A freshly washed jute rug on the floor.

Can You Wash Jute Rugs?

Jute rugs, often favored for their natural aesthetic and sustainable attributes, bring a touch of earthy elegance to any living space. Derived from the jute plant, these rugs are both durable and biodegradable, making them an eco-friendly choice for many homeowners. However, caring for this material comes responsibility, especially in terms of maintenance. One of the common concerns rug owners have is can you wash jute rugs?

Jute rugs should not be washed in a machine or submerged in water due to their delicate natural fibers. Instead, spot cleaning, regular vacuuming, and dry powder cleaning are safer methods to maintain their appearance. For deeper cleans, seek professional services to ensure the rug’s longevity and prevent damage.

We’ll take a closer look at the three most important methods of cleaning jute rugs.

Spot Cleaning Jute Rugs

Spot cleaning remains the gentlest yet effective way to address unexpected spills or minor stains on your jute rug. When attended to promptly, this method can ensure the longevity of the rug’s appearance.

  1. Blot the Stain: If the stain is wet, use a clean, white cloth to blot out as much of the spill as possible. Avoid rubbing to prevent spreading the stain or damaging the fibers.
  2. Prepare a Cleaning Solution: Mix a few drops of mild liquid dish soap with cold water in a bowl.
  3. Dampen a Cloth: Submerge another clean, white cloth into the solution, ensuring you wring out excess water afterward.
  4. Gently Clean: Dab the affected area with the damp cloth, working from the outer edge of the stain towards its center.
  5. Rinse: After cleaning, use another cloth soaked in plain cold water to rinse the cleaned spot, ensuring no soap residue remains.
  6. Dry: Press a dry cloth against the damp area to soak up any lingering moisture. It’s essential to let the rug air dry completely after this process.
  7. Brush the Fibers: Once the rug is dry, use a soft-bristle brush to gently brush the fibers of the cleaned area. This will restore the rug’s texture and appearance.
  8. Check for Residue: If you notice any soap or cleaning residue, repeat the rinsing process with cold water.
  9. Avoid Direct Sunlight: While drying, ensure the rug is not placed under direct sunlight as it can lead to fading.

Remember, prompt action can make a significant difference in the outcome. Spot cleaning ensures that minor accidents don’t become permanent stains, preserving the beauty of your jute rug for years to come.

Vacuum Cleaning Jute Rugs

Vacuum cleaning is a cornerstone of jute rug maintenance. Regular and correct vacuuming ensures that dirt, dust, and debris don’t become embedded in the rug, which can wear down its fibers over time.

  1. Prepare Your Vacuum: Before starting, ensure your vacuum’s filter is clean and its bag or canister is emptied.
  2. Choose the Right Setting: Adjust your vacuum to the appropriate height, typically the highest setting, to avoid undue stress on the jute fibers.
  3. Avoid Beater Bars: Always ensure the beater bar is turned off, as it can pull and fray the jute fibers.
  4. Begin Vacuuming: Begin from one end of the rug and work your way to the other end. This ensures a consistent cleaning path.
  5. Multiple Directions: Vacuum both vertically and horizontally to ensure all dirt is captured.
  6. Check for Missed Spots: Inspect the rug for any areas that might need a second pass.
  7. Addressing Fringe or Tassels: If your jute rug has fringe or tassels, avoid vacuuming them. Instead, use your hands to straighten and clean them.
  8. Store Vacuum Properly: After use, empty the vacuum and store it in a dry place.
  9. Rotate the Rug: Periodically rotate your jute rug to ensure even wear and tear. This will promote uniformity in appearance and extend the rug’s life.

Vacuum cleaning is an essential part of jute rug care, ensuring the removal of daily accumulations of dirt and dust. Adopting this routine can help maintain the rug’s natural beauty and prolong its lifespan.

Clean Jute Rugs With Dry Powder Cleaning

For those times when a jute rug requires more than a spot clean or vacuum, dry powder cleaning offers a deeper cleanse without the risks associated with water. Using an absorbent compound, this method effectively lifts out embedded dirt and freshens up the rug’s appearance.

  1. Gather Materials: Ensure you have a dry cleaning kit designed for rugs. These kits typically contain cleaning powder and sometimes a brush.
  2. Clear the Area: Remove any furniture or objects on the rug to expose its entire surface.
  3. Pre-treatment Inspection: Before applying any product, inspect the rug for any prominent stains or heavily soiled areas.
  4. Application: Sprinkle the dry cleaning powder evenly across the rug’s surface.
  5. Work the Product In: Using a soft brush, gently agitate the powder into the rug. Ensure even distribution without being too forceful to avoid damage.
  6. Wait: Allow the powder to sit on the rug for the recommended duration, as specified by the product’s instructions.
  7. Remove the Compound: Using a vacuum without a beater bar, thoroughly extract the cleaning powder from the rug.
  8. Post-Cleaning Inspection: Look over the rug to see if any areas need attention or if any residue remains.
  9. Air Out: Place the rug in a well-ventilated area for a few hours to eliminate any potential odors from the cleaning compound.
  10. Restore Appearance: Use your hands to gently fluff and restore the rug’s natural texture.

Dry powder cleaning is a reliable and effective approach for refreshing a jute rug, especially when moisture-based methods are best avoided. Regular use of this method can help in maintaining the pristine condition and appearance of the rug.


Can jute rugs be professionally cleaned?

Professionally cleaning jute rugs is often a preferred method for many homeowners. Professionals possess specialized equipment and expertise tailored to clean delicate materials like jute. While spot cleaning and regular maintenance can be done at home, a professional cleaning service can offer a deep clean. This can rejuvenate the rug’s appearance and feel.

If your rug has been subjected to heavy foot traffic, stubborn stains, or it’s been a while since its last cleaning, seeking professional assistance is a smart move.

Can I wash a jute rug in a washing machine?

It’s not advisable. Jute rugs are constructed from natural fibers which can react adversely to excessive moisture and agitation. Placing a jute rug in a washing machine can lead to shrinking, warping, or even fiber breakdown. Instead, stick to methods that are gentle on these natural fibers to preserve the rug’s integrity and appearance.

Will washing a jute rug damage it?

Submerging a jute rug in water poses risks. When jute fibers absorb a significant amount of water, they can weaken, leading to potential breakage or loosening of the weave. Besides structural concerns, there’s also a risk of colors bleeding, especially if the rug has colored patterns or designs.

Can I dry a jute rug in the dryer?

It’s not recommended. The high temperatures in a dryer can be harsh on jute fibers, causing them to become brittle or even break. Air drying is the safest way, ensuring you spread out the rug flat in a shaded area to maintain its shape and prevent color fading.

Can I use bleach on a jute rug?

Avoid using bleach on jute rugs. Bleach is a strong chemical that can strip the natural color from the jute fibers, leading to uneven discoloration. If your rug needs a thorough clean, consider milder cleaning agents or professional services.

Can I use a steam cleaner on a jute rug?

Steam cleaning isn’t a recommended method for jute rugs. The intense heat and moisture from the steam can cause the fibers to contract or even distort. If your goal is a deeper clean, it might be better to opt for dry cleaning methods or consult with a professional rug cleaning service.


Jute rugs are an elegant addition to any home but require careful maintenance to ensure their longevity. Avoiding water-based cleaning and opting for gentle spot cleaning, regular vacuuming, or dry cleaning can help maintain their pristine appearance. When in doubt, especially with stubborn stains or deep cleaning needs, it’s always a wise decision to consult with professionals.