How to Clean Sisal Rugs

Rug Cleaning

Sisal rugs are popular among homeowners who want to add a natural and eco-friendly touch to their homes. These rugs are made from sisal fibres derived from the Agave plant. Sisal rugs are highly durable, easy to maintain and can add a unique touch to any space. However, cleaning sisal rugs can be challenging, especially if you need to familiarise yourself with their unique properties. In this blog post, we will take you through some easy steps to clean sisal rugs effectively.

How to Clean a Sisal Rug?

To clean a sisal rug, shake or sweep away any loose dirt or debris, then vacuum both sides of the carpet. For stains, blot with a dry cloth, then apply a mild soap or shampoo and water solution, being careful not to saturate the rug. Use a damp cloth or brush to apply the solution, then blot with a dry cloth. To remove odours, sprinkle baking soda and vacuum it. Finally, air-dry the rug entirely before placing it back on the floor. Remember to perform regular maintenance and seek professional help when needed.

What is Sisal Rug and How is It Made?

Before we dive into the cleaning process, let’s first talk about what sisal rugs are and how they’re made. Sisal is a natural fibre derived from the leaves of the Agave sisalana plant, native to Central America. The yarn is then woven into a rug, creating a durable, textured flooring option for high-traffic areas.

Sisal rugs are known for their natural beauty and durability, making them a popular choice for homeowners. However, they require some extra care when it comes to cleaning, as they’re more delicate than synthetic rugs.

Follow the Steps Below to Clean Your Sisal Rug

Follow these steps to clean your sisal rug and keep it looking its best:

1. Shake the Rug

Shaking a sisal rug is the first step in cleaning it. This helps to loosen any dirt and debris accumulated on the surface. To shake the rug, take it outside and hold it by two corners. Shake it vigorously to loosen the dirt, ensuring the rug does not hit any objects or surfaces. Repeat the process a few times until you feel most of the dirt and debris has been removed.

Be sure to flip the rug over and shake the other side to remove any dirt and debris that may have settled on the bottom. After shaking, inspect the rug for any stubborn stains requiring further attention.

2. Vacuum the Rug

After shaking the sisal rug, the next step is to vacuum both sides of the rug. Use a vacuum cleaner with a beater bar or brush attachment to gently remove any dirt and debris loosened during shaking. Start by vacuuming the rear of the rug, flip it over and clean the front side. Be sure to vacuum in the direction of the sisal fibres to avoid damaging them. 

Vacuuming the rug regularly not only helps remove surface dirt but also helps prevent the wear and tear of the rug fibres. If the rug has curled corners or edges, use a hand tool attachment to straighten them out during vacuuming.

3. Brush the Rug

Brushing the sisal rug helps remove any remaining dirt, debris or pet hair from the rug fibres. A soft-bristled brush or a stiff broom can be used to gently brush the rug toward the fibres. Avoid using a stiff brush on the rug, as it can damage the natural fibres. Brushing also helps maintain the texture and appearance of the sisal rug. 

Use a damp brush to apply a mild cleaning solution or shampoo to the affected area for more stubborn stains. Once you’ve finished brushing, vacuum the rug again to remove any loose debris you dislodged during brushing.

4. Use Shampoo and Water to Remove Stains

If you cannot remove any stubborn stains on your sisal rug by vacuuming or brushing alone, you can use a mild cleaning solution or shampoo to treat them. Mix a small amount of mild detergent or shampoo with water in a spray bottle, and apply it to the stained area using a damp cloth or brush. Be sure not to use too much cleaning solution, as it can saturate the natural fibres and damage the rug.

An analogy to help understand this is that just like you wouldn’t want to soak your hair in too much shampoo, you wouldn’t want to oversaturate your sisal rug with too much cleaning solution. Once the cleaning solution has been applied, use a clean, damp cloth to rinse the area thoroughly. Use a paper towel to blot the area and remove excess moisture, then allow the rug to air dry completely before using it again.

5. Drying the Rug

Drying the sisal rug is the final step in the cleaning process. Once the rug has been thoroughly cleaned, it is essential to ensure it is scorched before using it again. The best way to do this is to air dry the rug in a well-ventilated area, away from direct sunlight or heat sources like radiators or hair dryers. It’s important to remember not to use a hair dryer or any heat sources to dry the rug, as this can damage the natural fibres and cause the rug to shrink or warp.

To help the rug dry evenly, you can prop up the corners and edges using small objects like books or containers. Once the rug is completely dry, vacuum it to fluff up the fibres and remove any remaining dirt. Proper care makes your sisal rug look great and last for years.

Regular Maintenance

Regular maintenance is essential to keep your sisal rug looking clean and new. Here are some tips to follow for routine maintenance:

  • Frequent and regular vacuuming is essential to keep your rug clean and prevent the accumulation of dirt and dust. Sisal rugs should be vacuumed at least once per week.
  • Clean up wet spills immediately using a dry cloth or paper towel. Avoid using water, as it can cause water damage.
  • Use a baking soda solution to freshen up your rug’s smell. Sprinkle baking soda on your rug and let it sit for 30 minutes before vacuuming.
  • If your sisal rug is in a high-traffic area, consider using a rug pad underneath to reduce wear and tear.

Why is Professional Help Important?

While regular maintenance and DIY cleaning methods can help keep your sisal rug clean, professional help is essential to ensure that your rug stays in top condition. Here are some reasons why professional service is necessary:

  • Professional cleaners have the equipment and expertise to deep clean your sisal rug, removing even the most stubborn stains and dirt.
  • Professional cleaning methods can help extend the life of your sisal rug, saving you money in the long run.
  • Professional cleaners use eco-friendly solutions that are safe for your rug and the environment.
  • Professional rug cleaners can identify and address any underlying issues with your rug, such as water damage or insect infestations.

Don’t let the task of cleaning your beloved sisal rug overwhelm you. Reach out to Devine Rug Care, a team of seasoned professionals who know their way around natural fibre rugs like none other. With our top-notch services, you can rest assured that your rug will receive the utmost care and attention, leaving it spotless and refreshed. Don’t hesitate to call us today and experience the transformative power of our cleaning expertise for yourself!


Sisal rugs are a beautiful and durable addition to any home, but they require proper care and maintenance to ensure longevity. Follow these simple steps to clean your sisal rug, and remember to perform regular maintenance to keep it looking its best. And if you ever need help figuring out how to clean sisal rugs, contact Devine Rug Care, a team of expert cleaners, for the best cleaning at an affordable price. Call today!

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