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Maintaining Natural Fiber Rugs

Regular maintenance is the first step to keeping your natural fiber rugs looking their best. Liquid spills - even just water - will pull soils to the surface of your rug. Regular vacuuming with a suction-only vacuum will help keep the dust and dirt particles that accelerate wear and soiling out of your rug.

Cleaning Natural Fiber Rugs

Spilling on sisal is never a good thing. However, there are ways to make accidents a little less obvious.

Please note: You should NEVER steam-clean or shampoo a sisal, jute or hemp rug. Spills should be dealt with using the table below.

Nothing can guarantee complete removal of any stain, but the methods to deal with common spills and stains below will offer you the best chance at saving your rug. Use the mixtures and combinations described in the key at the bottom of the page according to the spill type listed in the chart. Always place solutions in a spray bottle and mist lightly onto the soiled spot - using the minimum amount of liquid.

Good luck!


  1. Remove as much of the spill as possible by either blotting liquids from the outside of the stain inwards, using a clean, absorbent towel - or by scooping solids from the carpet using a spoon, working from the outside of the spill towards the center.
  2. Find your spill type in the chart below and use the remedy as described.

Refer to the key below the chart for treatment guidelines.

Spill TypeRemedy

Beer or LiquorA or D
KetchupA or C
LipstickA or B
ButterA or B
MascaraA or B
CandyA or E
A or C
GumA or G
MilkA and E
ChocolateA or E
Nail PolishI and A
CoffeeA or D
Oil - cookingA or B
CrayonB and A
Oil - furnitureA or B
EggA or C
Paint - latexA or F
FecesA or C
Paint - oil basedA or B
Food ColoringC and A
Fruit JuiceA or E
Shoe PolishA or B
Furniture PolishA or C
Soft DrinksA or E
Glue - modelI
TarA and B
Glue - whiteC and A
TeaA or D
GravyA or E
UrineA or E
Hair SprayA or B
A or F
Hand LotionA or B
Ice CreamA or E
WineA or E
InkA or B


See the definitions of "solvent," "detergent," " vinegar" and "ammonia" below...

Use HOST Dry Carpet Cleaning Kit for (widely available online)
Solvent, blot, detergent, blot, water, blot
Detergent, blot, ammonia, blot, detergent, blot, water, blot
Detergent, blot, vinegar, blot, detergent, blot, water, blot
Detergent, blot, ammonia, blot, vinegar, blot, detergent, blot, water, blot
Detergent, blot, ammonia, blot, water, blot, solvent, blot
Freeze with ice cube, shatter with blunt object, vacuum, solvent, blot
(For wax, place paper over wax, iron with warm (not hot) iron to absorb)
Cool water, blot, ammonia, blot, detergent, blot, water, blot
Acetone polish remover, blot, repeat

Solvent  =  HOST Spot Remover, or any commercial dry cleaning solvent

Detergent = 1 tsp laundry detergent (without bleach) + 1 cup lukewarm water

Vinegar = 1/4 cup white vinegar + 1/4 cup water  

Ammonia = 1 tsp clear household ammonia and 1/2 cup water