We brought one big rug amongst our household things to Finland and apart from the occasional vacuum it doesn’t get a whole lot of attention. If we are going to have an authentic Finnish experience however, it seems we will have to beat it.
Most Finnish homes are not carpeted and instead are furnished with a few rugs of various sizes. Effective heating removes the need for carpet and there seems to be a commonly held belief that carpets are unhygienic.
So outside most apartment buildings and homes you will find a structure for hanging rugs while you beat them. This seems to be something of a summer ritual, however I have read accounts of people laying rugs out in the snow to harden them up before beating them.
Traditionally, washing rugs has been something of an event down by the lakes and waterways of Finland. Many places still have large areas set up solely for this purpose.
As people have started introducing chemical detergents into their washing routines the effect on waterways has been considered and water is now often diverted away from the main outlets. People are also encouraged to use natural products.
Although there was only one man out the day we walked past this area, the laundering of rugs can be quite a social event, with many tubs set up for washing and soaking. There is also a large wringer used to help speed up drying.