Caring For Your Sisal Rug

There’s a lot to be said for natural fiber floor coverings. Natural fibers like sisal are versatile, durable and environmentally friendly. Sisal, which is taken from a type of cactus plant, is strong, and non-toxic. Natural sisal rugs are easy to maintain. Normal vacuuming will keep it clean and spills can be cleaned in a few easy steps.

Regular Rug Care

Sisal area rugs and carpets don’t require any extra-special care. Sisal is resistant to dirt and doesn’t allow it to sink into the fabric. Regular vacuuming once or twice a week will help maintain the rug’s natural look. However, there are some general dos and don’ts to keep in mind.

Use a vacuum cleaner with adjustable brushes for normal cleaning, moving over the rug from different directions. Adjust the brushes so that they lightly impact the surface: brushes that bear down too heavily on the fabric can cause wear and a fuzzing effect of the fabric. With this in mind, avoid using beater bar or self-adjusting vacuums as they could press their brushes too deeply into the fabric.

Give your rug a complete cleaning at least once a year. However, sisal fibers tend to shrink when exposed to too much moisture. It’s important that you never use a steam-cleaner or wet-shampoo on sisal carpets. Instead, use a dry-cleaning method.

What do I do if I spill something on my rug?

It’s best to get to spills immediately. There are a number of natural cleaning solutions that will do the trick, depending on the type of stain. For instance, a quarter-cup of vinegar diluted in a quarter-cup of water works well on things like beer, wine, coffee, juice or gravy. Use a teaspoon of bleach-free detergent with a cup of lukewarm water to clean up animal waste or condiments, such as ketchup or mayonnaise.

Remember, don’t over-saturate sisal fibers. Blot the stain using a cloth dampened with your cleaning liquid of choice, or spray the cleaning solution on the stain using a mist bottle. Don’t rub the stain; it will grind it deeper into the fabric. Use a clean cloth moistened with water to rinse the area, and then blot any remaining dampness up with a clean, dry cloth. Use a hairdryer or fan to dry the area.

Dry stains on sisal rugs can sometimes be cleaned using a dull object, such as a bread knife, to scrape the stain. Then simply use a vacuum on the loose particles.

How Can I prevent mold and mildew growth

Natural sisal rugs absorb moisture easily. For that reason they can be prone to mold and mildew buildup. Avoid placing them in an area that is high in moisture and humidity like a kitchen or bathroom.

Also consider sunlight when deciding where to place your rug. Extended exposure to the sun will affect any fabric. It may be necessary to rotate you area rug from time to time so that light doesn’t hit one side more than another.

Is it better to follow a natural approach to cleaning?

Since sisal rugs are natural fiber floor coverings, it makes sense to maintain them as naturally and chemically free as possible. Dirt doesn’t stick as easily to sisal fabrics. This makes it possible to clean them without the nasty chemicals, which can leave toxins in the air that can be harmful to your health. This is something to keep in mind, especially if you have small children and pets running through the house.

With proper care, sisal rugs and carpeting makes a beautiful, eco-friendly addition to any home. Regular care using natural products will ensure years of enjoyment.

Caring for Your Wool Rug

Wool is one of the best natural fiber floor coverings around, and well worth the investment. With proper care, a wool carpet will be long lasting and will keep its beautiful appearance as it ages. Keeping it clean is easy and safe; there’s no need for damaging chemicals.

Regular Care

Regular vacuum cleaning is the best way to maintain a wool carpet’s health and appearance. You can vacuum two or three times a week early on to help prevent the natural shedding that occurs in new wool rugs. Vacuuming once a week will suffice once the carpet settles, depending where it’s located. It may need more weekly attention if it’s in a heavy traffic area.

Run your vacuum cleaner across the carpet in different directions to keep it from matting. Set the beater bar of your vacuum on its highest setting so the brushes don’t dig into the fabric. Avoid using a self-adjusting model; it could adjust itself too deeply into the material.

There are a few things you can do to help your vacuum cleaner do its job. Sweeping the rug beforehand will loosen dirt and make it easier to remove. If you have a wool area rug that’s not too big to handle, take it outside and shake the dirt and dust free before you vacuum, or you can drape it over a line or rail and beat the dirt free.

Lastly, rotate your rug regularly if it’s in a high traffic area to avoid uneven wear. The same goes for rugs that are exposed to a lot of sunlight; too much can cause fading.

Special Care

It’s a good idea to steam clean your wool carpet at least once a year, however it can be a tricky business. Steam cleaning with water that is too hot — over 150 degrees — can cause wool to shrink. It’s best to consult a professional cleaning service, or have them come in and do the job for you. Look for cleaning services that use natural products or claim to be environmentally friendly.

It’s not good to expose a wool rug to too much moisture. In other words, wet-shampoo cleaning isn’t a good idea. Wool retains moisture, making it hard to dry if it gets too wet, as well as creating an unpleasant smell. Don’t use dry powders that can penetrate the fibers. Avoid oxi cleaners as well; they are not designed for natural fiber floor coverings.

Spills and Mishaps

Wool has natural properties that help it resist many spills from penetrating too deep into the fabric. Still, accidents happen, and it’s important to deal with any stains and spills as quickly as possible.

The first step is to soak up as much of the liquid as possible with a clean cloth. Blot the liquid, don’t rub at it; all that will do is grind the stain further into the fabric.

Here are two options that can work against several different kinds of spills:

  • Beer, wine, condiments, coffee, tea, juice or urine: 1 tsp. of a neutral detergent with a tsp. of white vinegar diluted in a quart of warm water
  • Milk, pen ink, crayon, shoe polish: Use an oil-free paint remover.

Dampen a clean cloth with the cleaning mixture relevant for the specific spill and dab at the stain. Blot the area with another clean cloth to soak up any moisture and dry the area; repeat the process if needed.

Mold and Mildew

Mold and mildew can spoil any natural fiber floor covering, including wool. Avoid placing carpets in areas that are too humid or two hot, which will encourage mold and mildew growth. And of course, keep your carpet clean. Natural, chemical-free maintenance will add years to a wool carpet’s life.

Wool is a very durable material. It’s naturally designed to absorb the wear and tear of everyday life with long-term, eco-friendly benefits.





How to Clean a Jute Rug

Jute fiber is one of the best materials around for anyone looking for an eco-friendly floor covering. Jute carpets are soft, durable and easy to maintain. They are also fully biodegradable and recyclable. Regular cleaning and the proper environment will help your jute rug keep its unique feel and vibrant appearance.

What are the best environments to keep my rug in good condition?

Natural jute rugs are absorbent and can be affected by moisture. Natural fibers shrink and expand slightly with changes in humidity; too much exposure may cause the rug to change its shape and ruin the material. It is best to keep jute carpets and rugs away from high moisture areas such as kitchens, bathrooms and basements. The ideal match for a jute rug is a dry, airy room, and in a low-traffic area where it won’t be susceptible to stains and spills.

Mold and mildew are byproducts of moisture. Prevention by keeping your Jute rugs in a dry environment is the best natural remedy. If you do notice mold and mildew beginning to accumulate and you’re able to take your area rug outside, use a broom to sweep loose the mold and mildew, then vacuum the residue. Let the rug air out in the sun as long as possible before taking it back inside and repeat over a few days.. If mold and mildew persists, contact a professional cleaner.

What do I do if I spill something on my rug?

It’s best to get to work on spills as quickly as possible to avoid staining. Commercial cleaning solutions can cause further staining. Instead, start by soaking up any excess liquid with a dry white cloth. Blot the stain with a dabbing motion; rubbing will grind the stain into the fabric. For stains like red wine or tomato sauce use a cloth moistened with club soda and give the area time to dry, using a hair dryer or fan if needed. Use a mixture of one cup of vinegar and one cup of warm water on stains from soda or fruit juice. If the stain persists, use a cloth moistened with a mild soap.

Is discoloration normal for a Jute rug?

It is normal for any natural fiber floor covering to go through a subtle color change over time. There are ways to lessen the effects of age. Regular vacuuming will keep dirt and dust from collecting, and will also invigorate the fibers. Exposure to mold and mildew can also cause a color change. As previously mentioned, keep your rug in a dry room like a bedroom or den. Prolonged exposure to sunlight can also affect a rug’s color. Routinely rotate your rug if it’s in an area that gets sunlight for an extended period.

How often do I need to vacuum a Jute rug?

A strong-brush suctioned vacuum is the most effective tool to help maintain the beauty and longevity of your jute area rug or carpet. Dirt and dust tends to sit loosely in natural fiber rugs. Vacuuming a few times a week will do the trick. Run the vacuum around the rug in several different directions to make sure all the dirt is removed.

Also keep moisture in mind: Never steam clean or wet-shampoo jute rugs. Instead, use a low moisture dry cleaning alternative.

The beauty of natural fiber rugs like jute is that a little maintenance can go a long way. There is no need for chemicals or special cleaning methods. Normal care like routine vacuuming, and placing it in a safe, dry environment is enough to keep your jute carpet looking healthy.