How to clean a jute rug: an expert step-by-step guide

Jute whilst long-lasting can be quite the task to clean, so we asked cleaning experts for their foolproof guide for acing the job

picture of jute rug in hallway with a bench and houseplant next to it to support an expert guide on how to clean a jute rug
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Having a jute rug is a great way to inject natural texture into your space whether inside or out, but cleaning it can feel like a challenge. So what is the best way to tackle caring for this fashionable yet fibrous rug? 

Whether you're a fan of classic country or more contemporary decor, jute rugs are the perfect neutral home accessory – ideal for doormats thanks to the texture. But it's this desirable texture that can make it tricky to clean.

Due to the porous and somewhat fragile material, a jute rug can't be simply shoved in the wash. you need to take a gentler approach than you would to clean a rug made of alternative materials.

So with this in mind, we have spoken to cleaning experts for their effective guide on how to clean a jute rug with adequate care while still achieving faultless results. 

How to clean a jute rug: a step-by-step guide 

Whilst cleaning a jute rug isn't necessarily straightforward, there is a rather simple method to getting the job done. All you need is the know-how and the right tools. 

Here's what you'll need... 

  • Vacuum cleaner with upholstery attachment 
  • Soft bristle brush
  • White vinegar (optional)
  • Microfibre cloth
  • Baking soda
  • Spray bottle 

1. Shake off loose debris

woman rolling up a jute rug

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Before you can even think about tackling stains or getting your vacuum out, your rug will need a good shake outside. We'd recommend not leaving a regular dusting on your spring cleaning checklist as your rug will collect dirt and dust a lot quicker than you may think. 

"Take your jute rug outside and give it a good shake to get rid of any loose dirt, debris, and dust, " advises Jess Farinha, professional cleaner and founder of London House Cleaners.

Just this step alone will make a huge difference and will allow you to easily tackle the smaller more stubborn stains. 

Professional cleaner Jess Farinha
Jess Farinha

Jess has been cleaning and organising clients home for years, her passion for cleanliness and organisation is the reason she founded London House Cleaners which has become a impressive success. 

2. Vacuum and brush

Once you've removed the bulky bits of dirt it's time to call in one of the best vacuums and attach your upholstery attachment.

"Use the upholstery attachment to vacuum both sides of the rug effectively. Pay more attention to edges and corners where most of the dirt accumulates," explains Jess. 

After vacuuming, take a soft bristle for the stubborn dirt particles that will have clung to the jute fibres, Jess recommends slowly brushing the rug in the direction of the weave to loosen the dirt. It's important to be gentle here as you don't want to disturb and damage the fibres. 

3. Spot clean marks

With the majority of the dirt cleaned away, you may find some stains have stuck around, this is where cleaning with white vinegar can help. It's best if you tackle stains as soon as they occur, due to the porous nature of jute but there's still hope if you've left it a little late too.

Jess says if you encounter a stain quickly blot up any excess liquid using a clean and absorbent cloth, microfibre ones are good for this. She explains, "Avoid scrubbing, as this spreads the stain further. For most of the stains, a simple solution of equal parts of white vinegar and water works."

"Now lightly spritz this solution from a spray bottle and blot this with a clean microfiber cloth. For greasy and stubborn stains sprinkle some baking soda on the stain and allow it to sit for 30 minutes before gently brushing it off," she continues.

Cleaning with baking soda will also help remove any odours that may be hanging around from mucky shoes or pets.  

4. Air dry

circular jute rug with blanket over

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Make sure your rug is completely dry before placing it back in its spot, Jess says that jute should always be air-dried and put in a well-ventilated area out of direct sunlight. Too much sun exposure can cause the jute fibres to become brittle and fade so keep it outside in a shaded spot whilst it dries. 

5. Apply finish touches

After it's dried there are just a couple extra things you can do to ensure that it's as clean as possible and ready to be back in your room centre stage. 

"Once the rug is thoroughly dried, vacuum it again to get rid of any remaining baking soda and cleaning solution residue," suggests Jess. 

She then goes on to say: "Consistent vacuuming is necessary to maintain the cleanliness of a jute rug."


Can you steam clean a jute rug?

If you've found your rug in a particularly bad way, you might be wondering if there are more thorough methods of cleaning, one being steaming. And whilst we'd recommend having one of the best steam cleaners when it comes to how to clean a carpet, a jute rug may not benefit from this as much. 

Catherine Green, cleaning expert at Smol says, "No matter what spills onto your jute rug, you’ll want to control the amount of moisture it encounters as best you can — especially during cleaning. NEVER steam clean jute, saturate it in water or put it through a machine wash."

Due to the amount of water used when steaming, it's not recommended to tackle your jute rug with this no matter how dirty or smelly it might be. Instead, refer to the method above and ensure you're not skipping the baking soda step as this will help with unwanted odours. 

Whilst regular vacuuming will help prolong the life of your jute rug, it's very important to avoid excess moisture coming into contact with the material. Even during the cleaning process use all liquids sparingly and ensure the rug is completely dry before moving it anywhere in your home. 

Emily Smith
Digital lifestyle writer

Emily joined woman&home as a staff writer after finishing her MA in Magazine Journalism from City University in 2023. After writing various health and news content, she now specialises in lifestyle and home writing where she covers all things cleaning, interiors and homeowning.