How to Clean Rugs in the Snow

Check out this easy and unexpected way to clean your high pile or delicate rug this winter.

If the fibers of your favorite rug aren’t vacuum-friendly, or the material is just too delicate to clean conventionally, take it outdoors this winter. This is a tutorial you’ll want to consider for your wool rugs, vintage rugs, and high pile rugs that require a little extra care when cleaning. You know the kind; the rug that hoards dust and crumbs into each crevice, or the one that sheds almost all of its fibers every time you torture it with a vacuum cleaner. I put our soft, shaggy, colorful Moroccan Boucherouite rug to the test because it’s hard to clean (the rag fibers are not vacuum-friendly) and it is vintage and delicate.

How to Clean Rugs Using Snow

How to Clean Rugs Using Snow

How to Clean Rugs Using Snow

Photo by: Emily Fazio

Emily Fazio

Start by rolling up your carpet indoors. Trap all of the dirt nestled in those fibers so you don’t leave a trail of crumbs as you leave the house!

Unroll it outdoors (perhaps with the help of a friend if it’s really big and floppy).

Lay the rug upside down on an area covered with thick, clean snow. The snow’s going to capture all the dirt that falls out of the rug, and because it’s cold and frozen and a cold day, the rug isn’t going to quickly absorb any moisture from the snow pile.

Use a firm “paddle” to “beat” the rug as it lays upside down. I used the head of my dry mop (sans microfiber pad) because it allowed me to reach into the middle of the rug and pat-pat-pat the dirt out.

How to Clean Rugs Using Snow

How to Clean Rugs Using Snow

How to Clean Rugs Using Snow

Photo by: Emily Fazio

Emily Fazio

When you feel as though you’ve successfully beaten the you-know-what out of it, lift the corner of the rug and check out your progress. Whoa. Even if you don’t think it by looking at the picture, there was a whole lot of dirt deposited into the snow from that fluffy rug.

How to Clean Rugs Using Snow

How to Clean Rugs Using Snow

How to Clean Rugs Using Snow

Photo by: Emily Fazio

Emily Fazio

Flip the rug over so that the rug is right-side up on clean snow, and do a repeat pat-pat-pat to expel more dust and crumbs.

How to Clean Rugs Using Snow

How to Clean Rugs Using Snow

How to Clean Rugs Using Snow

Photo by: Emily Fazio

Emily Fazio

Repeat as necessary – you’ll want to continue to move the rug into new areas of clean snow until the snow is no longer dirtied after you pat the rug.

Roll up the rug again to bring it indoors, and immediately lay in a place where any clinging snowballs can evaporate and dry. Once it is dried, return it to its home. Happiness is a clean rug!

How to Clean Rugs Using Snow

How to Clean Rugs Using Snow

How to Clean Rugs Using Snow

Photo by: Emily Fazio

Emily Fazio

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