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How to Clean a Jute Rug: Remove Stains and Odors

Bring back the natural beauty of your jute rug.

A jute rug can complete any room. But when the rug is dirty and stained, it ends up distracting you from its natural beauty.

Jute rugs aren’t the easiest material to clean, but with our step-by-step guide and hacks, we’ll help.

If you want to know how to clean a jute rug using the best methods, keep reading. Before you know it, you will know the ins and outs of caring for this type of rug. No stain will beat you.

Key Takeaways

  • Avoid getting jute rugs too wet; spot clean stains with a damp cloth and mild soap or club soda.
  • Vacuum jute rugs without a beater bar, using low suction settings to prevent damage.
  • Deep clean with dry carpet cleaner or baking soda, then vacuum thoroughly to remove residue.
  • To clean pet stains, use a 1:1 solution of white vinegar and water, followed by baking soda if necessary.

Can You Wash a Jute Rug?

One of the most important things to remember when cleaning a jute rug is that you shouldn’t get the rug too wet. A damp cloth for stains is fine, but steam cleaning, tossing it in the washer, or drenching it is a big no-no.

When you soak your jute rug, the fibers get darker, which can permanently alter the appearance.

Top Tip

Since a jute rug shouldn’t get wet, we recommend avoiding placing the rug in the kitchen or bathroom. A dining room, living room, or bedroom is best.

Best Cleaner for Jute Rug

Since you can’t wet wash a jute rug, what products are safe to use? Here is a list that is safe on braided or woven jute rugs:

  • Dry carpet cleaner: One of the best products is a dry carpet cleaner, such as Good Natured Saving Grace Carpet & Upholstery Powder. Dry carpet cleaners don’t require much — if any — water to work.
  • Baking soda: Baking soda works like a DIY carpet powder. We have used it on our jute rug to clean up pet vomit, and it worked a treat!
  • White vinegar: You can mix a 1:1 solution of white vinegar and water. Dampen a microfiber cloth and wring it out well before blotting a stain.
  • Club soda: For spot-cleaning stains, a white cloth with a little club soda can work. We’re choosing white so that you don’t end up with any color transfer from the cloth.
  • Mild soap: A gentle, non-toxic soap is good for small stains and spot cleaning.
  • ForceField Fabric Cleaner: This product is designed for jute and sisal carpets, upholstery, and rugs.

How to Clean a Jute Rug

We’ll walk you through four approaches to cleaning a jute rug: spot-cleaning, vacuuming, deep cleaning, and removing stains with baking soda. We have a jute rug in our home and use these methods to clean it, so you can trust these are tested hacks!

Spot Cleaning

When you notice a stain on your jute rug, clean it up immediately; otherwise, the mark can set.

  • Time: 25 minutes.
  • Difficulty: Easy/Intermediate.

What You’ll Need

  • Paper towels or white cloths.
  • Dull knife.
  • Club soda, mild soap, or fabric cleaner spray.
  • Water.
  • Bowl.
  • Hairdryer.

1. Scrape the Stain

If possible, use a dull knife to scrape the stain and residue up. This is particularly useful if the spilled item is something more solid, like food or vomit.

2. Absorb the Stain

Start by blotting the stain with paper towels or white cloths, whether it’s a liquid, solid, dog pee, or vomit. Personally, we prefer cloths so that the paper towels don’t disintegrate into the jute.

Firmly press onto the stain, starting from the outside and working your way in. This prevents you from spreading the stain further.

Continue until the cloth comes back dry and most of the moisture has been absorbed.

3. Treat the Stain

Using a cleaner of your choice — such as mild soap, club soda, or fabric cleaner — it’s time to treat the stain.

If using soap, dilute it with cool water in a bowl.

Dip your cloth or paper towel into the club soda or soapy water. If using fabric cleaner, spray it directly on the cloth.

Blot the stain repeatedly, working from the outside until the mark has disappeared.

4. Dry the Rug

You don’t want to leave moisture on the rug. This can darken the fibers. Using a hairdryer, aim the nozzle at the stain. Use a cool or warm setting so you don’t damage the rug.

Continue until the dampness has evaporated and your jute rug is dry.


If there’s anything you can do to care for your jute rug, it’s vacuuming. This is the most essential step. You avoid grinding dirt and debris into the fibers when you stay on top of your vacuuming routine.

We’ll show you how to vacuum your jute rug safely without damaging the natural fibers.

  • Time: 10 minutes per rug.
  • Difficulty: Easy.

What You’ll Need

  • Vacuum cleaner.
  • Nozzle or soft brush attachment.

1. Remove the Beater Bar

Many vacuums made for carpets have a beater bar. This is a bar on the vacuum that spins rapidly to deeper clean carpets.

Make sure that you remove or turn off the beater bar on your vacuum cleaner. The friction can damage and pull up the fibers, ruining your lovely rug.

2. Vacuum On a Low Setting

Turn your vacuum to the lowest suction level available. Then start vacuuming, moving in different directions to ensure you’ve sucked up all dirt from every angle. For example, you can start by moving in horizontal directions, then switch to vertical.

Be careful with corners. You don’t want to suck up the binding of the rug. Instead, use your nozzle attachment or soft brush to clean the edges of the rug.

3. Vacuum Beneath the Rug

Once you’ve vacuumed the rug, roll it up and move it out of the way. Vacuum beneath the rug. Since jute is porous, lots of dirt and debris fall through the gaps.

Use this opportunity to clean the floor beneath. Not only is this sanitary, but it will ensure you don’t get stains on the underside of your jute rug.

If your rug has a backing, you may be able to skip this step.

With Carpet Cleaner

When deep cleaning your jute rug, a dry cleaning powder will work wonders. You can also use a fabric cleaner, but make sure it’s safe to use on jute materials.

  • Time: 1.5 hours.
  • Difficulty: Easy/Intermediate.

What You’ll Need

  • Carpet cleaner of your choice.
  • Vacuum cleaner.
  • Nozzle or brush attachment.
  • Stiff bristled brush.
  • Cloths.

1. Test in an Inconspicuous Spot

Even if the carpet cleaner is designed for jute, it’s always safest to test the product first. Choose an inconspicuous spot — like underneath the carpet — to test the cleaner. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions to apply it.

Clean it off and wait until the area is dry. If you notice no damage and the jute is still the same color, you’re good to go.

2. Vacuum First

Before applying your carpet cleaner, ensure you’ve vacuumed the rug and removed large debris. If you have a wet spill, skip this step.

3. Apply Cleaner

If using a powder, sprinkle it over the rug. Use a stiff-bristled brush to work it into the fibers, moving gently across the rug. Leave the powder on the rug for the specified length of time advised by the brand.

If using a spray carpet cleaner, you can usually spray this directly onto the jute. Always check the packaging guidelines. Usually, you can’t leave this on for longer than five minutes, so stick around and be ready to clean it off soon!

4. Blot Liquids

If you used a spray carpet cleaner, dampen a cloth in plain water and wring it out thoroughly. Blot the carpet well to remove all traces of the carpet cleaner.

5. Vacuum

If you used a powder carpet cleaner, it’s time to vacuum it up.

If you used the powder to absorb a wet spill, don’t do this until the rug is 100 percent dry. That may involve leaving the powder on the carpet overnight.

When it’s time, vacuum the jute rug in all directions to remove all powder residue. Don’t forget to switch to a brush or nozzle attachment for cleaning the edges of the rug.

Roll the rug up and vacuum underneath to finish.

With Baking Soda

Baking soda works as a dry carpet powder. However, it’s a little cheaper, and you might already have it at home.

  • Time: 15 minutes (plus waiting time).
  • Difficulty: Easy.

What You’ll Need

  • Vacuum cleaner.
  • Baking soda (around eight ounces).
  • Cloths or towels.
  • Stack of heavy books.

1. Vacuum the Rug

Remove or turn off the beater bar on your vacuum. Vacuum the rug moving in all directions. If you have a wet spill, skip this step.

2. Apply Baking Soda

Sprinkle a generous but light layer of baking soda over the rug. Leave it for up to eight hours to absorb dirt, oils, and odors.

If you have a particularly stubborn stain — such as pet vomit — we have a hack for you. Sprinkle extra baking soda on this area and cover it with cloths. Then stack a large pile of heavy books: this will help absorb more oils, odors, and stains.

3. Vacuum Again

Once the rug is dry and the baking soda has worked its magic, vacuum again. If you can’t get all the baking soda residue out, take the rug outside and give it a good shake.

Make sure to vacuum underneath the rug, too.

How to Clean Pet Stains On Jute Rugs

When your dog does its business or has a vomiting spell on your jute rug, it can be super agitating. But it is possible to get the stains out. We’ve been there, and our jute rug is clean and fresh once again!

  • Time: 45 minutes (plus waiting time).
  • Difficulty: Intermediate.

What You’ll Need

  • Distilled white vinegar.
  • Water.
  • Essential oils (optional).
  • Spray bottle or bowl.
  • Cloths.
  • Towels.
  • Baking soda.
  • Poop bag.
  • Vacuum cleaner.

1. Remove Excess Matter

If your pet has puked or pooped on the jute rug, collect the residue with a poop bag.

2. Create a Cleaner

Make a 1:1 solution of distilled white vinegar and cool water in a small bowl or spray bottle. Mix well.

To help with odors, add 10 drops of your favorite essential oil. Just make sure to choose one that’s not toxic to your pet. For instance, if you have dogs, lavender or rosemary are great options.

3. Apply Cleaner

Use a dry cloth to apply the vinegar solution to the area. Dab the stain with the vinegar solution, then dap with a dry towel. Alternate until the stain has lifted.

4. Sprinkle Baking Soda

If a stain and odor persist, sprinkle baking soda over the area. Lay a towel or cloth over the baking soda and stack some heavy books on top. Leave it overnight.

5. Dry the Area

After cleaning the stain, use a hairdryer on a cool setting to dry the spot.

6. Vacuum the Rug

Vacuum the rug without your beater bar to remove all traces of the stain and baking soda residue.

Can Jute Rugs Go In the Washing Machine?

Never put your jute rug in the washing machine. The water can damage the fibers, causing discoloration and weathering.

How Do You Protect a Jute Rug?

You want your jute rug to last, right? Here are some things you can do to protect it and extend its lifespan:

  • Vacuum weekly: We recommend vacuuming your jute rug once or twice a week to remove dirt and debris. This can also prevent stains.
  • Use a fabric protector: A fabric protector — such as the ForceField Fabric Protector — can stop the rug from being so absorbent. It acts as a sealer, encouraging the jute to harbor fewer stains, including those from food, drink, and mud.
  • Vacuum underneath: Because jute has lots of little gaps, dust, and debris fall through. Every week, roll your jute rug up and vacuum beneath it.
  • Keep humidity low: Because jute is porous and absorbent, it can harbor moisture. If you live in a humid area, this can lead to mold and mildew in the rug. Keep humidity low by using a dehumidifier — keep moisture levels below 50 percent if possible.


How Durable are Jute Rugs?

It depends. If you keep it away from kids and pets, it will probably last at least five years, if not much longer.

However, if you keep it in a high-traffic area and your pet likes to scratch at it, it might only last a couple of years.

Overall, jute isn’t the most durable material out there, but it has many other advantages that keep people buying it.

Something To Note

If you’ve chosen a jute doormat, keep in mind that it won’t be all that durable. After a few months, you might notice it’s falling apart.

Does Jute Rug Smell Go Away?

You might notice a distinct earthy smell when you first unwrap your jute rug. After airing out for a few days, this smell disappears.

To speed this process up, air it out outside or sprinkle some baking soda over the fibers. In the morning, vacuum the rug well.

Do Jute Rugs Get Softer?

After unrolling your jute rug and walking over it, it will soften up within a few weeks. It won’t ever be as soft as cotton or bamboo, but for a natural fiber — it’s pretty soft. Kids and pets will enjoy playing on it without irritation.

Can You Use a Roomba on a Jute Rug?

It depends. If your Roomba doesn’t have a beater bar or beater brushes, it should be kind on your jute rug. However, you should read the instruction manual.

If it doesn’t state anything about jute, test it out first. The biggest risk with using a Roomba on jute is that it pulls the fibers up and loosens the rug.

Can You Steam Clean a Jute Rug?

No. Steam uses a lot of high heat and moisture — two things you shouldn’t use to clean your jute rug. It can discolor, warp and loosen the jute.

Jute Cleaning Roundup

Jute rugs aren’t the most durable or easiest to clean, but with our hacks and tips, you can take care of yours.

The key is regular vacuuming. Once or twice a week is best. Make sure to turn off or remove those beater bars first!

A dry carpet powder or baking soda removes stains and odors without damage when it comes to deep cleaning.

Above all, make sure you don’t wash, shampoo, or oversaturate your jute rug. This will cause permanent and irreversible damage.

When in doubt, hire a professional cleaning service.

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About the Author

Beth McCallum

Beth McCallum is a freelance writer & book blogger with a degree in creative writing, journalism, and English literature. Beth firmly believes that a tidy house is a tidy mind. She is always looking for new ways to sustainably clean and tidy her house, that's kind on the environment but effective in the house, too!