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If you've rented a pressure washer to take care of a few cleaning tasks, you're probably going to be tempted to use it on more surfaces than you originally intended. Your windows? Sure, with the appropriate amount of delicacy. Pressure washing is an adjustable process, so it's not as though you're going to attempt to blast the glass with the machine's highest possible setting. Your car? Again, this is certainly possible if you use an appropriate pressure setting. What about textiles? You can't quite move through your home pressure washing your carpets and curtains. And yet, there can be an odd sense of satisfaction when it comes to pressure washing a rug.
Not All Rugs Are Suitable
Some rugs will benefit from pressure washing, and others can be irreparably damaged. Wool, silk and essentially anything composed of organic fibres should best be left inside. But if you should have a synthetic rug attached to a durable rubber base, then you're in business. The pressure will not damage the rug, but it will give it a rejuvenating clean.
Choosing a Cleaning Site
It goes without saying that the task needs to take place outside. It cannot be done on the lawn (since water plus dirt equals mud), so prepare a section of your driveway or patio as your cleaning site. What preparation is needed? Not much. You just need to sweep the surface to minimise the amount of dirt and debris that will stick to the rug when it's damp. Yes, you can even pressure wash the area and leave it to dry before bringing out the rug.
Preparing the Rug
Give the rug a vigorous shake to remove as much dust as possible. Lay it flat and inspect it for stains. You can spray a specific stain removal product, as needed, or even just rub some detergent and warm water into any stains, using a brush with plastic bristles. Allow the detergent to sit for a few minutes.
Choosing a Setting
The pressure setting will be displayed in pascals or bars, and the device needs to be set on medium. Use a black or green nozzle for the task (as the pressure output is most appropriate for the task). Do not use the red nozzle since the concentration of the water will be too great and you risk damaging the rug.
Pressure Washing the Rug
Move the nozzle up and down over the surface of the rug. Use a grid pattern for larger rugs. Keep an eye on the water running off the rug. When this water runs clean, you know that you're coming to the end of the job.
Drying the Rug
Hang the rug to dry in the sun, taking care to bring it inside as soon as it's dry so that the UV light doesn't begin to fade the rug or break down its rubber base. Brush the underside of the base with a broom to remove any debris that might have become stuck to it.
Who would have thought that cleaning a rug could be so satisfying? If only you could do the same with all the textiles in your home.