Caring for Natural Fiber Rugs
Because all of our natural fiber floor coverings derive from different types of plant fibers, they're inherently absorbent. Exposure to the elements and changes in humidity levels can cause excessive wear and a potential environment for mold growth. This means that you don't want to place your natural fiber rug anywhere that's damp or where spills are likely to occur.
Upon Receiving Your Rug
In order to protect your rug from damage in shipping, it's sent from the factory rolled with the face on the inside. When you receive the rug you should open it, unroll it, and re-roll it in the opposite direction, with the face on the outside. Leave it rolled up in the room where it will stay, allowing the rug to acclimate to the humidity and temperature of its new environment. After 24 hours you may unroll the rug and put it in place.
Vacuum natural fibers often, just like you would any type of rug or carpet. This will regularly remove the fine dirt particles that can lodge between the fibers and cause additional wear. For the best result, we recommend the use of a vacuum with strong suction. A beater bar is not recommended. A liquid spill will act as a magnet to any dirt particles that are in the rug, causing the dirt to rise to the surface. This dirt may cause a dark stain. To prevent this from happening, try to keep the rug as soil-free as possible by regularly vacuuming. For added protection, we recommend using our Sisal Guard Spray-On Sealant.
Tip: Use a coarse doormat or walk off mat at your front door. This will provide a great deal of protection for your new rug. The goal is to remove as much of the outside dirt as possible from the shoes of those entering your home.
Spills & Spot Cleaning
Spills and spots need immediate attention. A liquid spill, even if it's only water, will act as a magnet to any dirt particles that are in the rug causing the dirt to rise to the surface. This dirt may cause a dark stain. To prevent this from happening, try to keep the rug as soil-free as possible by vacuuming daily. See our spot removal chart for types of treatment and specifically for pet stains, please read this article for the best solution.
If a spill does occur, blot with a clean absorbent white cloth. Never rub the area of the spill. Rubbing can work the liquid deeper into the fibers, making the spill more likely to stain the carpet. It can also spread the liquid to a larger area of the rug. To remove spots caused by solid substances, first remove any remaining material. Scrape it up with the dull side of a butter knife or a spoon, always working from the outside of the spot toward the center.
Cleaning the Binding
For routine maintenance of our woven fabric bindings (cotton, linen, jute, etc.), simply vacuum the edge finish as you do the rug.
If excessive soiling or spills occur on the binding, a dry extraction cleaning system such as HOST will be very effective. Alternatively, you may use a mild, neutral cleaning solution on spots and small soiled areas, but be sure to test an inconspicuous area first to ensure that the cleaner will not affect the fabric's colors. Once you've tested an area, follow these steps:
Blend just a couple of drops of liquid dish washing detergent with a quart of warm (not hot) water and add it to a spray bottle.
Lightly mist a small amount of solution on the spot; do not saturate the area.
Blot with a clean cloth.
Do not allow the area to stay wet for more than a few hours. If it is not drying by itself, apply heat with a hair dryer.
To maintain one of our Premium leather bindings, simply wipe the surface with a damp cloth or sponge. For suede bindings, use a cleaning kit designed for suede shoes.
Mold & Mildew Growth
As noted above, natural fiber floor coverings are derived from plant fibers and are therefore inherently absorbent. Exposure to the elements and changes in humidity levels can potentially create an environment for the growth of mold or mildew. This means that you shouldn't place your natural fiber rug anywhere that's damp or where spills are likely to occur. Seagrass is especially susceptible to mold and mildew growth.
Mold and mildew spots may not respond to the cleaning procedures that work with other types of soil, but, unless the spots are on seagrass, we strongly recommend that you try the HOST Dry Cleaning Kit first. If that does not work, or if the mold is on a seagrass rug, thoroughly mix one part liquid chlorine bleach with six parts water in a spray mist bottle. Test the mixture by spraying a little in a corner of the rug (not on the binding). If bleaching occurs, dilute the solution and re-test until it is safe to use.
Mist the solution lightly on the moldy area, using a soft brush to work it down into the weave to reach all the mold growth. After five or ten minutes rub the area with a clean, dry cloth. Repeat if necessary. When you are finished, be certain that the rug dries thoroughly within five or six hours, using a hair dryer on the damp spot if required.
If mold or mildew persists, your setting is probably too humid for the use of your rug. The rug may be permanently damaged; we recommend prompt removal and replacement with another material.
Sisal Guard Spray-On Sealant
Sisal Guard is a spray-on sealant that can be applied to natural fiber rugs at home. It acts as a barrier to reduce the rate at which sisal absorbs liquid sort of like ScotchGuard, but for sisal. Applying Sisal Guard will NOT GUARANTEE that your sisal will never stain, but it will reduce the chances should a spill occur. A single one-quart bottle covers approximately 10-15 square yards. Please note: Sisal Guard is only available for ground shipment within the continental U.S.
|1 Qt. Sisal Guard Sealant||$45|
HOST Dry Cleaning Kit
Though nothing can guarantee the complete removal of a stain, a dry carpet cleaning system such as HOST is by far the most successful method for cleaning natural fiber floor coverings. HOST works by using a highly absorbent powder moistened with water, detergent, and a small amount of solvent. The sponging action of the cleaner dissolves and absorbs soil and spots, which can then be removed by vacuuming. One box covers 208 square feet. Please note: HOST Dry Cleaning Kit is only available for ground shipment within the continental U.S.
Curl Stop (corner curling correction)
Curl Stop is a unique anti-rug curling system that keeps rug corners flat and holds to the rug and not your floors. Installation is quick and easy.