How to Clean a Jute Rug in 4 Steps
Jute rugs bring an earthy, coastal vibe to any room. Jute is known around the world as the "golden fiber" for its natural color and its importance as a sustainable crop derived from plants in the Corchorus genus. Jute is second only to cotton as the most used fiber in the world and has found its way into clothing, table linens, and household accessories as a sustainable, environmentally-friendly fiber from its humble beginnings as rope, twine, and seed bags.
The long, strong jute fibers can be coarse—think of burlap—or soft and supple after being treated with caustic soda to increase softness and pliability. Jute rugs are durable and work well in high-traffic areas or as a layer under a smaller, brighter-colored rug. Cleaning a jute rug requires just a few basic supplies, a good vacuum, and just 4 steps.
How Often to Clean a Jute Rug
Jute rugs tend to shed fibers so they should be vacuumed at least twice a week. Spills and stains should be cleaned up and treated immediately. Water or any type of liquid that remains on the jut for too long releases the natural oils within jute fibers, leaving a stain that is difficult to remove.
Before You Begin
Cleaning a jute rug by shampooing or using a steam carpet cleaner is not recommended because it can cause discoloration and weakening of the jute from too much moisture. Mold or mildew can form if the rug is not dried quickly. Avoid these additional cleaning methods and products:
- Do not wash a jute rug in a washer.
- Do not hose down a jute rug.
- Do not use any type of cleaner that contains bleach or ammonia.
What You'll Need
Equipment / Tools
- 1 vacuum
- 1 small bowl
- 1 to 2 microfiber cloths
- 1 handheld hair dryer
- 1 spoon, spatula, or old credit card
- 1 vinyl drop cloth
- 1 box cornstarch or talcum powder
- 1 bottle dishwashing liquid without bleach
- 1 container dry cleaning solvent
How to Clean a Jute Rug
Remove Loose Soil
- Use a vacuum without the beater bar engaged to suction away loose dust and soil. Start at one side and vacuum the entire surface. Turn at a 90-degree angle and vacuum again to remove the most soil.
- Since most jute rugs have a loose weave, vacuum the flooring under the rug at least twice a month to prevent grit from scratching the floor.
- If you have a small jute rug, it can be taken outside and shaken or gently beaten against a porch rail to remove loose soil.
Treat Stains Quickly
- When spills happen, blot away the liquid as quickly as possible with a microfiber cloth. Keep blotting until no more moisture is transferred to a dry cloth.
- Lift away stain-making solids from the jute. Use a spatula, spoon, or the edge of an old credit card to lift away the mess. DO NOT RUB! Rubbing pushes the stain deeper into the jute fibers.
- Fresh Grease Stains: Sprinkle the stain heavily with cornstarch or talcum powder. Let it remain on the stain for several hours to absorb the oil or grease. Vacuum away the powder and repeat until no more oil is transferred. If stains remain, blot the area with a dry cleaning solvent carefully following the label directions.
- Fresh Food or Mud Stains: After removing solids, mix a solution of 50 percent warm water and 50 percent dishwashing liquid in a small bowl. Place a vinyl drop cloth under the area to be cleaned to protect the rug pad or flooring. Dip a clean microfiber cloth in the solution and wring until it is not dripping. Blot the spot and rub gently. Keep moving to a clean area of the cloth as the stain is transferred. Rinse by dipping a clean cloth in plain water and blotting away the soapy solution.
After spot-cleaning, use a handheld hair dryer to dry the spot as quickly as possible.
Tips to Keep Jute Rugs Clean and Lasting Longer
- Rotate the rug regularly to promote even wear.
- Use a good rug pad under the jute.
- Do not allow the jute to remain wet and do not use a jute rug in high-moisture environments like bathrooms, outdoor patios, or damp basements.
- Do not use a steam cleaner or wet shampoo method for cleaning.
- Vacuum the flooring under the rug at least twice a month.
- Avoid direct sunlight exposure that will cause the jute rug to fade.
- Do not pull loose fibers which can cause unraveling. Clip the fibers instead.