Home Decorating Washable Wonders: How to Clean a Rug in Small Space

Washable Wonders: How to Clean a Rug in Small Space

From time to time, we hear people say, “I love the idea of an indoor/outdoor rug, but I don’t really have an ‘outdoors.’ How am I supposed to clean the rug when it gets stained?” Well, hang on to your socks, stylephiles, because we’ve got some ped-blowing news: it’s actually super easy to clean an indoor/outdoor rug—even a big boy, like our Samode Denim, shown here—inside your shower or tub. Here’s how our apartment-dwelling staffers do it:

Dash & Albert Indoor Outdoor Rugs Cleaning How To

1. Roll up the indoor/outdoor rug for easy transport.

2. Lay the rolled rug in the shower or tub, and unroll just enough to expose the soiled area on the floor or tub bottom.

3. Fill a bucket with cool water and your favorite earth-friendly detergent; we like Method, but you can even use bleach for stubborn stains like wine and pet urine.

4. Don your rubber gloves (with an authoritative snap, of course), and brush the cleaning mixture into the stain. Lighter and recent stains will come out the fastest; you may need to apply more elbow grease for dark or older ones.

5. Turn on the shower and allow it to rinse out the soap, or pour a bucket of clean water over the scrubbed area till the water runs soap-free. If the stain hasn’t come out completely yet, repeat numbers 4 and 5 until it does (trust us; it will!).

6. Once fully cleaned and rinsed, roll the rug back up, and prop it against one corner of the shower or tub; this will allow all the water to run off. Depending on the size of the rug and the humidity level in your bathroom, it could take anywhere from a few hours to a day for the rug to dry completely. Opening the window and doors of the bathroom will help.


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Mary Ann Einarson April 10, 2014 at 3:35 pm

Back when my old dog was having late-in-life ‘issues’, I’d bag up the affected Flor carpet tiles and take them to the car wash. It looked a little silly, but it was speedy & really thorough. I’d just put them in a plastic tub for the ride home & line them up in the shower to drain and dry. Or out in the sun, if it was nice out. You can use the soap in their washing ‘guns’, but it’s almost as easy to use my own Method soap, Smells so much better, too.

My dream area rug is your Rugby Stripe Indoor/Outdoor in light blue (someday…). And it’ll be upstairs, out of the way of the new old dog, so hopefully I won’t need the car wash. But I bet it would hold up to the power sprays even better than the carpet tiles.

Fresh American April 11, 2014 at 8:09 am

Ha! We love your creative cleaning methods, Mary Ann. Can’t say enough good things about Method detergents, either. Aren’t they great?

Mary Ann Einarson April 15, 2014 at 1:43 pm

Love Method!
Especially their kitchen cleaners. Their (naturally) scented dish soaps make scrubbing pots much more tolerable. And their lavender all-purpose spray makes me (almost) look forward to cleaning the counters. (Which is kind of a miracle.)

Pia April 11, 2014 at 10:22 pm

This is great, but how do you clean the woven cotton rugs? I have 3 and the 9 x 12 in my 6 year olds room needs attention. Thanks!

Fresh American April 14, 2014 at 3:02 pm

Hi, Pia! Depending on the type of woven cotton rug, they can require special care. Most small woven cotton rugs can be hand washed gently in cold water in the bathtub or utility sink and hung to dry. For larger sizes, like 9′ x 12′, we find that carpet-care professionals have the best techniques, tools, and cleaners to handle the job. (We’ve known some folks to machine wash their cotton rugs, but we advise against this! The fibers can shrink unevenly in the wash and prevent the rug from lying flat.) So check your local listings for pros, and if you have any questions about a specific Dash & Albert rug, feel free to drop our customer service team a line: info@dashandalbert.com.

Birgitta Sievers May 22, 2014 at 8:25 am

Love your rugs and getting ready to install an indoor/outdoor runner on my stairs. I am debating on installing either with the old fashioned rod, to allow for easy removal and cleaning, or stapled down method. My question is how you clean the rugs when stapled down???
Thanks in advance!

Fresh American May 22, 2014 at 10:27 am

Hi, Birgitta! Happy to help. 🙂 We’ve found that you can spot clean indoor/outdoor rugs pretty easily even when they’re stapled down. For regular cleaning, simply give it a thorough vacuuming (kind of a pain on stairs, but necessary). For stains, first blot with a clean cotton cloth to pick up as much of the stain as possible, then squirt with white vinegar and scrub gently with a soft-bristled brush, and the stain usually comes right out. You can then blot with a clean cotton cloth dipped in water, if you’re not crazy about the smell. A bit of bleach can even be used on tougher stains, but err on the side of too little rather than too much so it doesn’t leak onto the wood underneath, and definitely blot with a damp cloth afterward, especially if you have kids or pets in the house.

Let us know how the installation goes! We’d love to see a pic when you’re finished.

Jeremy Schopper October 10, 2016 at 1:28 am

Absolutely love this! It was incredibly helpful! Thank you.

Annie_Selke October 14, 2016 at 8:28 am

So happy to hear that, Jeremy! Thank you for your comment!

Classic Hostess December 27, 2016 at 1:26 am

This is really an informative post..!!

Keep on sharing more…

Martha May 3, 2017 at 1:12 pm

I start with cleaning the concrete patio. I then squirt the rug and then use oxiclean (on the cleaned patio.) Flip the rug over and start rinsing on one end to the other. I then drape the rug over the outdoor chairs, give it another thorough rinse and let the whole thing dry outside. My shower stays clean too!


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