Caring for your sisal rugs

- Jul 17, 2020-

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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.