Jute rugs look good and can complement every home décor. But how do you clean them without ruining them? While it’s always best to hand your piece to a professional cleaner, this option isn’t appealing to some homeowners.
But worry not. We are here to help and we will show you how to take care of your jute rugs the DIY way. Bear with us as we go through the most important points.
Jute is an environment-friendly fibre that happens to be quite durable. It is made of flowering plants, more precisely their stalks. Unlike cotton, which is produced from the soft part of the plant’s seeds, jute is rougher and coarser. Its strength is most visible on potato sacs and other bags.
This renders jute rugs sturdy, making them suitable for both regular foot traffic and high-traffic areas. This means they can be used anywhere in the house. That being said, you should clean your rug regularly since this can keep it nice and sturdy for long periods.
Now, cleaning natural fiber rugs is the hardest part. They just don’t tolerate many cleaning products. Let’s see what options you have left.
So, a lot of people ask, “Can you wash a jute rug with water?” and the answer is no. Truth be told, natural fibers and water don’t go together.
Moisture will get trapped inside and hang on for a very long time. It’s because jute doesn’t dry well and in the meantime, it can develop bad smells that you don’t want in your room.
Water can damage the jute rug fibres in ways you wouldn’t imagine. They can swell or shrink. In addition, when soaked in, the material releases oils which will cause the fabric to turn brown. In other words, discolouration will occur.
Given the above information, the answer again would be no. You are strongly discouraged from machine washing your jute rug. Neither water nor shampoo should be employed because they have damaging effects on the fabric.
Not to mention, you should not attempt to steam clean your piece. Hot water extraction is not recommended either. Any amount of water will simply deteriorate the quality of your rug. Your best bet would be to keep moisture away at all times.
The good news is jute fibers don't attract as much dirt as synthetic fibers. So your rug will not need lots of attention other than running a vacuum over it every now and then. Yet, when it comes to cleaning a jute rug, there are some things you should know.
What You'll Need to Clean a Jute Rug
As mentioned above, water is the least suitable option to clean a natural fiber jute rug. Instead, you should consider dry cleaning. Sprinkle some dry cleaning powder or baking soda over the affected area.
Grab a brush and spread the powder evenly across the whole rug. Add more powder. It will absorb dirt from the surface.
Leave the mixture overnight (or for a few hours). On the next day, simply shake off the residue or vacuum the rug.
Since you should not use water or wet shampoo on jute rugs, you have to be extremely careful when treating stains. This is a challenging task.
The best way to go is to blot the stain as soon as possible so it doesn’t get the chance to soak deep into the fibres. Use paper towels or a clean towel for that purpose.
However, if there is lots of liquid, you need to take an additional step to preserve the fabric. For example, you can blow dry the area so it speeds up the process without damaging your rug. Or you can sprinkle cornstarch on the treatment area as it will absorb the moisture before you leave it to dry naturally.
Now, if you are dealing with serious stains, we recommend having the issue evaluated by professional cleaners who can employ high-quality equipment to get rid of it.
If you want to do it yourself, go for a mild cleaning solution. Do test the cleaner on a small area. This rule applies to spot cleaning as well. You want to see whether there will be any chemical reaction that might cause irreversible damage to the piece.
If your jute rug happens to be placed in high-traffic areas, you may have to use white vinegar. For example, you can mix together 1 cup of clean water and 1/4 cup of vinegar.
Get a dry towel or a clean cloth and dip it into the solution. Do not pour the mixture onto the rug. Instead, take the wet cloth to the stain and blot it with it.
Unfortunately, pet stains are often unavoidable. Even if we do our best to prevent them, accidents do happen. Needless to say, it's important to act as quickly as you notice the stain. Blot it up with clean paper towels working from the outside so as not to spread the stain further. Do not rub.
Next, prepare a solution of a mild detergent, vinegar, and water. Dip a clean cloth in it and dab the spot with it. Once the stain is removed, don’t forget to let the fabric dry completely before treading on it. If there are any nasty smells, apply baking soda to the spot, letting it sit overnight. In the morning, shake it off.
When spills happen, it makes sense to take action as fast as you can. However, for some wet spills, it might actually be beneficial to wait for the liquid to dry. It sounds counterintuitive to do so, especially with substances like red wine, coffee, and tomato sauce.
But it’s not that weird when it comes to mud, for example. The truth of the matter is that mud is easier to clean when it turns into dust. After that, you can hoover the surface to suction most of the dust. Next, you should blot the rest of the stain with a microfibre cloth that was immersed in a solution of white vinegar and water (and sometimes club soda).
When you remove every spot, don’t forget to dry the fabric. Stick with a blow dryer. If you notice the stain isn’t fully gone, you can opt for a mild soap but don’t go overboard with it.
If the spill has solidified, make sure to scrape it with a spatula or a dull knife. You may have to loosen the debris with a slightly stiff brush. When you are done, take your rug to the balcony or hang it outdoors in direct sunlight to shake any leftovers off.
If you have another type of rug, feel free to check out our guide on how to clean your rugs by hand.
The majority of rug and carpet cleaner formulas are too aggressive on jute, so you want to avoid them like the plague. It’s not recommended to use shampoo. Stain removers are out of the question too. If you need to clean stains, check out the above tips. In addition, do not run a steam cleaner or hot water extractor over your jute rugs.
Because dirt doesn’t stick well to jute, regular vacuuming seems to get rid of most of the contaminants like pet hair, food debris, and other gunk. Just remember to add the brush attachment or a beater bar for better results.
Do not overdo it. Excessive vacuuming can cause the fabric to start shedding. So, don’t vacuum as often as you would other rug types. Another way to go is to hang the rug outside and beat it. When the fibres are agitated, it will help shake off any grime.
Feel free to apply a fabric protector to the rug. What it does is repel water. Therefore, this will keep moisture from setting in the fibres. If you notice any curled edges, place something heavy on top to help them get flat again.
Also, you may have to light spray (note the word light) the fabric with a bit of water every now and then. While it’s true that jute doesn’t tolerate water, it’s worth noting that a few drops of water can prevent it from bubbling up and loosening.
It is safer to take your rugs to a carpet cleaning company rather than to clean them yourself. At home, you still need to provide proper care, though. Spot cleaning with an adequate spot remover is great for small, insignificant stains on a jute rug.