How To Clean Natural Fiber Rugs

If you own a natural fiber rug, you know that it can be a beautiful addition to any space.

But it can be difficult to learn how clean natural fiber rugs properly.

This is mostly due to the fact that the natural fibers in the rugs can be sensitive to certain household and professional cleaning products.

Natural fibers also don’t respond well to moisture.

This is why many people turn to professionals for help with cleaning bamboo rugs, or other natural rugs such as jute and sisal rugs.

Luckily, we are here to tell you exactly how to take care of your natural fiber rug without damaging it in the process.

What this article covers:

How to Clean A Natural Fiber Rug

how to clean a natural fiber rug

Step 1: Shake

Before cleaning your natural fiber rug, it is a good idea to get rid of any residual dust and debris. This can be removed with a good shake-out.

If you have a small rug, grab it by the edges and give it a good shake. If you have a large rug, hang it over a wall and use a long rod, like a broom, to give it a good whack.

Step 2: Vacuum

After shaking the rug, you can use a vacuum to collect any of the remaining dust and debris that have collected deep between the carpet fibers.

Do not use the beater bar function on your vacuum as this may damage the natural fibers. 

Natural fiber rugs are often woven, so you want to make sure you move the vacuum in all directions so that all the dust can be collected.

how to clean natural fiber carpet

Step 3: Remove Stains’ Debris

This step is only necessary if you have stains on your rug that you want to get rid of. In general, it is best to address stains as soon as they occur.

Wet stains should be gently blotted with a clean cloth to absorb as much moisture as possible.

If the stain has dried up, you can use a blunt object to gently scrape up as much of the stain’s debris as you can.

For stubborn dried-up or crusty stains, use a soft-bristled brush to remove as much of the solid material from the surface of the natural fibers.

Step 4: Clean Stain

To remove the stain, you want to use a clean wet cloth and gently blot up the stain.

Acidic stains can be removed by using a cloth dipped in club soda and gently blotting up the stained area.

But, some stains will require some soap to ensure that they are completely removed. In these cases, professional carpet chemicals may be your best bet.  

You may want to opt for something like Rug Smack, which is safe for use on natural and synthetic fibers. Dilute it according to the instructions on the bottle and dip your clean cloth in the cleaning mixture.

how to clean a natural fiber area rug

Then, gently start blotting the stain until it disappears.

If you are dealing with a tough stain but you don’t have any professional chemicals on hand, you can mix a solution of dish detergent and water.

Dip a cloth or sponge in the soapy mixture and blot the stain until you see it disappearing from the rug.

Whatever cleaning product you use, repeat the blotting process as often as necessary to ensure that the stain disappears.

Step 5: Remove Soap

After the stain has been removed, you want to ensure that any soapy mixture is removed from the rug. Use a sponge or clean cloth dipped in water and gently blot the area with water.

Do this until all soap residue has been removed from the carpet.

Tips For Maintaining Natural Fiber Rugs

how to clean natural fiber area rugs

It may seem easy to clean your natural fiber rugs, but you will make your life much easier in the long run if you also ensure that you keep up regular maintenance.

These tips will not only sure keep your natural fiber rugs looking great but are also useful for making cleaning procedures for other rugs, specifically cleaning cotton rugs, easier too.

Vacuum Regularly

Natural fiber rugs should be vacuumed regularly on both sides. Often, the fibers of the rug may degrade after a while and allow dust to collect at the surface.

This will ensure your rug stays clean and free of dust over time.

This is also recommended when maintaining and cleaning furry rugs or cleaning alpaca rugs, which are also prone to collecting dust and debris within the furry fibers of the rug.

Keep It Dry

Unlike the process for cleaning synthetic rugs, natural rugs are more vulnerable to moisture exposure and mildew. For this reason, you want to ensure that you reduce moisture exposure.

how to spot clean natural fiber rug

Do not place these types of rugs in a bathroom and avoid placing them in areas where they can be exposed to water, such as an outside patio.

If you want the look of a natural rug in an area that may be exposed to water, you can buy a synthetic rug that resembles a natural rug such as an olefin rug.

Olefin rugs look like natural fiber rugs but can be exposed to moisture and water.

This also makes cleaning olefin rugs a breeze.

If you have a natural fiber rug and you spilled water on it, we recommend sprinkling baking soda on the affected area. The baking soda will absorb the moisture from the rug and ensure it dries out.

Leave the baking soda on the wet area for a while and then wipe it away or vacuum it up.

Shake It Out

Any rug can benefit from a regular shake-out. This is an easy way to get rid of any dust and debris that have been collected at the surface.

It is also a great way to maintain and clean handmade rugs, which are also often sensitive to harsh cleaning methods and vacuums.

Small rugs can be shaken out by hand but for larger rugs, you may want to hang it over a fence or rail and beat it with a broomstick to mimic the shaking process and remove dust and debris.

Flatten Curvy Edges

how to spot clean a natural fiber rug

Rugs made from natural fibers tend to curl up at the edges after extended periods of time.

This can easily be fixed by slightly dampening the curled edge and placing a heavy object on it. Leave it overnight to completely flatten it out.

Repeat this as often as necessary to flatten the edges.

Use A Fabric Protector

Many natural fiber rugs benefit from a fabric protector. This repels any type of moisture or spill and can lengthen the time required between cleaning.

You will want to use a product that is non-toxic and non-fragrant such as Pro-Safe Eco Protector.

how do you clean natural fiber rugs

You can also make a homemade protector from beeswax and soy wax. Melt equal parts of these wax together until fully melted and let it cool slightly.

Use a cloth and wipe a thin layer over the entire rug, getting into all the fibers and pockets.

Take a hair dryer and melt the wax into the rug.

The wax forms a protective layer of the rug which will keep it water and stain-proof.


It’s clear that natural fiber rugs are easy to clean if you ensure that you limit water exposure and use the correct products.

But proper maintenance is also key to ensuring your natural fiber carpet maintains its sheen and appearance over time.

Luckily, our comprehensive guide includes everything you need to know to keep your natural fiber rugs looking beautiful.

Now, you can easily invest in one of these rugs without worrying about how to keep them clean over the long run.

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