How can I Clean a Sisal Rug?

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  • Written By: Mary McMahon
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 03 December 2018
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Sisal is a natural fiber derived from the leaves of the Agave sisalana, a plant native to Central America. The plants are cultivated for their crowns of durable sword shaped leaves, which are harvested and stripped for the durable fibers inside. Sisal is strong, flexible, and versatile. For this reason, it is used to make a number of products, including rugs. You should clean a sisal rug with care, to prevent it from shrinking and so that the surface will stay evenly colored and stain free.

Moisture and humidity can be very hard on sisal. For this reason, a sisal rug should be laid down in a dry place that is unlikely to be subject to spills. It is also important to keep this in mind when cleaning the rug. If you use a large amount of liquid, the rug may shrink or otherwise distort. In addition, the penetrating liquid may bring dirt to the surface of the rug, resulting in a large stain. If you want the look of sisal in a wet, high traffic area, you may want to consider a synthetic. Many synthetic products are very close replicas, and cleaning synthetic fiber is much easier.


If any liquid is spilled onto a natural fiber rug, it needs to be cleaned immediately. Blot it with a dry cloth, making sure not to rub the liquid into the fiber. You may find it helpful to lift the rug up and blot from the underside as well, if this is possible. If a staining liquid such as juice is spilled, clean the rug with a mild soap and water solution or a half vinegar, half water solution. Dip a cloth in the solution, blot the rug, and blot dry. You may need to repeat this, but remember to use a small amount of water so that the rug does not absorb additional liquid.

Dry materials can be scraped off with a blunt edge, such as a wooden knife. You can also use a dry rug cleaning powder designed specifically for sisal. These products are available at many carpet supply stores, and they have varying directions for use, depending on the manufacturer. You should also vacuum a sisal rug regularly to take up accumulated dirt. If you clean a sisal rug with a vacuum on a frequent basis, you will also prolong its life, since embedded dirt tends to damage the fibers of the rug.

Directions for cleaning synthetic sisal vary, depending on the material, but in general, synthetic is much more durable than natural fibers. Some synthetic sisal can even be cleaned with a mop, making it a much better choice for areas where spillage is likely. When examining your options, make sure to ask about care directions for the individual synthetic rugs that you look at, as each manufacturer has different construction techniques and instructions.


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Discuss this Article

Post 13

Does anyone know the answer to 34435 post? Washing flat on the drive and allowing it to dry?

Post 11

Regular vacuuming is the best care you can do to keep the fresh appearance of your sisal rugs flooring. Visible and loose dirt should be vacuumed with a strong suction vacuum. Frequent and regular vacuuming will increase carpet life by preventing soil build-up, and will help eliminate stains caused when spilled liquids dissolve soil accumulations.

Post 10

If cleaning is not successful, try painting a fun design on the rug with acrylic paint. It's cheap enough and you can design and paint it to go with your interior.

Post 9

how do I clean a sisal rug? I think the stain may be a pet stain?

Post 8

I have fixed white spots (after cleaning up hard dirt with water) by dabbing with strong tea. It worked. I have dabbed the white spot once and left it to dry for a few good hours and I have repeated this until the spot reached the same color as the rest of the carpet.

Post 7

try dry cleaning. it may help. but usually it takes a professional to do that.

Post 6

We have an Ikea Sisal rug and totally agree with everyone here. They are awful! Don't buy, they poke you on your feet and stain really bad.

Post 5

yes - we did it. it does not turn out perfect but it does make it a lot better. if yours looks terrible -what does it matter. drop some tide on it and scrub it with a mop.

Post 4

i have stains on my good sisal rug. I've tried cleaning it with warm soapy water ( washing up liquid) and it looks spotted now and the material around the edge is also dirty looking. There's no point in having something like this if you can't clean it. It is not right. I paid a lot of money for it, and now I feel I'll have to buy a new rug.

Post 3

Had a party, someone spilled both spaghetti with meatballs and chocolate cake on sisel carpet. Proceeded to clean it up with windex and then soap and water. It looks stained. Is it hopeless? Any suggestions?

Post 2

Sisal rugs are only for show, anything spilled

ruins them. Not for children or pets! Tried spot cleaning mine with water still changes the color! This was an expensive good quality sisal as well. In my opinion not a good floor choice under any circumstances.

Post 1

Is is OK to wash sisal rugs on my driveway with liquid detergent and brush and rinse with the hose then lay flat to dry?

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