By Terry Lin
Rugs are an essential, foundational piece in any common living area. They tie a room together and create that warm, inviting, indoor-meets-outdoor feel. As our community continues to build their outdoor sanctuaries, we saw the Outer rug as an essential next piece to develop after mastering the sofa. Plus, by putting the Outer design spin on it, we could create a rug that was highly durable, sustainably made, easy to clean, and outdoor tough.
Thanks to innovative, eco-friendly materials and extensive maintenance testing, we can ensure that (with a little help from you) our new limited edition rugs will stay good-as-new, season after season. Here’s how:
Recycled materials = durability
We used recycled PET (polyethylene terephthalate) fibers to make our sustainable outdoor rugs, which is a win on multiple levels.
PET is used to make plastic bottles and containers for a number of consumer products. We turned to this material because it gives plastics a second life, but also because it’s naturally stain-resistant, and, like our sofa, retains color and won’t fade in sunlight or after a harsh cleaning.
Also, we learned recycled plastic soda and water bottles are made with premium-grade resins, as required by the FDA. It’s essentially built-in quality control. Many rugs are produced using lower grades of virgin synthetic fibers since there is no regulation around materials. Ours not only hold up beautifully outdoors, but they’re safe enough to eat off of, too.
Good enough for national parks — and your backyard
You will find recycled PET carpets, like our rugs, in lobbies and high-traffic areas of our national parks because of their minimal need for maintenance. If they’re good enough for our national parks, they’re good enough for us.
How to care for your outdoor rug
Hang the rug out to dry now and again
If the rug is wet from multiple days of dew, rain, or pool parties, simply hang it over a fence or drape it over a clothing line to dry it out. This will help prolong your rug’s life, and your deck’s too.
A wet rug on a stone patio may be slow to dry, but a wet rug on a wooden deck could potentially cause the pressure-treated wood to degrade faster. At the end of the day, rugs will get wet and dirty. If they stay wet for prolonged periods, though, the dirt on top of the mildew-resistant fabric will grow mildew. Luckily, that’s easy to avoid.
(I prefer to have two legs of the sofa on the rug versus all four, so when it comes time to clean it and/or let it dry out, it’s not a two-person job.)
Cleaning your outdoor rug
A rug can hold as much as four times its weight in dirt! It’s inevitable: outdoor rugs get dirty. So, our focus was on making sure the rug was easy to clean.
We tried several everyday cleaning hacks, and all of them work. Stiff-bristled broom with everyday cleaning solutions or laundry detergent? Check. Power washer? Check. Leaf blower? Check. Straight up vacuuming? Of course.
We recommend you vacuum before scrubbing the rug clean. Use a 1:3 laundry detergent:water mixture, or any rug cleaning solution, to get your rug looking fabulous again. And, don’t forget to hang it up to dry.
Upcycling and downcycling our sustainable outdoor rugs
One last word on sustainability: We’ve talked extensively about upcycling — giving products a second life — but the beauty of using recycled PET is that we can also recycle and give plastics a third life.
On top of their eco-friendliness, durability, and easy maintenance, Outer outdoor rugs are also designed to fit seamlessly into any design aesthetic. The subtle patterns mask dirt, and even though they’re made out of recycled plastics, they’re incredibly soft on bare feet, baby knees, and pet paws.
Find the perfect outdoor rug to tie your space together and show us how it looks by tagging us on Instagram @liveouter.