How to Clean an Area Rug
How to Clean an Area Rug
Each rug is different. A different weave. A different material. A different pile. All of these differences impact the ways they’re meant to be cleaned.
We love rugs, and if you’re here, that means you love them, too. That’s why we want to make sure you know the best way to clean your area rugs, no matter what they’re made from.
All you have to do is find your material of choice and click on the link below. Keep scrolling and you’ll also get an introduction to the specific cleaning needs and peculiarities for each individual rug type.
- How to Clean Sisal Rugs
- How to Clean Jute Rugs
- How to Clean Sisal Wool Rugs
- How to Clean Hemp Rugs
- How to Clean Seagrass Rugs
- How to Clean Wool Rugs
- How to Clean Nylon Rugs
- How to Clean Polypropylene Outdoor Rugs
- How to Clean Polysilk Outdoor Rugs
The Best Way to Clean Area Rugs
How to Clean Sisal Rugs
Sisal is a natural, easy to weave rug fiber derived from the agave sisalana plant. Rugs made from Sisal and other natural fibers are easier to clean than you may think. That doesn't mean that they aren't without their own important characteristics. Regular upkeep of a rug made from sisal is the most important way to maintain its freshness and longevity. This includes regular vacuuming with a strong brush-suction vacuum. Avoid the use of beater bars on sisal rugs as they can loosen or damage fibers.
To learn more about spot cleaning and the unique needs of sisal, we recommend taking a look at our more in-depth guide to cleaning sisal rugs.
How to Clean Jute Rugs
Jute is a stylish, durable, all-natural material. Dirt doesn't cling too easily to the hard, durable material fibers, which means it's relatively easy to maintain. One important thing to note with jute rugs is that they can't be hosed down or fully submerged in water. Spot cleaning and dry cleaning powder only.
To learn more about spot cleaning and the unique needs of jute area rugs, we recommend taking a look at our more in-depth guide to cleaning jute rugs.
How to Clean Sisal Wool Rugs
You already know about sisal, but sisal wool rugs are slightly different. What's different about these types of rug is that they have a distinctively tight weave. This gives them increased durability and strength as long as they're given proper care. Care like regular maintenance and informed cleaning. Don't get them soaking wet. When you vacuum, point the vacuum cleaner in different directions over the same area to make sure you're pulling dirt from all angles of each fiber.
To learn more about spot cleaning and the unique needs of sisal wool rugs, we recommend taking a look at our more in-depth guide to cleaning sisal wool rugs.
How to Clean Hemp Rugs
This type of natural fiber rug is woven from hemp grass (also known as mountain grass) found in the highlands of China, which is both a renewable and pesticide-free fiber. Because of their unique nature, knowing how to properly clean your hemp area rug is necessary and can help extend the life and quality of your rug. First, make sure you’re aware of the best way to spot clean this type of rug: blotting using a clean cloth instead of rubbing so moisture absorbs into the fibers.
To learn more about spot cleaning and the unique needs of hemp area rugs, we recommend taking a look at our more in-depth guide to cleaning hemp rugs.
How to Clean Seagrass Rugs
Seagrass rugs are made from - you guessed it - seagrass. Dried and woven together, it becomes a durable, eco-friendly natural floor covering for any type of home. Their natural tones vary, but mostly come in shades of tan and light green. Seagrass rugs are naturally stain resistant and will last a long time if cared for properly.
To learn more about spot cleaning and the unique needs of seagrass rugs, we recommend taking a look at our more in-depth guide to cleaning seagrass rugs.
How to Clean Wool Rugs
Wool rugs are made of fibers from sheep and goat hair. When woven together they are a durable and eco-friendly choice for floor covering in the home. The wool fibers can be dyed or left in their natural tones making for a wide range of color options.
To find out more about cleaning and caring for wool rugs, we suggest reading our guide to cleaning wool rugs.
How to Clean Nylon Rugs
Nylon is antimicrobial and easy to clean, which means whatever life throws your way, you likely already have the tools you need to clean it up. Added bonus: nylon rugs don’t shed. One thing that is important to note, however, is that these types of rugs aren't machine washable. They’re exceptional at taking on excess moisture, but the added heat from a wash and dry cycle can damage their binding.
To learn more about spot cleaning and the unique needs of nylon rugs, we recommend taking a look at our more in-depth guide to cleaning nylon rugs.
How to Clean Outdoor Sisal Rugs
One thing that’s a bonus when it comes to outdoor rugs vs. indoor ones: you can usually clean them with little more than help from the hose. That's because rugs made from polypropylene are specially designed to resist fading, dry quickly, and wick as much moisture from their surface as possible. If an outdoor rug of yours feels especially soiled, you can use a regular, mild soap (like Dawn) alongside the running water.
To learn more about spot cleaning and the unique needs of outdoor polypropylene rugs, we recommend taking a look at our more in-depth guide to cleaning outdoor sisal rugs.
How to Clean Polysilk Rugs
Polysilk is a revolutionary fiber that mimics the feel of wool but is able to be used outdoors. This gives it higher durability and strength than wool. Care for them much as you would a wool rug. Fibers are UV protected and mold/mildew resistant.
To learn more about spot cleaning and the unique needs of polysilk rugs, we recommend taking a look at our more in-depth guide to cleaning polsilk rugs.
5 Cleaning Methods to Avoid
With the amount of dirt, mud, and snow that can get tracked into your home in the winter, now is the perfect time to brush up on cleaning techniques for your natural fiber rugs. Knowing how to clean your natural fiber rugs will also come in handy when you go to rectify those food and wine stains that might make it onto the rug over the holidays.
But not every cleaning technique will leave your rug in the best condition. Certain chemicals and tools can leave your rug scratched or stained beyond the point of repair. To help you successfully clean your natural fiber rugs, here are five cleaning techniques you should never use.
1. A Vacuum with a Beater Bar
Beater bars are helpful when cleaning carpet, mats, and other long fiber floor coverings. The bar digs deep into the fibers to turn up any dirt that might be lingering underneath. And while this all sounds well and good for your natural fiber rugs, it can actually be very harmful.
Your natural fiber rugs are made with 100% green and sustainable materials and beater bars can potentially scratch and pull apart their thick weaves. Instead of running over your sisal, jute, seagrass, or other natural rug detach the beater bar from your vacuum cleaner. Then, use one of your vacuum’s special attachments to carefully vacuum dirt from the rug’s weaves. This will leave your rug clean and scratch-free.
2. Steam Cleaners
More often than not, our cleaning intuition tells us to get something wet in order to clean it. It probably stems from the fact that we shower or bathe to get ourselves clean. But this isn’t necessarily the best cleaning method for your natural fiber rugs as it can cause discoloration or even shrinking of your rug.
Because water saturation can ruin your natural fiber rug, never use steam cleaners. Instead, it is important to control the moisture you apply to the dirty area. First, firmly press onto the stain with a paper towel. If the stain remains, blot it with a soda-dampened white cloth. This allows you to limit the amount of moisture the rug absorbs and leaves the rug plenty of time to dry.
3. Wet Shampoo
Similar to the advice above, wet shampoos can also cause harm to your natural fiber rug. Because shampoos require rinse cycles to absorb and remove messes, your rug will become way too wet in the process. And as we’ve established before, this can jeopardize the integrity of your natural fiber rug.
Instead of using a wet shampoo, try a host dry cleaning kit. As the title suggests, this spot remover is completely dry, leaving your rug’s integrity intact. Simply shake the powder, place it on the spill, brush, and vacuum.
4. Soapy Cleaning Agents
Cleaning agents often spray water, soap, and other chemicals onto your rug’s heavy spills. But if it leaves your rug damp, it could do more harm than good. Plus, a soapy residue can easily stain your carpet once it goes to dry.
Before going to clean your natural fiber rug with a cleaning agent or stain remover, make sure that the agent won’t leave your rug wet or leave a soapy residue behind. This ensures that you won’t be permanently staining your rug when you go to spot clean. Cleaning agents like Sisal Life Cleaner are easy to apply onto troublesome spots, but won’t leave your rug wet.
5. Hard-Bristle Brushes
Brushes are pretty handy when the time comes to scrub out a stain or muddy footprint. With a little arm muscle, brushes help loosen dirt and other spills so you can remove them from the rug. But hard-bristle brushes can create new snags and scratches on your rug in the process.
Use a brush with soft bristles to make sure your rug doesn’t deteriorate while cleaning. A soft-bristle brush works well with dry cleaning kits as well as spot removers as it allows you to freely scrub away at stains.
Is it Time to Clean Your Natural Fiber Rugs?
Cleaning isn’t always a crystal-clear science. Here are three telltale signs:
1. Visual Inspection: Are there stains, spills, dirt, or debris? Dirt can be hard to see in natural fiber rugs.
2. Odor: Rugs can absorb moisture, especially in humid places. If there's a musty smell, it's a good sign that it's time to clean your rug.
3. Location: Is your rug in a high-traffic area? Do you have pets and/or kids? Rugs with lots of traffic, pets, and kids tend to need cleaning more often.
What Products Should I Use to Clean My Rugs?
If you’ve reached the end of the page and still have an unanswered question, don’t worry. You’re always welcome to contact us directly. We’ll get you the answers you’re seeking so you can get back to shopping for the rug of your dreams.