Cleaning rugs the Finnish way

Cleaning rugs the Finnish way is a warm memory from my childhood days in Helsinki. I remember my mom and grandmother rolling up our rugs, carrying them outside, and hanging them over a metal rack just outside our building. The rack looked like a piece of playground equipment or some strange version of a bicycle rack. They would get the wooden paddle out and start smacking the dirt out of those rugs! It was a common site, and a common sound to hear the loud thumping of rugs being beaten!

Recently I’ve been remembering that way of cleaning and realize how effective it was and is. Those racks are still being utilized, but, to a lesser degree I hear. When you think of eco-sensitive ways of cleaning, I believe this would rank right up there. All it takes is a bit of muscle power and you can wipe away a substantial amount of dust mites. No cleaning chemicals required, and no use of energy (except the energy you’re expending),

Rug on a chair with a Finnish rug beater

This is a way of nordic life that I remember!

A neutral coloured rug and a Finnish rug beater

Rug beating goes on year round in Finland, including in the snow.

I remember cold, grey winter days of cleaning and rug beating. The house would be all clean, fresh smelling, and cozy. After a day of cleaning it would be a nice hot sauna and dinner afterwards. Now doesn’t that sound hygge to you? It does to me!

I love my memories, not only do they feel good, but, I have realized things were done not just from habit and tradition, but, from sound principles passed on generation to generation. I’d like to replicate those healthy, eco-friendly traditions in my own home.

A beige striped rug with a Finnish rug beater
A beige rug with a Finnish rug beater

I’ve been doing something I grew up with at home and that is putting my couch pillows and throws outside for fresh air. Usually I try to swat them and shake them out first, then I leave them outside under cover for a while. They sure smell fresh when I bring them back inside. Everything just smells better! When I wash my floors, I do the same thing with my rugs, I shake them off and leave them hanging over my patio railing for a while. When I bring them back inside it’s an instant natural air freshener.

Even your bed linen needs to be aired out | THE RIGHT SIDE OF FIFTY

Years ago I read something about a certain segment of people (I can’t remember who it was) that made their beds in the morning by rolling down the blankets to leave the bedding and sheets open to air. They believed this was healthier. Since then I’ve read more about this and it makes total sense. Just like bacteria thrives in dark, damp places, so do dust mites. When you pull down your top covers it allows your bedding to air out and be exposed to daylight which naturally kills and deters bacteria and other creepy crawlies from thriving… I know yuck!

I’ve implemented this bed making style for close to year now. I roll down my covers and open my blinds so the daylight is let in and do what it naturally does, which is keep my home cleaner.

What do you think about this type of bed making? I know it’s not as aesthetically pleasing to some, but, I love the look of white linen sheets, and, knowing I’m doing some natural cleaning without even lifting a finger is even better. Oh, the other thing I’ve been doing is making my bed as soon as I wake up every morning. That’s a whole other post, but, it’s one of those things that helps you have a more productive day. ~Anneli

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