Useful Snow Ideas

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 The Parable / Rug
The rug in my Garden Studio gets alot of footfalls.
Muddy, slushy and sandy ones.

My Polish Mason showed me what to do about that, then my Italian friend Janey said “of course that’s how you do it”.

Well, I didn’t always know about this traditional method of winter cleaning rugs, but for years now I have found snow a fun, easy and inexpensive way to clean them, so I thought I’d show you the trick. Best with newish snow on a sunny day. You can see in Picture 4 how much sand and dirt can come out. That is very satisfying for me and healthy for the rugs.

I wait for the right snowfall. A light to medium fluffy snow, up to the heaviness you would want to make a snowman from, is fine.
Heavy wet snow is a much messier proposition, I wouldn’t recommend trying that.

In order to get the snowflake moisture into the rug I use a wide soft push broom.
Almost any broom will do except for stiff, course kinds since they might harm the textiles. With the broom I firmly tamp the whole rug down until every square inch has been snuggled into the snow. Then I flip the rug over in a nearby place and do the same thing.

rug washing in snow

snow - washing my rugs
03 22_7979
Next I go over the rug with a rug beater, one side then the other, moving it to a patch of clean snow each time. You have finished when the snow beneath stays white.
Before I acquired this rug beater, I accomplished the whole process with the push broom and that works very well too. And you don’t have to lean over as much.
The rugs usually don’t get very wet in fluffy snow, so they won’t take long to dry. I typically drape each one over something in a sunny place for the rest of the day, maybe with a rag towel underneath if there is excess moisture.
Often they can be put right back in place on their pads that same day. Or you can hang them over a bathtub until they are dry enough. It is better not to leave them to freeze outdoors since this is hard on the fibers of the rugs.

I clean all the small rugs from the house like this, up to 3′ x 5′ or so.
While these are not usually as dirty as my garden studio carpets, the elixir of snow freshens their colors in a very meaningful way.
Anything to get me out into the garden in all seasons, it would seem.


Ellen Cool









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