Heavy wool rugs can be difficult to clean well without chemical processes. Shaking is hard because of the weight, and beating the rug ends up with a flurry of dust in the air. But if you're in a deep freeze with plenty of powdery snow, the cleanser is right outside your door:
Snow cleaning is an old process that we've heard about in Scandinavia. It works in the midwest, too (or anywhere else, for that matter) during deep winter. After a recent dry dusty snowfall, I tried the cleaning method for myself.
What You Need
Materials at least 3-4" of clean, powdery snow
cold temperatures well below freezing
an area rug in need of a good cleaning
a place to hang the rug
1. Hang the rug outdoors for at least 30 minutes to acclimate it to the cold temperature (when we did this it was 8F outside). This will prevent snow from melting on the rug.
2. Lay the rug face down in snow.
3. Beat it thoroughly with a broom.
4. Flip the rug over and beat it again.
5. Sweep the snow from the rug.
6. The deep freeze kills smelly bacteria. Beating in the snow loosens dirt and grime. And sweeping the tiny snow crystals from the face of the rug removes any last particles from the surface. The result is a deodorized, bright and clean rug.
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(Images: Regina Yunghans / Apartment Therapy)