This past weekend, we were in the middle of a total snow storm of snowiness (in the Midwest at least), and it was awesome! I usually hate winter, BUT, since it's been pretty mild this year, I'm not burned out on it. Right now, there are 2 reasons I'm loving all the snow. One, family sledding fun, and two, all this snow is PERFECT for cleaning some rugs!
I read about this a few years ago on Apartment Therapy and tried it, and you know what? It worked for me and was a cool way to clean my smallish rugs without chemicals. Which makes this good for antique or delicate wool and silk rugs that don't like chemicals. This isn't something new either. Apparently, it's been the way to clean rugs in Eastern Europe for forever, and I'm betting probably in other parts of the world that get a lot of snow. This will get out the dirt and any stinkiness!
Let's get started!
You will need:
1. A clean, flat-sided, non-flimsy broom (not a push broom)
2. Lots of dry powdery snow (do NOT use wet/packing snow) and below freezing temperatures
3. Your rug - You probably want to do this on small or medium size rugs. You could do it on a large rug, but you'll probably wear yourself out big time and then curse yourself for starting that. Plus, dragging a huge rug around in the snow sounds like a total pain. But, it's totally up you and your threshold for physical labor.
This is what you do:
1. First, you have to take your rug outside and shake any extra dirt off of it. Then hang it up out of the snow. The reason you want to do this is that your rug is coming from inside and is room temperature. If you put it in the snow right now, the snow will melt on it and then it will be wet. You don't want this. So, you're going to hang it to let it get to the same temperature as it is outside. Find a fence that's not covered in snow and hang it there for about 45 minutes to an hour (or more if you want). If you don't have a fence, pull out those fort-building skills and use some patio chairs to prop it up (remember, you don't want it snowy yet).
2. Take your cold rug and lay it on some deep snow (at least a few inches). Use the broom or a shovel to cover the rug in a decent layer of snow all over it.
3. Now, this is the fun part (and by fun, I mean you're going to look like a total maniac and entertain/scare your neighbors). Use the flat side of the broom to beat the snow on the rug (don't be shy, give it a good spanking), all over the rug. All that dirt is going to get really cold and fall right out of the rug (sounds crazy, but it worked when I did it).
4. Once you're done with that, leave the snow on there. Go inside and catch your breath. Maybe grab some hot chocolate. In about 15 minutes, go back outside and flip that rug. Now, cover this side in snow, just like before. And proceed to beat this side just as before. If you want to really look nuts, start yelling at it while you're doing this.
5. Now, shake all the snow off as much as you can. Then go find that fence you hung it on before (or wherever you hung it) and hang it up again. Get some more hot chocolate and come back in a half hour. Apparently, at this point, the snow should be vaporizing right off that rug. Don't ask me about it though, I'm not a scientist. I just call it magic.
6. Come back and brush off any snow (if there's any left). Bring it in the house and stand back in amazement at your freshly cleaned rug. Then go ask your neighbors how they liked the show :)
When I first did this a few years ago, my arms were SORE the next day, like super sore. So, if you are sore, don't be surprised. If you're not sore, then you're obviously in better shape than me.
Until next time...