Carpets give a sense of cosiness and warmth to the house. But do you know that people use them in the outdoor areas of their homes as well? Yes, really, and this is not a recent trend. Outdoor carpets have been a thing for quite some years now, and it is finally time to give them the attention they deserve. Let’s check out how to properly choose and maintain them so you can enjoy your outside rugs for a long time.

1. What Is the Difference Between Indoor and Outdoor Carpets?

You can’t put an indoor carpet outside and vice versa. Both types are manufactured differently, as they have to withstand different conditions.

Indoor carpets are softer, not heat resistant, and react differently when exposed to water and spills. Most of them are made from synthetic or semi-synthetic fibres with bright colours and elaborate patterns.

Outdoor carpets are much different. They are made from sturdy, synthetic materials or natural fibres that are fade, moisture, mould and dirt-resistant. Outside rugs are designed to withstand the weather conditions without losing their colour. Their low pile or flat weave makes them durable and easy to clean.

outside carpet2. Pros and Cons of Outdoor Carpets

As with every type of carpet, the outdoor ones have their pros and cons, and you should consider both when deciding on purchasing them.

2.1 Cons of Having an Outside Carpet

  • Staining Altho the carpets get hardly stained, the surface underneath them is another question. When exposed to rain and snow, the water goes through the material and can cause spotting beneath the carpet. If you don’t want your wood or concrete floors to get stains, you should remove the carpeting during the cold and wet weather.
  • Replace them periodically – If your rugs have a rubber back, they may be affected by the temperature changes, so you will need to change those carpets more frequently than their indoor relatives.
  • They are not soft – You wouldn’t want to walk barefooted on an outdoor carpet as it is hard to the touch. Altho, the softness generally depends on the material, in time, your deck floor might feel softer than the actual rug.

2.2 Pros of Owning an Outdoor Carpet

  • Stylish – If you want to change the appearance of your outdoor space, a rug is an ideal choice. Your home will look stylish, and you will surely get a compliment or two.
  • Not expensive – Outdoor carpets are surprisingly inexpensive, so even if you change them regularly, they won’t break your budget.
  • Durable – As mentioned water, heat, dirt and mould are not a problem for the outside carpets. They are made to last long and can withstand heavy foot traffic.
  • Easy to maintain – Thanks to their low-pile wave, most outdoor rugs are surprisingly easy to clean.

3. How to Choose the Right Outdoor Carpet

There are a couple of things you need to consider when purchasing the right outside carpet for your property:

  • Pick the material very carefully. Some natural fibres like cotton and wool react badly to water. Familiarise yourself with the different types of carpets before you make your purchase.
  • Consider the space you have. The prise correlates with the size of the rug, after all. And if you decide to cut a carpet to make it fit on the spot, you might end up damaging it and lowering its weather-resistant properties.
  • Your furniture has to fit. When purchasing an outdoor rug, keep in mind that all of your furniture has to comfortably fit on it. You need to leave enough space for the chairs to be moved around. Below, you will see the recommended size rugs for different areas.

Area size (in meters) Carpet Size (in meters)
1.20 x 1.80 to 1.50 x 2.10 0.90 x 1.50
1.80 x 2.70 to 2.10 x 3.00 1.50 x 2.40
2.70 x 3.40 to 3.00 x 3.70 2.40 x 3.00
3.00 x 4.00 to 3.40 x 4.20 2.70 x 3.70
3.40 x 4.80 to 3.70 to 5.20 3.70 x 4.30

4. How Often Should You Clean Outdoor Carpets?

The cleaning frequency of outside carpets mostly depends on the external weather condition. However, we can offer you a simple timeframe you can follow.

  • Every week. Using a hard-bristle broom, swipe your carpets. This will remove the larger pieces of debris and dirt.
  • Every month. Vacuum your carpets using an outdoor hoover or a handheld one. There are many good options. Check out our list of the top vacuum cleaners for 2022 to find the best match for your home.
  • Once a year. Deep-clean your outdoor carpet using specialised equipment and detergents.
  • Depending on the situation. You can vacuum and spot clean the carpets whenever an unexpected situation occurs.

The ideal time to deep-wash your outdoor carpets is during your annual spring cleaning. So keep that in mind when you are planning your time and tasks.

outside rug5. How to Clean Outdoor Carpets?

When caring for your outside rugs, there are a couple of steps you should consider. You can, of course, skip one or two depending on the situation, but generally, this is the correct way of cleaning outdoor carpets.

Step 1: Examine the rug

The first thing you need to do is carefully look underneath all of the furniture and check the condition of your carpet. Remove small items like toys, fallen earrings and the sort that can get tangled or scratch the fabric while swiping or vacuuming. Check the edges for loose treads. Trim them if needed and make a mental note to be extremely gentle with these areas when proceeding with the next steps.

Step 2: Swipe the surface

Get a broom and swipe the carpet, removing falling leaves, branches and larger debris that can clog your vacuum cleaner. Don’t worry about the smaller pieces. If you can, clean underneath the rug, as dirt tends to accumulate there. If your rug is a smaller size, you can actually shake it out from the debris. However, our London cleaners don’t recommend it. If you are not careful, you can spread the small particles on other areas of your porch or even get covered in them. And nobody wants to get dirt on their clothes and in their eyes and nose.

Step 3: Vacuum the carpet

Now get your vacuum and start cleaning the carpet. Don’t apply much pressure, and always move the wand in one direction. Don’t go all over the place. This step should completely remove the sand, dust and mud that might be left on your carpet.

Step 4: Spot Clean

After your carpet is nice and vacuumed, you need to take care of the stains. Outdoor carpets are quite durable and don’t get spots very easily, but occasionally one or two may occur. When treating these areas, you need to be aware of a couple of things:
What is your carpet made of? Depending on the type of material, some products will be more effective than others.
What type of stain do you need to remove? Familiarise yourself with the different types of stains and the proper cleaning methods. This will save you a lot of time, money and stress in the future.
You need to use cold water when spot cleaning, as some materials, are heat sensitive. If your rug can’t be treated with liquids, various foam detergents can be applied to the stain to remove it.

Step 5: Wash the entire carpet

This falls into the deep-cleaning category. You are required to wash your outdoor carpets only once a year, to not damage their fibres. You can do that by using cold water and a specialised detergent. Scrub the rug with a soft bristle brush to avoid damaging the wave.

Again, we urge you to carefully check what type of carpet you have and be careful when choosing the deep-cleaning method. Water is not always the best choice, and sometimes you need to rely on a carpet cleaning company as they have the necessary tools and products.

Step 6: Let it dry off under the sunlight

Once you are done cleaning and washing, let your carpet dry under the sunlight. If possible, remove it from the floor and let it hang somewhere sunny. This way, you will minimise the water damage that may occur to the wood or concrete surface beneath the carpeting. Do not lay back your rug until it is completely dried off.

And you are done. Maintaining an outdoor carpet is not as hard as you thought, is it? Don’t be afraid to experiment when it comes to decorating your home, outside rugs are a great addition to every home. If you have any concerns or questions, feel free to write them in the comment section below. Our expert London cleaners will gladly assist you.


Stephanie Cooper

Stephanie is a content marketing specialist for Top Cleaners for the past several years. She has extensive experience working with cleaning companies and knows her audience. Stephanie creates engaging and useful content helping the customers of Top Cleaners with their struggles and providing them with the most accurate insight.