Cleaning Natural Fiber Rugs: Sisal, Jute and Seagrass
*This post was written by ThePerfectRug.com
For many, cleaning up around the home or apartment isn’t one of the most fun activities to participate in – but it’s necessary! However, some items are more difficult to clean and require some know-how. Natural fiber rugs, for instance, tend to keep relatively clean but can be difficult to manage because they accrue hard to remove dirt buildup as they age. Whether you own a sisal rug, jute rug or seagrass rug, let’s take a look at some employable maintenance habits for sustaining the health of their natural fibers.
1. Rug Location: Because natural fiber rugs absorb water easily, you should place them indoors in a location with limited moisture exposure. Excess moisture increases the likelihood of mold growth and causes the fibers to deteriorate. A dry location will help improve your rug’s lifespan.
2. Vacuuming: Possibly one of the most overlooked steps in the cleaning process, vacuuming serves to pull loose debris from the fibers. Unlike other rug materials, natural fibers require several passes with the vacuum to maximize dust and dirt extraction. Nevertheless, you should vacuum frequently because excess foot traffic, over time, will compact loose debris into the fibers, making future cleaning much more difficult.
3. Stain and Spill Removal: One option to remove stains from smaller rugs is through the process of dry cleaning. For larger rugs, although this may sound counterintuitive, create a liquid cleaning solution (one teaspoon of vinegar, one teaspoon of detergent and 2 quarts of water). Once prepared, dampen a towel or washcloth with the solution and blot the area. It’s important to never rub the area or use regular carpet cleaning products, as they will damage the fabric. Furthermore, if the consistency of the spilt fluid is thick, you should gently scrape off the excess residue prior to using the solution.
4. Drying: As mentioned previously, natural fiber rugs sustain damage in wet conditions; so drying your rug is of the utmost importance. If left to soak, the wet fibers will shrink, deforming the original dimension. Quick ways to absorb liquid include rolling the rug up into a towel or using a blow dryer (without heating the air).
Now, if you live in a dry, arid climate, it doesn’t hurt to give your rug a very light misting to maintain fiber flexibility. But don’t overdo it! There should be no visible water droplets.
5. Preventative Maintenance: Tactics like flipping the rug once a year will help extend the rug’s life. Also, the application of fabric protectors will aid in preserving the materials. Fabric protectors create a water resistant seal and simplify the cleaning process.
If properly maintained, a natural fiber rug can outlast many other styles and types.
*All images via The Perfect Rug blog