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How to Wash a Jute Rug

Updated April 17, 2017

Jute is a coarse, messy and strong thread made from long and soft organic fibre. It is a relatively inexpensive natural fibre and is "only second to cotton in terms of uses," according to the website The Flooring Lady. Because of the coarse and raw quality of its fibres, jute is primarily used for heavy-duty cloths, technical textiles as well as twines and ropes. Jute fibres are commonly woven into rugs, carpets, curtains and sacks. You should be very careful in washing jute rugs. The fibres of a jute rug breaks when it is soaked in water.

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  1. Vacuum your jute rug before any wet cleaning. Use a high-quality vacuum cleaner with a regular, plastic cap to remove all loose dirt and dust. Turn the vacuum on the maximum suction level to be as efficient as possible. Be careful not to damage the binding border. The vacuuming should be a part of regular maintenance when it comes to jute rugs. This way, your natural jute rug will keep a fresh appearance and there won’t be so much dirt build-up between the long fibres.

  2. Blot fresh stains and spills as soon as they appear, using a clean, dry cloth. When the stain is almost dry, wipe the area with a slightly damp cloth and a few drops of liquid soap. Then use a clean, dry cloth again to remove traces of soap. Leave the jute rug to dry or accelerate the process with a fan. Never use a heater for this task as jute is highly flammable. If something goes wrong with the heater, jute can easily catch on fire.

  3. Scrape old stains with a piece of plastic to remove the hardened substance on the jute fibres. If it is a particularly hard-core stain, use a little water to slightly dissolve if first. Then remove the stain with a damp sponge with a few drops of liquid soap. Sprinkle some baking soda over the stain to suck the moisture from the stain. When the area is completely dry, remove the baking soda using a vacuum cleaner.

  4. Prevent future stains and damage by placing your natural jute rug inside the house, in a dry room. If a rug made from natural jute is placed in a moist environment, it can easily develop mould, mildew and an unpleasant odour.

  5. Use a commercial protection spray made especially for jute rugs. A coat of this protection spray will prevent absorption of moisture. If you live in a high-humidity area, this is almost a necessity.

  6. Tip

    To keep your natural jute rug looking fresh and clean, flip your jute rug from time to time so that not just one side of the rug sustains wears. Use club soda instead of ordinary water to dampen the cloth you use for wiping the stains.


    Never steam-clean or use hot water to clean a natural jute rug. Jute does not react well to moisture and water, and these two methods will certainly destroy and shrink a jute rug.

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Things You'll Need

  • Vacuum cleaner
  • Cloth
  • Dish soap
  • Sponge
  • Liquid soap
  • Baking soda
  • Protection spray

About the Author

Based in New Jersey, Robert Raphael has been writing health and technology articles since 1993. His work has appeared in “Natural Living” magazine and “Extreme PC” magazine. Raphael received the Jonathan Melman Literary Award in 1994. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in journalism from Brandeis University.

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