How To Clean Outdoor Rug With Mildew? Complete Step-by-Step Guide

Helen Skeates
Helen Skeates
21 min read

Indoors and out, mold and mildew can be found. Wouldn’t it be helpful if you knew how to properly clean an outdoor rug that has mildew on it?

Outdoor rugs are an essential part of any home’s décor, as well as a practical necessity. Whether you’re a novice or a seasoned pro when it comes to estate management, you’ll agree that selecting and maintaining such goods, especially the sentimental ones, requires time and effort.

Because they are created in a different method, outdoor carpets are always distinguished from interior ones. In the meanwhile, the weather systems in your area can also have subcategories.

Most of the time, because they’re already designed for the outdoors, these carpets are able to withstand even the worst conditions, such as snow and storms.

How to Clean Your Outdoor Rugs

Yes, doormats and carpets outside are fantastic. To instantly brighten, season, and update outdoor settings, simply spread them out in front of the entrance or patio furniture. As a bonus, they’re inexpensive additions to holiday and special event decor. As a result, let us discuss the best practices for cleaning an outdoor rug.

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Outdoor carpets are designed to withstand the harsh weather conditions. Proper cleaning and upkeep are the keys to keeping them looking wonderful year after year.

Outdoor Carpet Cleaning Solution

Rugs must be cleaned on a regular basis. The vacuum or hose does not have to be taken out all the time. Take note of these easy cleaning tips for outdoor area rugs when taking care of yours.

Sweep outdoor rugs using a soft-bristled broom to remove dirt and debris on a regular basis. You might also try using a handheld bristles brush. Cleaners are fine when they’re needed. Vacuuming should be kept to a minimum at all times. It can cause harm to the rug’s fibers.

How To Wash An Outside Rug

Spot cleaning any stains after sweeping with a soft-bristled brush and a solution of water and mild detergent works well. Baking soda is also an effective deodorizer and cleanser. Avoid the use of harsh cleaning products. They are capable of destroying rug fibers and lowering the color of the rug. Apply additional rounds of rug shampoo if necessary for a thorough clean.

Rinse the rug under running water using a hose. In order to get rid of the extra water, shake it off. Outside, it’s entirely dry.


Using a white washcloth and club soda to remove a tough stain like wine or ketchup is an old-fashioned trick that still works today. Drinking club soda makes it easier to get rid of the discoloration.

How to Clean Mildew & Mold off an Outdoor Rug

Pour a gallon of white vinegar onto the moldy or mildewed rug and let it sit for a few minutes. Allow it to sit for about an hour before serving. Then, using a scrub or deck brush and a pail of warm water with about a cup of vinegar added, thoroughly clean the carpet. Refresh with water from the hose. That’s it!

How to Dry an Outdoor Rug

To ensure that your outdoor rug is completely dry, lay it out in the sun to dry after you’ve washed and rinsed it. To ensure that it dries evenly, hang it over a deck railing where it will get plenty of sun. Allowing it to dry in the sun or in the water you used to wash it will only make it worse. Always remember that sunlight is the best disinfectant, both physically and metaphorically!

How to Store an Outdoor Rug

Your outdoor rugs may spend a lot of time outside depending on the weather. Rugs should be stored while they are not in use to avoid exposing them to too much weather. The best way to secure it is to roll it up and secure it with rope or string. To keep your rug safe, wrap it in plastic or tarp it and store it in a spare corner of your garage.

Ready to Decorate with Rugs?

It’s a great way to define your outdoor entertaining space and make patios and gazebos more welcoming. If you’re having trouble deciding on indoor/outdoor rugs for your environment, we’ve got plenty of suggestions.

DIY Steps For Cleaning Mildew Off An Outdoor Rug

While these outdoor rugs are commonly made strong enough to weather harsh situations, time can make them vulnerable to what comes afterward. After some use, and even for new ones that are unfortunately not correctly coated, molds and mildew can appear.

Even though these outdoor rugs are built to withstand adverse conditions, the passage of time might weaken their resistance. If they’ve been used for some time, mold and mildew can form, even on brand-new items that weren’t properly coated.

Step #1. Vacuum the rug first

Assuming you’ve already grabbed yourself a mask and a pair of gloves for protection, you can start cleaning the mildew off from your outdoor rug by laying it outdoors on cemented pavement. You can choose to wear an overall and boots if you’re cleaning a large rug to adequately protect yourself from the mildew, which can have some health effects.

You can begin cleaning the mildew from your outdoor rug by placing it on a piece of concrete, provided you’ve already donned a mask and gloves to protect yourself. It’s best to wear an overall and boots when cleaning a large rug to avoid coming into contact with the mildew, which has the potential to be harmful to you.

Here’s how to get rid of mildew on rocks if you’re working on top of a rock pavement.

Step #2. Mix up a vinegar or bleach solution

You can use vinegar or bleach to eradicate mold on your outdoor rug, depending on the type of material it is made of. What matters between whatever you choose is that you test it out first, whether it causes a change in color or fiber damage.

You can use vinegar or bleach to eradicate mold on your outdoor rug, depending on the type of material it is made of. Whatever you choose, be sure you test it first to see whether it produces color shifts or fiber damage.

Mold-killing solutions that are easy to get to, such as bleach or vinegar, depend on the substance of your outdoor rug. Everything depends on how well you’ve tested it and whether it causes color shifts or fiber damage.

Step #3. Apply your chosen solution and wash

Spray the entire rug on both sides after transferring a small amount of the solution to a spray bottle and testing it. To get rid of the mildew, let it soak on the rug for at least 15 minutes.

With running water (either from a hose or manually with buckets), rinse the outdoor rug. Don’t allow the water run off onto plants or grasses, either, because the bleach could harm them in the future.

After which, pick up a bucket and mix some detergent or rug soap with enough water to make a solution to cover the whole rug. Wash the rug with a scrub to remove all the dirt and residue from the rug.

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After which, pick up a bucket and mix some detergent or rug soap with enough water to make a solution to cover the whole rug. Scrub the rug well to eliminate any dirt or residue.

Step #4. Rinse the rug, then dry

When you’re done, get a bucket and some detergent or rug soap and produce a solution that covers the entire rug. Scrub the rug well to remove any dirt or residue that may have accumulated on it.

For best results, wash your rug several times with clean water to remove all soap residue. Most of the rinse fluid can be removed by running it through a wet vacuum.

Your outdoor carpeting should be completely dry after you’ve rinsed it. You can let it dry in the sun for a while if you choose.

After all, it’s the excess water stuck in the rug that’s causing the mildew. Here’s an article you can check on how to prevent mold after a leak.

Should you power wash outdoor rugs?

After all, the mildew is caused by the rug’s excess water. An article on mold prevention after a leak can be found here.

As it turns out, mildew is caused by the extra water trapped in the carpeting. Here’s a link to a helpful article on how to prevent mold after a leak.

How to keep mildew from outdoor rugs

Keeping your rug clean and dry is the sole method for keeping mildew at bay. In order for mildew to grow, spores must land on a moist or wet surface that contains sufficient food components.

You should be able to keep mildew from forming on your rug as long as you keep those two things out of it.

Outdoor Rug and Maintenance Tips

Keep your outdoor carpeting looking its best by following a few basic care tips:

  • By rolling up the rug and covering it with a plastic bag or tarp, you may store your rug while it is not in use. Keep in mind to thoroughly clean and dry your rug before storing it for the winter.
  • To learn how to properly care for your outdoor rug, look at the tag that came with it. Most outdoor area rugs are made of high-quality materials and can be cleaned at home with simple household products.
  • You can prevent the accumulation of dust and debris on your rug by vacuuming it frequently. Prevent odors and extend the life of your rug by vacuuming and cleaning it on a daily basis, but washing it before storing it is still recommended.

To keep your place looking and feeling new, use the above-mentioned strategies for cleaning indoor/outdoor rugs. It’s easy to maintain outdoor rugs, whether you’re cleaning up after frequent use or dealing with a new spill. In addition, our Outdoor Rug Guide provides helpful tips on how to choose and style your outdoor rug.

How to Care for Outdoor Rugs

Washing and Drying

Prior to a rainstorm, you should remove the rug from the ground to avoid mold and mildew from developing up under it, which can damage outdoor surfaces. Even if it were possible, it’s not always practical. Routine rug care is the next best thing.

You’ll still want to clean your outdoor rugs on a regular basis, adds Ballard Designs merchandise buyer and board member of the International Textile Alliance Carmen Barbee. Exactly how often depends on the amount of foot traffic and how often it is wet where it’s located.

For detailed washing instructions, check with the brand or merchant, as they may differ from manufacturer to manufacturer. When it comes to cleaning Sunbrella fabrics, Barbee recommends using 14 cup mild soap or dishwashing liquid for every gallon of lukewarm water.

Using shampoo and sanitizing solutions to power wash or hose down a rug may often fix and guard against typical mildew issues. After you’ve cleaned your rug, let it air dry in the sun, making care to hang it in a way that encourages good circulation.

It’s possible to steam clean synthetic rugs yourself since they don’t have dyes that bleed or other structural issues that would normally necessitate professional care, says Lisa Wagner, a National Institute of Rug Cleaners certified rug specialist and founder of

Consider hiring a carpet cleaning service if your rug requires a more thorough cleaning, especially if you have an expensive rug that you intend to keep for a long time.

Hanging a rug outside on a balcony, fence or even some outdoor chairs might assist keep it in good condition for city people who don’t have access to power washers or hoses. Be careful where and how you dispose of the garbage when you wash it out between seasons by hand with soap and a brush in a pail of water. If all else fails, you may always acquire a new rug if your old one is looking worn or if you simply want a change. Rugs are intended to be walked on, and as a result, they will ultimately need to be replaced.

As a rule of thumb, Wagner recommends that if you’re a fan of the look of your outdoor rug, which should be reasonably priced, if synthetic, buy two of each, clean/sanitize, and rotate them occasionally. In addition to protecting your outside surfaces, this will extend the life of the rug as well.

Off-Season Storage

Store carpets off-season in temperate climates to avoid exposing them to the elements during the winter months, which can cause damage. Once the rugs are completely dry, wrap them up and store them in a dry, contained location out of the way. You can extend the life of your landing pad by following these simple procedures.

A rug can be left out for a longer period of time in an enclosed outdoor space (such as the balcony of an apartment building). However, it’s a good idea to hang the rug from time to time to allow it to dry out, just like damp towels.

A polypropylene rug is a better option if your deck is exposed to the elements. Additionally, CR has a wealth of information on how to choose the perfect new outdoor rug.


Does outdoor carpet mold?

Some carpets are mold and mildew-resistant, however this does not mean that mold and mildew will not appear. Buying marine carpet backing is a need if you plan to install indoor/outdoor carpet in an area that is frequently wet. Mold and mildew will be less likely to ruin your carpet if you do this.

How do you remove mold and moss from outdoor carpet?

Remove all mold, moss, and mildew by vacuuming the area thoroughly. Disinfect the area with a solution of 1 part bleach to 2 parts water and scrub well. A mildew or mold problem can be remedied by putting the rug outside in the sun on a sunny day. Use a paintbrush or roller to apply undiluted white vinegar.

How do you seal an outdoor rug?

Put a waterproof fabric underneath the rug, and then seal the rug’s upper side with a waterproof fabric seal. As a result, you’ll be able to leave it out in the rain whenever you choose. To waterproof the rug, you’ll need a fabric seal spray, vinyl grip pads, and a waterproofing fabric.

How do I keep my outdoor carpet clean?

Is there a way to clean outdoor rugs safely? Do this on a sunny, windy day for optimal results. Remove any loose dirt and debris by vacuuming, sweeping, or shaking. Wet the rug with a hose or a bucket. Water and mild detergent should be mixed together. A gentle brush is all that is needed to scrub the soap mixture into the carpet. Allow the soap mixture to cool for about 10 minutes before using.

Can I put outdoor carpet on a wood deck?

Wood decks are generally safe for synthetic outdoor rug materials. They dry rapidly and don’t hold water. Flipping it over ensures that both the top and bottom are dry. In addition, to avoid rot and mildew, ensure sure no water gets trapped between the rug backing and the deck.

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Can you power wash outdoor carpet?

A patio or driveway with proper drainage outside is a wonderful location to begin. The rug should be able to rest on the ground without sagging. The only way to properly clean your carpeting is to do so outside. It’s the tip type that makes a big difference when using a pressure washer.

How do you get green algae out of outdoor carpet?

Allow the rug to rest out in the sun for at least four hours before cleaning it with a little soap and water. The majority of the algae on the surface will be killed as a result of this action. Remove the dead algae by vacuuming or sweeping it away with a broom. Make suds in a bucket with a few drops of dish soap and some water. Remove any leftover algae with a scrub brush.

Can Wet and Forget be used on outdoor carpet?

Use Wet & Forget on any form of outdoor furniture, carpeting, or umbrella that is exposed to the elements. During the application and the next night, keep people away from the furniture surfaces by removing the cushions. Before anyone sits on the furniture the next day, give it a good water rinse.

How do I protect my outdoor rug from rain?

Furniture should be placed on rug covers to prevent damage. Get your rug cleaned by a professional if necessary. At the absolute least, do this at the end of each season. In the event of rain or heavy dew, be sure to flip your rug so that it can dry on all sides.

How do you protect outdoor mats?

To avoid the need for waterproofing, outdoor mats are engineered to endure harsh weather conditions. Even so, a waterproofing solution like Scotchgard Fabric Protector can be sprayed on the carpet to provide a super-hydrophobic protective layer.

Is there a waterproof carpet?

Waterproof. It is impossible for liquids to seep into the carpet padding or the subfloor with Tigressá® H2OTM’s waterproof structure. Incredibly durable and easy to clean, Tigressá® H2OTM carpet is ideal for families with small children.

Can I put an outdoor rug on concrete?

Concrete: Wagner points out that unless it’s sealed, concrete can be porous, which may pose a problem for some outdoor rugs. To avoid mildew, choose a rug that allows moisture to dissipate, rather than one that doesn’t.

Can you hose down a polypropylene rug?

Polypropylene Rug Washing However, polypropylene rugs may be washed reasonably readily should the need arise. It’s best to wash a polypropylene rug outside in the sunshine on an unseasonably warm day. Then, using a scrub brush, apply a few drops of mild dish soap and scrub the accent rug.

Can outdoor rugs be left in the rain?

As the name suggests, these mats are meant to be left outside throughout all four seasons.

How do you secure a rug to a deck?

To keep the edges in place, use washers. With washers, you may finally get rid of your patio rug woes once and for all. It’s as simple as drilling a few holes every few feet in the carpeting (ensuring to also cover the corners). Then, insert screws into the slots and secure them with washers.

Does water go through outdoor carpet?

Sun, humidity, mist, dust, and water droplets aren’t a problem for the materials used to produce outdoor carpets. Nylon, polypropylene, and polyester are some of the materials that are most suited for outdoor carpets because of their ability to tolerate rain.

What do you put under outdoor carpet?

Cushioning is provided by rug pads. In order to make an outdoor rug more comfortable to walk on, a pad can be added. Invest in a thick rug pad to ensure that you have a comfortable footing as you walk.


To ensure that your outdoor carpeting with mildew is properly cared for, you need to put your newfound knowledge into practice. To ensure that they last as long as possible, it is imperative that you regularly clean and dry them.

Helen Skeates

Helen Skeates

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