Try an Old School Remedy for a Universal Cleaning Problem

Try an Old School Remedy for a Universal Cleaning Problem

Taryn Williford
Apr 21, 2017
(Image credit: Lauren Kolyn)

It's better not to reinvent the wheel, sometimes. As much as modern conveniences are revitalizing our home lives, there are moments when, frankly, grandma just got it right. Today's task in our spring cleaning plan is one of those moments. I'm thinking your rugs could use a little retro refreshing.

In many cases, vacuuming rugs is a great way to pick up the random debris that collects on your floors (but beware: vacuuming can be harmful to hand-knotted rugs), yet there's a much more thorough (if only occasional) method for dislodging dust and dirt: Take your rugs outside and beat them. It requires a bit more cardio (especially if you're living in a walk-up, or if you don't have a quiet, mostly empty open space to do it in), but it's worth tackling right now along with the rest of your spring cleaning.


Beat Out and Rotate Your Rugs

Grab any rug that's small enough to carry (by yourself or with a friend) and head outside. But before you do, take note of the way it's laying (an easy mission if your rug has an irregular pattern, but if not, try fastening a safety pin to one corner).

Once outside, shake the rug out as best you can, then drape it over a clothesline or railing or similar spot and beat it out. If you've been hanging onto a carpet beater, this is the moment for it to shine, but if not, a tennis racket or any object sort of shaped like it will work just fine. Take the beater (or racket or whatever) and use it to hit the draped rug, pounding out the dust and debris trapped within the fibers. Efficiently old school.

When you bring the rug back inside to lay it down, you'll want to rotate it from its original position. The reason is simple: Foot traffic is pretty predictable and repetitive in any home, and by rotating the rug occasionally (like now), you'll help your entire rug to wear more evenly and look great for much, much longer. A simple 180-degree turn should do the trick—if the safety pinned corner was closest to your favorite plant before heading outside, rotate it around so that the pin is at the farthest end now.

How did it go? A bit of a workout, huh? (You have my permission to skip the gym tonight.)

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