surprised by new designs and materials. In fact, today’s options are as colorful and stylish as the rugs you use inside. So how do you choose the right one?

how to choose an outdoor rug

Size and Shape

Outdoor rugs come in a variety of dimensions. To find the right size, consider the area you want to cover. Measure your patio, deck or porch and pay attention to architectural details, like pillars or stairs. If you are adding a rug to a dining group, make sure it’s large enough to accommodate the chairs. The rule of thumb is that a rug should be at least two feet wider than all sides of the table. For a seating group, make sure the rug is large enough to allow the front legs of the furniture to be placed on the rug.

Choose the shape by looking at how your furniture is grouped. A round patio table, for example, looks best over a round rug. Seating groups are best defined by a square or rectangular rug that mimics the layout.

Outdoor Rug 2


Outdoor rugs need to hold up to a variety of weather conditions, and natural and synthetic materials are available that withstand the elements. Natural fibers, such as sisal, jute and seagrass, provide a bit of texture. They can mildew when exposed to too much moisture, so they do require extra care. Natural might be a good choice if your outdoor area is covered or if you’re willing to bring the rug inside during the off-season or periodically hang it to dry. Synthetic fibers, such as polypropylene or acrylic, come in a wider range of colors than natural rugs and are extremely durable. They have the added benefit of drying quickly and are often less expensive.

Outdoor Rug 3

Color and Pattern

Outdoor rugs come in every color under the sun, and patterns are available that will enhance your style. When choosing a color, look to the surrounding area for inspiration. Choose a palette from your landscape, or pick shades that evoke the feeling you want to create. For example, bright yellow or orange will create a vibrant setting, while neutral colors allow your furnishings to take center stage.

Create a unified feeling by choosing patterns that are similar to your indoor décor. For example, if your indoor style is traditional, you might go with floral patterns. Contemporary homes will look great with geometric or abstract patterns.

When you’re ready to add a rug to your patio or deck, check out all of the options available from Art Van Furniture by clicking here.