How to Clean Sisal Rugs

A frequently asked question is, “How do I clean my sisal rug?” Well, sisal and natural fiber rugs are easier to clean and maintain than you think!  Natural fiber rugs are relatively easy to maintain because the dirt does not cling to the hard fibers, but rests loosely in the weave. Natural fibers do not show dirt readily.

Regular Upkeep: Regular vacuuming is the best care you can do to keep the fresh appearance of your natural fiber (sisal, jute, seagrass, hemp, sisal wool) flooring. Visible and loose dirt should be vacuumed with a strong brush-suction vacuum. Do not use the beater bar on these rugs. Vacuum the carpet from different directions, making several passes over the area.

Although the need may not be visible, this frequent and regular vacuuming will increase carpet life by preventing soil build-up, and will help eliminate stains caused when spilled liquids dissolve soil accumulations.

Spot Cleaning:  Immediately remove any spills by blotting (blot do not rub) liquids with a white cloth or scrape up solids with a dull knife or nail file. Never rub the area of the spill. Rubbing can work the liquid deeper into the fibers, making the spill more likely to stain the carpet. It can also spread the liquid to a larger area of the rug. For red wine and tomato sauce, dab with a white cloth dampened with club soda to neutralize the spill and remove any possible stain. Let dry. Many times the stain disappears. If not, try cleaning with a cloth dampened with mild soap, or use our Sisal Life Cleaner. Dry immediately with a hairdryer or fan

Seagrass is our most stain resistant natural fiber. The reed-like fibers of Seagrass form a natural barrier to spills and stains. I have found dried up spots of tomato sauce on the seagrass rug in my kitchen and just wiped it up with a damp cloth – the tomato did not stain it at all.

Overall Cleaning: It is important to control the amount of moisture during cleaning. NEVER steam clean, wet shampoo or any other method that involves water saturation on a natural fiber rug. It is recommended that a dry cleaning process be used. We carry a Host Cleaning Kit for your convenience. It cleans up to a 250 sq. ft. area. Host is a low moisture powder (they call them sponges) that absorbs dirt that can then be vacuumed away. Host is a great source for cleaning tips: How Host Works in Your Home and Host Spot and Spill Guide.

Host Cleaning KitSisal Life Cleaner

Protecting Natural Fiber Rugs: We highly recommend that sisal and other natural fibers be treated with our Sisal Life Protector. This helps to decrease absorbency and lengthens the time between cleaning. We can professionally apply the protector for you. You can also purchase the Sisal Life Protector in a “do-it-yourself” 22 oz. spray bottle.  Our protector is an acrylic polymer fabric and textile protector, like Scotchguard, and works very well on sisal. Natural fibers and other fabrics treated with this protector will repel water and resist virtually all cold liquid spills and even oily soil. It contains no ozone depleting chemicals. We highly recommend treating natural fiber rugs with our protector to protect against spills and increase the life of your rug. Applying Sisal Life Protector will NOT GUARANTEE that your sisal will never stain, but it will reduce the chances should a spill occur.