It’s the most wonderful time of the year! The snow is falling, a fire crackling in the fireplace, and that beautiful rug covering your tiled or hardwood flooring is now dirty. The perfect time to work on that rug and clean in the snow! If the fibers of your favorite rug aren’t vacuum-friendly, or the material is just too delicate to clean conventionally, take it outdoors this winter. This is a tutorial you’ll want to consider for your wool rugs, vintage rugs, and high pile rugs that require a little extra care when cleaning. You know the kind; the rug that hoards dust and crumbs into each crevice, or the one that sheds almost all of its fibers every time you torture it with a vacuum cleaner.

Start by rolling up your carpet indoors. Trap all of the dirt nestled in those fibers so you don’t leave a trail of crumbs as you leave the house!

Unroll it outdoors (perhaps with the help of a friend if it’s really big and floppy).

Lay the rug upside down on an area covered with thick, clean snow. The snow’s going to capture all the dirt that falls out of the rug, and because it’s cold and frozen and a cold day, the rug isn’t going to quickly absorb any moisture from the snow pile.

Use a firm “paddle” to “beat” the rug as it lays upside down. A good item to use is the head of a dry mop (sans microfiber pad) because it allows you to reach into the middle of the rug and pat-pat-pat the dirt out.

When you feel as though you’ve successfully beaten the “you-know-what” out of it, lift the corner of the rug and check out your progress.

Flip the rug over so that the rug is right-side up on clean snow, and do a repeat pat-pat-pat to expel more dust and crumbs.

Repeat as necessary – you’ll want to continue to move the rug into new areas of clean snow until the snow is no longer dirtied after you pat the rug.

Roll up the rug again to bring it indoors, and immediately lay in a place where any clinging snowballs can evaporate and dry. Once it is dried, return it to its home. Happiness is a clean rug!